5 Creative Ways to Encourage Children to Develop Decision Making Skills

Most parents have a misconception that kids cannot make decisions yet. That’s because you simply do not understand why, for example, your kid will draw on your wall. You ask your child why, and usually, they cannot seem to reason out. Kids seem to just do things without thinking things through. Actually, your child thought of it, he just wasn’t aware of the thought process going on and he can’t explain exactly why to you.

As your kids age, they become more aware of their actions and they can already start to reason out. It’s really good to teach your children to develop good decision-making skills. Hold them accountable for their actions. You won’t be there for them every time. You can’t always decide for them. The best way to make sure they live a good life is that you train them to be good decision makers. They will carry it for the rest of their lives. Living with them will also be less stressful if they can think things through and come up with a sensible solution on their own.

Here are some ways that can encourage children to develop decision-making skills:

Tell a story

At an early age, tell your children fun stories, but teaches them good moral and character. In order for your child to make good decisions, he must have a foundation of good principles. He must know what he should ideally do in different situations. Through stories, your child can know what will be the consequences of certain actions. He will also be able to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. Make sure your child will aspire to be like the good guys!

SODAS Method

S- Situation

O- Option

D- Disadvantages

A- Advantages

S- Solution

SODAS is a common method used by parents. It is an activity that will hone your child’s decision making. Every time your child is faced with a difficult situation, advise him to take out a piece of paper and write down the situation. Teach him how to describe a situation properly. After which, ask him to list down all possible options he could think of. Then make him write the disadvantages. Usually, your child won’t know the problems. Pitch in when you have to. Make him write the advantages as well. When the Situation, Options, Disadvantages, and Advantages have all been laid out, let your child come up with a solution. The solution could be one of the options or something entirely different.

Family Meeting

Whenever there is a decision that affects the entire family, involve everyone in the decision-making process. You can use SODAS in the deliberation. It can be very informal, just make sure to moderate and hear everyone out. Empower your children by giving them a voice. Even if you are already set on a decision, and your spouse have agreed to it already, still set up a family meeting to make them understand why you’ve come up with that decision. You might be surprised at how your children can be creative and may actually convince you to change your mind.

Practice Solution

Make sure your child puts into action the sound solution he has come up with. This way, he may learn to stand by his own decisions and suffer the consequences thereof. Experience is, after all, the best teacher.


Reward System

Positive reinforcement is better than punishment. While punishment may be hard to avoid sometimes, it is best to use positive reinforcement if possible. Each time your child does good, reward him. This way, he knows he is on the right track.

You can start this in the home by allocating chores to each child and asking them to make the decisions to get the expected result. For example, put your child in charge of vacuuming his room each week but don’t just tell him to do it, ask him to make the decision on what tool to use (ie. the robotic vacuum cleaner or the upright vacuum). One will be easier for him to manage than the other. Work through the decision-making process with him and you’ll be surprised at the results. 

Good Hygiene Habits Parents Should Teach their Kids

Good hygiene is essential for good health and overall well-being. Not only are there physical benefits, there are also mental benefits. Having good hygiene is also very important for socialization. Here are some important good hygiene habits that parents should teach their children:

Washing hands regularly

Regular hand washing should be instilled at a young age so that your child will develop it into a habit. A usual trick is to have your child sing “Happy Birthday” at least twice when washing his hands. Make washing of hands a fun experience for your child, make him enjoy the soap and the bubble it creates! If he associates this activity with happy feelings, he will keep on doing it.

Brush teeth at least three times a day

Usually, kids should eat meals at least three times a day: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Instill in your child the habit of brushing his teeth every after meal. Oral hygiene is very important to keep the teeth strong and to keep the breath fresh! Buy your little a toothbrush with a fun design. If you have the chance, take your kid to the grocery and make him choose his own toothbrush.

Taking a bath at least once a day

Your child should take a bath every day. Not every kid enjoys bathing, but, you can make your child someone who loves baths by making it a fun activity. Rubber duckies and bath toys are great to make bath time fun! Remember to use no-tear shampoo and body wash— those that are specially made for children. They are gentler on the skin.

Combing hair

Teach your kid, boy or girl, how to properly comb the hair—just gently and patiently. Make them enjoy their hair and show them how to keep it tidy. Girls can wear cute headbands to keep their long hair from getting unruly. Cut your little boy’s hair short and make trips to the barber a fun activity. While your little boy can keep a long hair, most schools require boys to keep a short hair.

Keeping a handkerchief

Make your child choose nice handkerchiefs for himself. Tell him to take good care of it and use it whenever necessary. This will teach your kid responsibility while instilling in him a basic good hygiene habit.

Other than these, it’s important to make your child get used to clipping nails, cleaning ears and belly button. However, these are delicate activities that you may want to do yourself until your child is responsible enough not to hurt himself.

How to Guide Your Kid’s Behavior in Positive Ways

Good behavior is learned. Humans are born with instincts and we are not born knowing how to act properly right away. This is why guidance is very important. Parents are given the responsibility to make sure that their children become productive members of society. The proper foundation is very important so it is best to start teaching your child good manners and right conduct at the earliest time possible.

You have to take into consideration several factors. If your child is a baby or a toddler, you can’t expect much from your child so you have to set standards low. However, training must start this early. Set physical limitations.

Do not put things they cannot play with within their reach. Do not encourage a spoiled behavior by giving in to their every demand.

Do not reinforce negative behavior

Usually, a child would test how you would react to his crying, for example. Do not reinforce negative behavior. Doing this right will make your life easier as a parent.

As your kids grow up, the physical limits no longer need to be imposed. Verbal limits should be sufficient.

Be clear in explaining to your child what he can do and what he should not do. Instead of threatening to punish him if he does not follow, explain to him why he is not allowed to do something.

Once he understands the reason why and finds that reasoning sound, he will develop good decision making skills and have a better understanding of what is good and what is bad.

Should your child willfully disobey you, be stern and impose consequences. Praise and reward good behavior and show disapproval for bad behavior. He should understand that he cannot get away from doing bad things. Do not concern yourself about your child hating you. As long as you do not impose unreasonable punishment, it’s okay.

The importance of discipline

Discipline is part of shaping your child. Remember that if you do not discipline your child, someone else might do it for you. You don’t want your child to grow up having no regard to rules and authority. That will get him in serious trouble in the future.

Communication is really the key. Make him understand the possible consequences and even the implications of his actions.

Remember to commend him for a job well done and always recognize and reward his good behavior. Validation is very important. Most of the time, our kids are eager to please us. Love, attention, and affection are still the best forms of reinforcement. Be generous in giving that to your child when he deserves it.

Realistic expectations

Remember to be realistic in your expectations. Think of how you were as a child and be reasonable and understanding. Also, another very important thing that most parents forget: “Set a good example.” Be someone your child can look up to. Be someone of credibility to guide him in becoming a person that you and he, himself, can be proud of.