What do you want your teen to know how to do? How can you teach them how to do it? An important skill for success in the 21st century is decision-making. While our teens make decisions every day from what to wear to who to hang out with, large decisions require more of a process and have higher stakes.
Many times in my parenting, I told my sons what I thought was the best decision for them, but I didn’t realize how important modeling the decision process could be. As an older adult, I am examining my process and have begun to model it and teach it to my students and my grown boys. Developing strong decision-making skills is a lifelong process. Here is how to begin supporting the emergence and growth of these vital skills in your teen.
- Recognize your desired outcomes for the decision your teen is trying to make. It is helpful for you to be aware of your hopes and to share them later in the process, to facilitate an authentic decision-making process.
- Ask guiding questions and teach your teen how to brainstorm their own questions regarding the decision at hand.
- Teach your teen how to identify reliable sources of information when they look for answers to their questions.
- Empower your teen throughout the decision-making and problem-solving process. Teens need to make these decisions and process their own. While the basics are similar, each teen might approach decisions differently. Help your teen take ownership and responsibility throughout the process.
- Give your teen methods for problem-solving and decision-making. Suggest the steps they take. Review the steps already taken. Support, encourage, and nurture your teen every step of the way.
As mentioned earlier, decision-making skills are important throughout our lives. Providing your teen with practice, strategies, and tools, puts them on a solid trajectory for success!
What decisions has your teen been facing? How could you use these strategies? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.
Would you like to learn more about this process? Check out my course at https://mypepllc.com/guiding-choices/.