Being a parent, it is difficult to leave many decisions to the kids. But it is important to teach our kids the art of decision making and learn, during childhood (when the stakes are lower), how to make good choices and become more responsible.
Here are four ways to teach kids the art of good decision making:
- Let Them Choose: Let them decide which toothpaste to use or food they want to eat. You can, of course, give them 2 to 3 options by telling them the qualities and benefits or disadvantages of them. Let them choose a pair of clothes from their wardrobe daily. This way, they will learn what to wear or what not to wear, especially when there is weather involved. My daughter gets creative while pairing up different accessories and clothes from her wardrobe. I also ask her at times what should I wear, how to match different colors or shoes. And undoubtedly, I love her choices. The best part is when she says, with a smile and a hug, ‘Mom, you are looking so beautiful!’ Don’t forget to give them a compliment too for what they have chosen. It boosts their self-confidence.
- Give Them Time & Space: Do not rush their decisions. It takes time to learn the art of decision making. It improves with time and practice. Give them time to make choices and space to change their mind. Tell them that you are always there and support them and be flexible. If they make a decision today, they can always change their mind tomorrow.
- Give Them Freedom & Make Them Responsible: It is an age-old saying that with freedom comes responsibility. If children need freedom, they should learn to take responsibility. They should learn to look after their own belongings. You can tell them to take care of a sibling or a pet for a while when you are away. You will be amazed to see how well they have carried out their responsibility. Let them do the home chores according to their age such as making a bed, keeping the dishes, arranging their drawers on their own. Take them along with you for shopping and ask them to take stuff down from the shelves. These little responsibilities and daily chores make them more confident. Let them go somewhere alone be it a friend’s house or a nearby park or a shop. It will make them more aware of their surroundings and how to take care of themselves when alone.
- Have Faith in Them: We need to keep faith in our kids’ decisions to make them more independent. If they take any wrong decision, you should always share your thoughts but assure them that you support their decision.