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Parenting Tip

April 12, 2013

Teaching Through Decision Making

Families make decisions and solve problems on a daily basis. Parents must make some decisions, and in those cases children need to learn to follow. At other times parents can involve children and help them make wise choices.

Money, for example, provides opportunities for children to make decisions. Parents can teach children how to save, be generous, and plan for purchases. In one family, Kari, age twelve, and Joel, age thirteen, were each given ten dollars for babysitting. Kari saved her money but Joel spent his right away. A few days later when the family was at a museum, Kari and Joel both wanted to buy something at the gift shop. Kari had money but Joel said, “I wish I would have saved my money so I could buy something here.”

It’s better for children to learn their lessons with small amounts of money early, than to wait and make a costly mistake later on. Joel’s parents honored him by allowing him to make mistakes. They didn’t say, “I told you so.” They simply allowed him to learn from his own experience, but they didn’t rescue him either.

Developing good decision-making skills gives kids the ability to define a problem, look at consequences of various alternatives, and then choose the best solution among the options. Having open discussions about decisions and then allowing children to solve some problems for themselves communicates honor to them. It says, “I believe in you. You have what it takes.”

For more practical ideas on developing honor in your family consider the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

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