Teaching by Example is Not Enough
Teaching young people to think for themselves involves more than just demonstrating the correct actions. Adults who translate their own internal thought processes into words for youth as they make decisions throughout the day can provide young people with valuable life skills.
Sharing one's thought process can be risky, especially if the adult is not sure of the reasons for their own decisions. Adolescents are experts in picking up on inauthentic behavior.
Teaching youth how to think rather than what to think requires adults tolerate questioning of their own decisions. The goal of teaching youth to make responsible, rational decisions in their own life can be worth the temporary discomfort of having one's authority questioned.
Today, I will be aware of my choices when I am around young people. I accept responsibility for teaching the children in my life how to think, rather than what to think.