IT TAKES TO RAISE KIDS WHO WILL MAKE GOOD DECISIONS
your child. When you're not around, does he feel uncertain and confused
when faced with a choice about what to do or how to react to something?
Does he make impulsive decisions without thinking through the consequences
of his actions? Or is he learning to use--and trust--his judgment
and make choices with competence and confidence?
we can't predict what the world will be like when our children grow
up, we know that they will be better prepared for the future if they
can think for themselves and have developed decision-making strategies
that will apply to a wide variety of situations.
IT TAKES TO MAKE A DECISION
sound decisions, children, like adults, need good information. They
also need to be tuned in to their own and other people's feelings,
say Drs. John Clabby and Maurice Elias, authors of Teach Your Children
Decision Making (Doubleday). They need to listen carefully and
accurately, stay calm and maintain self-control, particularly when
they are in a stressful or upsetting situation. Equally important,
they need the right balance of self-confidence and the ability to
know when and how to ask for help.
these traits can be encouraged but don't lend themselves to formal
teaching; others are skills children can learn, beginning at a very
children practice refusal skills--how to say no--should actually be
started in mid-elementary grades, but it becomes even more important
as they reach the preteen years. What do you say to your friend if
he or she wants you to go along with something you don't want to do?
"My parents won't let me" or "If I do that, I'll get in trouble
with my coach," are sometimes enough, but it gets tricky
as kids get older. Role-playing possible situations can help young
people practice different approaches to accomplish their goals and
find the words that they can be comfortable with.
teenagers ask their parents for advice about certain decisions and
others don't. If you are asked, try not to move right in with a solution.
Ask questions and encourage your child to tell you what options he
or she is considering. While we want our kids to think for themselves
and make good choices, parents still have a role in clarifying issues
and helping kids make decisions. So don't hesitate to express an opinion
and convey the values that are important to you.
from Work & Family Life
newsletter, edited by Susan Ginsberg)