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Since the day a baby is born, he/she starts to make decisions. We make decisions every single moment (well, almost) from the moment you wake up to the moment you head to bed. It has become such norm for us that we do not realise that we are doing that all the time.
There are good decisions and bad decisions. Children do not know or understand what makes a bad decision and what makes a good one. We, as parents, will need to teach our children how to make the right decision. The decision that leads to a positive outcome.
Tip #1 – Get them involved
Whenever there’s a chance, get your child to involve in making the decision. If you are working on a craft, let them decide how to decorate and where to place the decorations. When you are setting new house rules, get them involved.
Tip #2 – Start with 2 choices
For younger children, allow them to choose between 2 choices. Too many may confuse them. As they get older, you may provide more choices as they have a better logical thinking skill and the increased in the capacity of their understanding.
Tip #3 – Discuss the pros and cons
Having a discussion on the pros and cons teach them how to think before they act. This brings awareness of every decision made will have its consequences and which consequences do they want. Guide your child on how to evaluate and decide what decision they want to make. Keep prompting them. Slowly, they will go into the strategic decision-making process.
Here’s an example where I allow my child to choose to cut her hair in her salon or by me (non- professional hairstylist). She opted to have it cut by me even though we have discussed that it may not turn out pretty and she was ready for that. LOL!
Tip #4 – Support and review
Support what your child has decided. If the choice worked out positively, acknowledged it. If the choice didn’t turn out as expected, discuss and explain to your child. DO NOT blame or shame them. Being a supportive parent is what they need during this learning process. No one gets things right all the time.
Tip #5 – Practice makes perfect
Do remember that it is not easy for children to understand fully how to make the right decisions all the time. That is why we have to provide them as much guidance and support as possible. It is always good to give them the chance to practice making decisions from young so that they are more prepared for the world out there as they grow older.
There are loads of parenting guides that teach parents how to make big plans for your child or how to groom your child to be successful. It is good to know and good to read but do bear in mind if you are controlling too much of your children’s lives (thinking that it is the best), they will miss out their childhood and on what they actually wanted to do.
Making a decision is not only an important life skill, but it is also a way to teach responsibility as well. For example, if they decide to keep a pet, they have to take up the responsibility to take care of it. Decision making takes loads of practice in order to master it.
If you want a happy, independent and responsible adult in the future, start guiding and supporting them and improve their decision-making skills from young.
What other tips do you have on teaching your child to make decisions? Welcome your sharing in the comment below!