Teaching Your Children To Make Good Decisions
…And Why It’s Important (Decision Making Skills of Children)
Does your child save or spend their allowance money? If given the opportunity would he or she cheat on a test? Would your teenager give in to peer pressure and choose to stay late at a friend’s party? Your children make decisions every day. Some of the personal choices of children are harmless and require little thought. For example, selecting what shoes to wear or what to eat for breakfast. But as their world and social life expand, they grapple with more complicated decisions about personal and moral issues. Children who lack strong decision making skills aren’t as resilient as kids who do. Also, those who make poor choices have difficulty bouncing back from bad outcomes, coping with anxiety and managing everyday stress.
The Decision Making Skills of Children
You’ve won the first place prize in a contest you entered! You and a guest will be whisked away to a five-star resort hotel, all expense paid …congratulations! However, in all your excitement you forgot to ask, “Where am I going”? The outcome is you have no clue if you’ll be swooping down mountain slopes, being pampered at a spa or exploring the countryside of Tuscany. How will you decide what to pack? Making decisions in your life is similar to choosing the clothes to pack for a vacation; The choice depends on the situation. Your dilemmas can be personal and practical, such as deciding what to wear, while others are more complex and need you to make a moral or an interpersonal choice.
Practical Personal Situations
More about the personal choices of children
When children choose between options that affect them personally, they’re setting the foundation for healthy decision making skills. Personal decisions need that kids take the time to stop, think, consider and pick between two or more option. The option they select can have short or long-term rewards. For example, spending or saving their birthday money, going out to play or completing their homework, or staying out an hour later than their curfew.
Below is the framework of the steps involved in practical personal choices of children:
- Identify the problem: Your son Bob isn’t completing all of his homework assignments.
- Determining the reason for the problem: He doesn’t begin working on his homework until after 9:00 in the evening because he participates in sports, karate and swimming and studies the guitar. In addition, Bob has a part-time job waiting tables three days a week.
- Listing the options: Stop karate. Stop swimming. Quit restaurant job. Drop guitar lessons.
- Examining the choices and alternatives: Karate and swimming ease Bob’s stress and help him stay physically fit. He’s excelling at playing the guitar, and his skill is boosting his self-esteem. Although his lessons are once a week, he practices up to two hours every day. He waits tables three days a week and is saving his paychecks for a new guitar.
- Making a choice: Bob decides to limit his guitar practice to forty-five minutes. He agrees to work only on the weekends. Making these adjustments, he now has three extra hours a day to complete his homework assignments.
- Applying the decisions made: Bob sets a timer while practicing his guitar and finds a replacement to cover his job at the restaurant.
- Evaluating the outcome: One month later Bob sees he made a good decision. He completes his homework assignments on time, feels in control of his schedule and is sleeping eight hours a night.
Moral And Social Situations
As well as practical choices, your child decisions about moral and social issues. For example, respecting and following rules, telling the truth, keeping promises, respecting authority and managing conflicts with friends. Bear in mind that the skills your child needs to handle moral and interpersonal problems evolve and develop over a lifetime. A pre-school child’s ethics and values are different from a teenager’s. One of the differences between the morals of younger and older kids during adolescence is intent. If your teenager’s dealing with an ethical crisis because of his or her actions, the problem might be the outcome of your teenager’s intention to create chaos or cause harm.
As your children’s world expands, they grapple with more complicated decisions about personal and moral issues. Weak decision making skills of children may result to anxiety and stress.
Moral And Social Situations-Method
- Problem view: How you approach a problem affects whether you’ll make a wise decision. Your objective during the first step to solving ethical and social dilemmas is explaining to your child how to think about the problem, teaching children to make good decisions. Teach your son or daughter to have a positive outlook about the situation by believing the problem is solvable. Assure them the problem will be cleared up either by them taking specific actions or by them modifying their reaction.
- Defining the problem: Your child must learn the difference between problems that are fixed directly, “problem-focused method” and problems that call for an emotional shift to the event,”emotional-focused method”. The “problem focused” process is the method used when the problem or situation is resolvable. Bob used the problem-focused method when he adjusted his schedule allowing more time to complete his homework. If the difficulty’s not changeable such as a death in the family, then the method used is, “emotional focused” or learning how to cope with the situation.
- Brainstorming: Once you and your child have defined the problem the next step is brainstorming. During the brainstorming session, you both present a number of solutions. Don’t get caught up in thinking whether each answer is practical, generate as many options as you can.
- Evaluating options: After the two of you have created lists, you’ll evaluate each response. Instruct your son or daughter to think of the advantages of each option, the actions needed to carry out the plan, the possible obstacles and how well it fixes the problem.
Personal Choices of Children
I realize the time and effort it takes to teach your child how to make decisions is consuming. But the commitment on your part will be an investment in your child’s resiliency as an adult. Teaching children to make good decisions is really not easy, and the poor choices kids make are made in haste and are nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to an event. The children who don’t learn to, stop, think and consider the consequences of their actions, have trouble planning, mapping out and reaching their goals. We all face problems during our lifetime.The problem is as we age the situations that develop are more complicated than in our youth. The choices made in adulthood call for scrutiny and deliberation. In order to prepare your child to cope efficiently and manage life’s predicaments, they must know, “how” to, and, “what” to consider when making decisions.
Have a banner day!