Parents manage countless daily household and family responsibilities, which often includes doing everything on behalf of their children. It’s important, however, to remember that decision making is a critical trait for a successful future. Children are capable of making many decisions and can start developing these skills at a young age. They can, for example, choose their own outfits even if the colors clash or decide which topic to discuss at dinner. We would like to share a few suggestions for helping to teach kids to make decisions, an important trait for a happy, successful future.

Empower Your Kids to Make As Many Decisions as Possible Daily

  • Teach kids how to make decisions by encouraging them to think through both the options and possible outcomes. One method is to create a Decision Map.
  • Help kids learn to identify both the actual problem that needs resolved (e.g., getting to the bus on time), as well as the options to help solve the issue (e.g., layout clothes the night before).
  • Remember that making the wrong choice can lead to important learning. When it’s a safe environment, allow children to choose their path. Even if you can anticipate the result will not be the one he hopes for, he will learn from both making the decision and from the outcome.
  • Foster an understanding and trust for using intuition. Teach a child how to recognize and listen to how she feels. One option is to simply ask how she feels in certain situations such as when she enters a new classroom, or when you stop for gas at night. If you’re running errands together, ask your kids to pick out the best parking spot and why they chose it.
  • As kids get older, encourage them to take on more challenges, including plans that require financial decisions.
  • At dinner or bedtime, reflect with your kids on the decisions they made and talk about how things turned out.