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A child-friendly introduction to decision-making

A child-friendly introduction to decision-making

As adults, there have been moments when we regret the choices we’ve made and learnt lessons the hard way, be it splurging on unnecessary purchases, saying the wrong things, and more. How can parents then ensure their children don't repeat history and instead, make more informed decisions? All parents always want their children to make the right decisions, whether it's for school, their personal lives, or other aspects of their lives.

Decision-making is an important life skill that is crucial for children to learn at a young age as it will help them in the future to make better choices and in turn achieve their goals. In this article, we will go through a child-friendly introduction to decision-making, where your child can learn how to make proper decisions, and how you can help them develop this valuable skill.

What is decision-making?

Decision-making is the process of making choices between two or more options. Every decision has its consequences, so it’s important to learn how to make the right choice in order to achieve the desired outcome. As parents, we make many decisions daily - from what to eat for breakfast to what time to leave the house in order to pick our children up on time. Similarly, children make many decisions, such as what game to play, what clothes to wear, or what to study.

The decision-making process

The decision-making process involves several steps.

Step 1: Identify the decision to be made

Identify what decision needs to be made. Children need to understand what decision they are making, and why it is important. For example, if the decision is about what to study, they need to understand the options available and what each option entails.

Step 2: Gather information

Next is to gather information about the options available. Your child would need to know what information to gather and where to find it. This step requires research, asking questions, and gathering opinions from others. It is essential to gather as much information as possible before making a decision.

Step 3: Consider the consequences

The third step is to consider the consequences of each option. Your child would need to understand that every decision has its consequences, be it good or bad. They need to consider the outcomes of each option and pick the one that will have the most positive impact.

Step 4: Make a choice

Thereafter, a choice has to be made based on the information gathered and the consequences considered. They need to understand that it is okay to make mistakes, and that every decision is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Step 5: Reflect on the decision

Finally, your child should reflect on the decision they made. They need to evaluate their decision and think about what they have learnt, consider what they would have done differently and how they can improve their decision-making process in the future.

Tips for parents

Here are some tips for you to help your child hone their decision-making skills.

1. Encourage independence

Encourage your child to make their own decisions, as this will help them develop their decision-making skills and build their confidence along the way.

2. Teach problem-solving skills

Teach your child problem-solving skills. This will help them analyse problems and come up with creative solutions.

3. Talk about decision-making

Talk to your child about decision-making. Explain the decision-making process, and how to make informed decisions.

4. Be a role model

Be a good role model for your child. Show them how to make good decisions, and how to learn from their mistakes.

5. Give feedback

Provide feedback to your child on their decision-making process. This will help them improve their decision-making skills and learn from their mistakes.

Start teaching your child decision-making skills today with something small, such as weighing out different grocery options in the supermarket and gradually bring bigger examples into play!

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Suitable for primary & secondary