Teach your kids to make wise decisions

It is important to start by letting them make mistakes. As parents, our natural instinct is to shield our kids from all potential pitfalls, but carefully letting your kids learn a hard lesson from their own mistakes and then talking to them about it after the fact will give them great insight.

Expose them to the ‘real world’: There is no better teacher than a helpful dose of reality. For instance, you caught your child smoking, instead of grounding him for two weeks and giving him a verbal lashing, download pictures from the Internet the lungs of those who smoke. This is far more powerful in their mind and it is a real-life example of why they shouldn’t engage in such.

Teach your child to know himself: One of the greatest keys to wisdom is honestly being able to look at yourself in the mirror and know who is looking back. Children who can distinguish their own strengths and weaknesses are apt to make better decisions based on their abilities. Children should be encouraged to try many wonderful things, but realise they will not excel in them all.

Learn your child’s interests: It could be football, music, art or cooking, whatever it may be, find out or help your child find out his interests. Then provide real-life examples of others that share their same likes and who are successful. This teaches that hard work and dedication are the keys to success and those traits lend very well to decision-making.

Open communication is vital to parenting but is quite often hard to achieve: When parents find common grounds to start up conversations with their children, then the parent understands the child’s mindset and what goes through their minds. Hence, before the child makes a grave decision, you can intervene and guide properly.

Get them involved in social groups: Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Red Cross- having your child get involved in them will teach life skills that will grow their wisdom. It also exposes them to positive peer pressure and increases the likelihood that the decisions they make will be right.

Praise your kids: Too often, parents tend to focus on the things children might need to work on. We want to fix their struggles. Yet, we might forget to praise when they get it right. By praising your children when they do great things, it helps reinforce the desire to make decisions to have similar outcomes. Also, one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to teach them how to handle money properly. If you can teach your child to handle money in a responsible manner, most likely that will follow through into the other parts of his life.

Teach your children how to choose friendships: As important as we like to think we are to our kids, their world revolves around their own social interactions and circle of friends. Children tend to listen to their peers more than they will to their parents, hence it is important to know who these friends are to keep them in the track.

As parents, you should lead by example: If you do not follow these principles, then how do you expect your child to? If need be, use your own faults as an example of how not to be and promise to do better. Humbling yourself in front of your child and admitting your weakness will actually make them feel closer to you. Where you do have strengths in decision-making skills, teach those to them.

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