Learning to make decisions

Offer your child a couple of options in a decision that is coming soon, such as tomorrow’s clothes. Your child will practice considering his options before making a decision. They can be more independent and successful in many activities if you help them to think and plan ahead before they happen.

Here are some suggestions on how to guide your child’s decision-making process:

• Talk with your child before bedtime about an event happening the next day.

• Invite them to choose clothing that will be suitable. Help them lay out clothes so they can put them on by themselves in the morning.

• Guide them to see what options are reasonable, so you will not have to veto their choices. For example, you might say, “If you’re going on a fieldtrip, will you want to wear your comfortable shoes to walk around in?”

• Think with them about alternatives in case of rain or changed weather. Lay out a raincoat and let them decide in the morning if it’s necessary.

• Make fewer decisions for them as they progress toward independently choosing and dressing themselves.

Looking for more ideas to develop your child’s decision-making skills? Check out, “How to Help Your Kids Make Good Decisions.”