Responsible decision making is the ability to make effective choices after considering the consequences of our actions. It includes our personal and social choices for our individual and collective well-being. Ability to evaluate the risks, benefits and consequences are considered. It takes being efficient in all the other competencies of SEL combined to lead to efficient decision making.
We all make numerous choices in our lives. Some are easy, some complicated. Some are simple, everyday choices, while some change the course of our lives. Our lives are the sum of the choices we make. Hence, responsible decision making is an essential life skill for our children.
How will responsible decision making help your child?
A child with responsible decision making skills will be able to:
1. Persevere Through Challenges: Children usually get stuck performing various tasks. Equipping them with decision making skills helps them think through and identify the obstacle. They tend to think about all the individual aspects of the problem and think about its depth.
2. Achieve Life Goals: A child with developed decision making skills will be able to recognise the problem, and come up with various solutions. They are able to consider various alternatives and evaluate the respective outcomes to choose the best option. They are usually able to think a few steps ahead. They are able to prioritise to set and achieve goals.
3. Develop Critical Thinking: Evaluating and judging various situations develops healthy decision making skills. They are able to analyze their limitations, thus giving them the tools to navigate challenges. This is known as critical thinking. It is this concept that leads one to make actionable choices and evaluate whether their choice is sound.
4.Develop Leadership Skills: Decision making skills equip children with responsibility. A sense of community is built as they tend to consider collective growth and development. Their ability to make decisions regarding various rules and norms make them better leaders. Due to their tendency to make sound decisions, they set an example for others that follow them..
How can you help your child develop responsible decision making skills?
Create Opportunities to Make Decisions: Giving our children space to make choices helps develop a sense of confidence in their decision making. Avoid solving their problems if you think they are capable of figuring it out themselves. Instead, giving them tips and hints would help. Let them have the joy of being able to do something by themselves. It is important to not make all their decisions for them as the end goal is for them to be able to make smart decisions independently.
Have Conversations about Decisions: Ask them to talk about their problems and give them ideas on how to help the situation. Dig deeper by asking what they think the consequences will be and how it will affect others. Encourage them to keep an open mind and make educated decisions wherever possible. Promote patient critical thinking before jumping into a situation.
Using Reinforcement: Appreciate the child for making healthy decisions and encourage similar behavior. Reflection on the consequences of their behaviors helps them understand how their decisions can negatively affect themselves and others around them. Teachers and parents can guide them to make better choices and lead by example.
At SpringUP, we help children build foundational skills in Social Emotional Learning(SEL) skills through our experiential learning programs. We use various mediums like conversations, narrations, art, music & movement in our curriculum.