Decision Making Skills

One of the best skills you can teach your child is to problem solve for them self.  Whether they are 4 or 14, this skill will become one they use throughout their life. Julie Nelson shares 5 steps to help kids learn how to make decisions along with practical examples to help you see how to put these steps into practice.

Step 1: Define the problem. Context changes perception for each person. Be sure that both people agree or moving forward will be going in the wrong direction.

Step 2: Generate possible solutions. Let the child do this as much as possible so they feel empowered. Don’t shoot them down right way. Let them feel safe with their ideas. Offer some of your own. If they say, “I don’t know,” tell them that you’ll give you both time to think about it and come back.

Step 3 Evaluate possible solutions. “That doesn’t work for me” is a good way to phrase a bad idea. Make sure this ends up being a win-win for both of you.

Step 4: Implement the decision. Try it out. See how it works. Step 5: Evaluate. Get back together and see how the solution worked or is working.

Step 5: Evaluate. Get back together and see how the solution worked or is working.

Check out Julie’s website at http://aspoonfulofparenting.com/ where she shares many more tips. And check out her book Parenting with Spiritual Power.

Teens and Respect

What do you do when your teen treats you with disrespect?  How do you deal with it when your simple request is responded to with venom?  Julie Nelson shares very practical tips on how to help your child navigate the hormonal horrors of the teen years that often set them off.

Use the following phrases:

  • Say Yes with a No:  Yes you can go out as soon as you . . .
  • I noticed that . . .
  • It appears that . .
  • That doesn’t work for me . . .

A few more tips:

  • Often kids need to blow off steam so using physical activities to help them get back in balance often helps.
  • Use Parallel Talk: this is when you do something while talking. This could include taking a walk, playing basketball, crafting, etc.  Anything that gives you time together and a chance to talk where you don’t have to look right at each other.
  • Past Performance Predicts Present Privileges: If your kids know that what they have done in the past helps determine what they will be able to do in the future, that will help them know what is coming
  • Loosen the reigns as much as you can.  The teen years are a time to give them a chance to experience more freedom and learn how to use it wisely.
  • Know that mistakes will be made by both you and your child so be prepared to have do-overs.

Check out Julie’s website at http://aspoonfulofparenting.com/ where she shares many more tips. And check out her book Parenting with Spiritual Power.