A unique thing happened when Anisha, let 7-year-old Samara, decide what she wanted to do in her long Diwali weekend. She actually made some good choices! Since she was making good decisions, Anisha soon realized it was time for me to give up some of her mom-control and give her the chance to exercise more self-control.
But before you give your children the levy to be in control, there are certain steps that could guide them along the way.
1. Assure them, that you believe in them
There is immense power in belief. If your child sees that you trust him, he will reason that you must see enough mettle in him to have that belief. It also sets him up to want to maintain that faith and prove you right. When we have negative expectations about our children and expect them to mess up, we tend to sideline the good in them, and they do too. So believe that they will make good decisions, this is will push their self belief to the next level every single time.
2. Help them make a Decision Making Flow-Chart
As children develop skills for reflecting on decisions, discuss the following steps and explain how they can be applied to everyday chores.
Draw a chart, that they could use as pointers, while making a decision.
Use the power of HEAL
How do you gauge your options?
Evaluate the options and pick the best one.
Learn from the decision.
You need not have a physical representation of it either, just follow the above questions as a dialog and engage in a conversation.
3. Baby Steps towards bigger decisions
Involve them in little decisions that you need to make as an adult. For instance, ask your child, “Im having a tough time decide what to prepare today, XYZ are my options, what do you think? Go over the pros and cons of both options (if any, based on the situation), so that your child observes the steps that go into decision making. This will help him learn how to make a thoughtful and calculated choice. When it comes to things pertaining to them, give them choices “Do you want to wear the red shirt or blue”. Makes them feel in control and helps them develop a sense of belonging.
4. Practice, could make them, near perfect
Allow your child to nurture a sense of independence and to make choices based on integrity. This will come when they get regular opportunities to make their own decisions. What is important though, is that the decision is their own. Because only then, will they own its consequence. And even we as adults, make wrong choices and decisions, and we must let them make a few mistakes. As parents, you can always step in and troubleshoot, not fix. But practicing decision making is integral to their growth.
5. Model Good decision making
Decision making is not about always making good quick decisions. Its about being confident in your choices, and it about learning from the wrong ones. If you’re hoping that your child develops good judgement, be sure to set a good example. This covers many aspects, right from the way you handle your finances, to how you respond to stress.
Sure, this isn’t easy ― we’re all human after all. But when you do slip, show your child that you can bounce back from the mistakes. This will teach them, not to be scared of decision making, and to be responsible for them too.
Every time, you make a bad choice, discuss the incident with your child, share your learning. This will convey to the child that there is always room for growth and change.
The secret is to balance and know when to draw the line and when to let go.
Thank you Veera for choosing me as your Mumma <3