Voice & Decision-making

Child in Restaurant

Child in Restaurant“Wow! You really know what you want! That has to be the best detailed order I have ever heard!” said the waitress to my youngest son recently.

Flashback to when he was three years old and I insisted that he and his brother both order their own food at a fast food restaurant.

“Dad, you order!”

“No, tell him what you want,” I said.

In a very soft voice, almost inaudible: “I want a Happy Meal.”

“LOUDER!” I shouted.


It was a painful moment, but from then on they both ordered their own food at restaurants.

I wanted my sons to develop two skills: making their own decisions, and using their voice in public.

I grew up in the “children should be seen and not heard” era of parenting and it was not until I went to Toastmasters at 32 that I learned to speak up.

My goal was that these two skills would be so natural to my sons that it would be like breathing, unconscious competence.

As Dads, we need to say “what a great voice you have” more frequently than “be quiet”.

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