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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Helping Kids with Learning Disabilities Make Great Decisions

Helping Kids Make Great Decisions!

Most parents want to teach their children to make good decisions. Decision-making skills help a child feel confident and act proactively. Without these skills, a child is less confident, and they can be afraid to step out of their comfort zone.  It’s hard to be confident and proactive when you are unsure of how to make decisions!

Use the Assess Options/Decide Responsibly Model for Decision Making:
Here is the good news … Teaching your children decision-making skills is easy! Explain decision making as a process and it becomes much more understandable and straightforward. When introducing the concept of decision making, use the slogan Assess Options/Decide Responsibly to remember the steps.

·     Cultivate the ability to assess  - look as deeply at the situation as possible, thoroughly discussing it to become familiar with all aspects. Build a vision of what you want as an end result.
·     Identify options– With an end result in mind, review what you know about the situation from as many different perspectives as you can come up with. This will give you a list of ways to reach your desired result. Entertain the absurd to the predictable – include as many options as you can dream up!
·     Decide on a course – Choose a course and stick with it until completion, or until a change in course is required. Seek input on your progress along the way from those you trust. This is key to the process – it is a method of checking progress.
·     Take responsibility for self and actions –See your decision through to completion. Include a change of course, if necessary, without abandoning the process or blaming others for how things are going.

Working through this model with young children who are learning about making decisions and young adults who have already made many decisions in their lives, will build confidence with the process. Use a current situation and help them identify which decision-making stage they are in, discuss possible next steps and review steps they have taken.

Many Kids Learn Though Indirect Experiences!
Parents can also promote good decision-making by sharing their own decision-making process. Demonstrating how you use the steps can make this come alive for your children.

·     Share with your children, in an age appropriate way, challenges you are facing and what you did to solve them.
·     Talk about how you created options, deciding how to take action and working on follow through. 
·     Show your children that you are comfortable asking for input before making decisions. This shows that seeking advice is a key way to help with the process.
·     Have your child role-play action-oriented strategies for resolving their decision-making difficulties. Role-playing is a great way to increase confidence with decision-making. 

Kids Learn Best when Enjoying the Experience:
Have fun with this! We all retain information best if we enjoy the process. Teaching this skill is a great way to engage in meaningful conversation with your kids, and you will be creating decision-making that will be more reliable and predictable and having a good time while doing so. And don’t forget, Assess Options/Decide Responsibly gives structure to an important life skill we use every day!

This is important stuff...let’s talk!
Becky Scott, Family Coach at The Navigators Way.com

Becky works with families with learning issues that are looking for answers to perplexing questions so that they may lead productive and successful lives!

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