Teenagers have to make decisions every day, yet lots of teens aren’t taught the skills they need to make healthy and informed choices. This often results in rushed or wrong decisions when faced with tricky situations or dilemmas. Here at Tutor Doctor we recognise the importance of good decision making skills, and how they can set your teen up for life. As a parent you have lots of influence over your teen, so here are some ways that you can help teach them important lessons to make choices the right way.
One of the most effective ways to help your teenager make the best decisions is by providing plenty of guidance, but without overdoing it. Let them know what your thoughts are in a situation but at the same time don’t be afraid to step back and let your teen make mistakes.
Making sure you’re there for your teen when they fail is super important. It is the perfect chance for you to discuss how they can make better choices next time, meaning they can learn from their mistakes rather than feel disheartened.
Encourage your teen to identify their options. Often they believe there is only one solution, when in fact there are lots of routes they can go down. Spend some time together and get your teen to brainstorm a list of choices for a particular problem. Ask them to write down as many as possible so they can review each decision in turn.
Write a pro and con list
Once your teen has written a list of options for a specific problem, get them to identify the potential pros and cons of each one. This will help them see for themselves which would be the best decision to make. If they are struggling, get into more depth and talk through what the different outcomes could be. Never be afraid to provide your point of view, but remember to always encourage your son or daughter to make the decision on their own.
A great way to help your teen start making good choices is to help them understand how emotion plays a big part in decision-making. For example, fear may prevent them from trying something new whilst excitement may cause them to underestimate the real risks. Writing a pro and con list is one of the most effective ways of tackling a problem with logic rather than emotion. Once your teen grasps this, it is likely that they will be more inclined to make informed decisions and think through a solution before committing to it.
There is never a bad choice
Finally, the key to making decisions is to always remind your teenager that there is no such thing as a bad choice. Even if they choose an option that didn’t work out so well, it’s always a chance to learn and make sure they don’t make the same mistake twice.