What Kids Need: Decision-Making Skills

I remember clearly my younger sister and me standing at a lunch counter when we were on a family vacation trying to decide what to order for lunch and unable to determine.  I realized then that we both lacked decision-making skills in part because we had not learned assertiveness skills.  The two go together nicely and complement each other.  As parents, when we take time to sit with our kids and help them with decision-making skills, we are helping them to develop respect through their feelings and opinions.

So often, parents are quick to jump in and make decisions for kids when they struggle.  Take time instead to help them see the pros and cons of a decision. By allowing them to ask questions when they are working, kids learn to clarify their choices, resulting in a more precise selection.  This ability also closely aligns with self-confidence, which I lacked when I was a youth.  Help kids to apply that decision and then to stick with it and follow it through.  If there were blind spots, then help them see those after the fact and learn from them.  By asking them questions such as, “How could you have learned this?”  or “What questions could you have asked that would have given you insight into these choices?”

I caution parents not to get hung up on deciding because then we allow others to decide for us.  Help kids see that making a decision is choosing quickly and accurately and then moving on to that decision confidently.  If the decision was a poor one, then help them backtrack, analyze things a bit, and move on.   These are essential skills that will serve kids for all their life, well into and throughout adulthood.

I challenge parents today to talk with kids about decision-making skills and help them to learn the skill of solid choices.  It will increase their self-confidence because they know that they can make stable choices without adult help, and if the decision is wrong, they will learn from it.

Following is another post on this topic, Decision-Making Skills – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

Indeed.com has a post that defines decision-making skills and gives examples at Decision-Making Skills: Definition and Examples | Indeed.com

Yours for Better Parenting,