Photo by Allan Mas

Walter Hoge’s book Easter: McEaster Valley is among the countless books teaching children the magic of decision-making. As a skill, it’s very crucial in everyone’s lives. Hence, adults must ensure that they learn it from the get-go.

Whether it’s about choosing what toy they want to buy or whether they should go out to play or not, children are faced with choices to make every day. Most of these decisions may seem trivial in the eyes of adults or inconsequential at the time children decide them. But these may pose of great importance and can significantly impact children’s lives in the future.

No matter in what aspects of life, decisions will influence the course of people’s lives.

Children are yet to develop the rational part of their brains. No matter how intelligent they’re deemed to be, more often than not, they’re making decisions illogically. Adults may expect that whenever they’re given the liberty and opportunity to make a decision, they often do so at the spur of the moment or based on their emotions.

Decision-making has been given great significance and is encouraged to be taught as early as childhood. But, how should adults encourage children to make decisions thoughtfully and carefully when most things in their minds are only riddled with fun?

Model Decision-Making

Children mirror most of the behaviors around them, especially with their parents. Parents play an essential part in children’s development, which is why they must put their best foot forward as role models.

Though parents’ decisions differ significantly from those children’s, it’s great to demonstrate the hows in decision-making. Parents can model how they make their decisions by thinking out loud. This means asking the questions that pop into one’s mind during decision-making aloud.

For instance, when parents decide what to buy for dinner. They can ask out loud about the alternatives and the pros and cons of their options. This way, children are given a clue about how adults arrive at a decision. The more they’re exposed to this behavior, the more likely they will follow the process.

Provide Support

While they’re aiming for children to learn to make decisions, it doesn’t mean they must do so alone. Adults may still show support and provide them assistance when necessary. Most children have trouble reaching a decision, not because they can’t make one but because they’re scared to make one. If this is the case, an adult’s help is crucial.

They must guide children through the process. Soothe them when they’re excessively worrying. And praise them once they’ve reached a decision. Children must realize they aren’t alone in the process, nor in the practice of learning the skill.

Adults can also remind children that some decisions weigh more importance than others and that sometimes, there’s a need to make fast decisions. Whatever they choose, deciding fast is crucial to avoid missing the necessary succeeding activities.

Exposure to Good Materials

Children are fascinated by a lot of things. But in their age and today’s technology, they’re especially interested in the media or games. Once they have a favorite character that sticks with them, children may copy their behaviors.

This is why it’s essential for adults to carefully curate and thoroughly choose which media materials they show children. It’s also important to expose them to those that have great role models for them to mirror their behaviors. Some materials adults may pick for their children are superhero movies, adventure series, or great Christian cartoon series.

They may also introduce children to books with decision-making as a focal skill. A perfect example of this is Walter Hoge’s Easter: McEaster Valley. The book spotlights the values of bravery and generosity while teaching its readers the magic of decision-making. It teaches children the majesty of the earth, encouraging them to be more respectful of their planet. This book speaks of the importance of everyone’s decisions in their lives.

Allow Mistakes

With possible consequences after every decision, adults might find it tempting to jump into every child’s wrong decision. But they will never learn that way. Often, the best teacher lies in the mistakes children make.

As long as nothing harmful comes out of it, adults should let children make bad decisions, even if they regret these. This way, they will also learn more about themselves. It will be challenging to find the perfect time to step in and rescue children from their decisions.

Once they experience the consequences of their decisions, it’s time to step in and help them learn. But in teaching them about decisions and consequences, adults must avoid blaming children. Even if they regret their choices, it’s crucial to not make fun of them or blame them for what they picked.

When Adults Step Back

Decision-making may take a long while to develop. It needs constant practice and an excellent trial-and-error period. Watching children waddle their way into adult territory might make it challenging for adults to step away. If it were possible, they would probably choose to help them forever.

But this isn’t how the world works. One way or another, adults have to step back and give children the space to be independent. They must slowly let go as soon as they feel they can trust the child with the decisions. However, letting go doesn’t mean entirely abandoning the child. Adults may still assist if more challenging decisions need to be made.

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