Life is full of decisions! Every day we make hundreds of decisions and one decision is different from all others.
As decision-making is an art and is vital in almost all activities, everyone needs to learn how to make decisions effectively.
Making a decision for an activity is not a task you do from practice — it requires conscious thinking and knowledge.
Making a decision is scary, but very exciting for a teenager. So, allow your teen to take own decisions.
However, as a parent, help your child how to make right decisions. This is because the decisions he/she makes at this stage of life can change their life.
As an under construction building needs support of scaffolding until it becomes strong enough to stand on its own, a teenager also needs a type of scaffolding support from their parents until they become perfect in making decisions on their own.
How can you support your teenager in making good decisions?
Teens often choose options that are very simple and effortless. They never pay full attention on their thoughts and feelings regarding the problem and make the decision that gives only temporary results. So, as a parent, teach your child these decision-making strategies, which help to take right decision.
Determine and understand the problem: Determining that there exists a problem/situation is the basic step in decision-making. Once the problem is identified, understand the problem clearly and know what exactly is causing the problem/situation and how to alter the situation. This helps them to make limited choices to make decision regarding the problem.
Gather information: Once problem is determined, gather information related to the problem and identify the causes. This helps them to make right decision to reach their destination or solve the problem easily.
List out possible alternatives: Think and list out as many alternatives as possible for the situation/problem. As your decision is very important in solving the problem, spend more time and effort in making a right decision for the problem.
Be responsible for the decision: Once your teen makes decision, as a decision maker, they should be responsible and accept its consequences. In other words, they need to live with the decision or take responsibility in making other decisions for the situation.
Choose the best alternative: Carefully observe the list and choose the best one.
Sometimes, none of the alternatives in the list opt the situation. Then, search for a new alternative. It is a good idea to postpone the decision making to collect more information as well as alternatives, but never leave the situation or making decision just because there are no perfect alternatives.
Implementing decision: Choosing the best alternative is not the end of decision-making process. Implementing the decision into action is also a part of decision-making. Some problems/situations will be resolved with a single decision whereas some may need additional decisions or series of decisions.
Assess the outcome of the decision: When your teen implements the decision into action, always find out the outcome of the decision regularly to determine its effectiveness.
So, as a parent, allow your teen to make self-decisions, but support them all the time to make right decisions.