Stage 4: Responsible Decision-Making
How do we define responsible decision-making?
Responsible decision making is the ability required to make positive and constructive choices based on individual and social factors. It allows them to take into account the best interest of those affected by the outcome of a decision, whether it’s themselves or others. Deciding factors include core beliefs and values, personal goals, ethical standards, safety concerns and social norms. It requires you to consider the consequences of different potential actions, understand what is within their control, and to know when to ask for help from others.
Why is responsible decision-making important to teach my child?
When you’re a kid, hopefully making big decisions isn’t at the top of their list of things to do. That’s what parents, teachers and the grown ups are for! However, your child faces decision-making every day, and it’s important to nurture these skills so that they grow with your child - along with their responsibilities.
As their responsibilities grow alongside them, it will be easier for them to adapt if they have these skills nurtured as well. Whenever they’re in a pickle or something isn’t clear, it will be easier for them to take full acknowledgment of a situation, and for them to recognize and sort through the various factors needed for coming to the best, more responsible decision.
After all, every choice you make in life impacts your future in ways big and small. Not to be dramatic, but this skill can sometimes be the make or break in determining what kind of path your child goes down in the future. Or….it can at least help in deciding what’s for dinner more quickly. At least that’s always a debate in our house!
How to Teach Responsible Decision Making
The key to teaching responsible decision-making are analytical skills. Problem solving skills go a long way in teaching your child how to quickly analyze a situation, take note of various factors, and use their logical brain to make quick decisions supported in practicality. By pairing these skills with the emotional skills from the previous stages, they can take emotional factors into account as well to make an overall balanced decision.