I think there are 3 things necessary in making good decisions about ourselves + others that it takes a good while to learn. 1. The way the world is, both straightforward facts + deeper connections: what is a ‘Member of Parliament’? More difficult still: what will be the effects of doing this & doing that? 2. Long-term planning. I suppose you know the fable of the ant & the grasshopper, which I think has a dual lesson: we really mustn’t avoid long-term planning. But also – be compassionate. I think the ant comes off as mean-spirited and punishing, not the kind of person we’d like to be. Which leads to 3. Internalising a moral code of how to treat ourselves + others + learning to balance desires, emotions, rational considerations of duties – which last often conflict.
The problem of course – which may be at the heart of your questions – is that not only children but many adults who make decisions for children haven’t managed all 3 very well. And we haven’t figured out how to design society to get almost everybody into a position to do all this well.
Maybe you have ideas of some things we could do in this direction??
Best wishes, Nancy