Good decision-making skills can set you up as a teen for success later in life. Additionally, good
decision-making skills help teens manage their stress levels better.
1. Get Guidance
One of the keys to making the best decisions as a teenager, involves seeking guidance from trusted adults. Be willing to take criticism when necessary, but don't be afraid to step back and make mistake.
Sometimes, natural consequences can provide valuable life lessons. Ensure you learn from your mistakes and discuss with your trusted persons how to make a better choice in the future.
2. Identify the Problem
Sometimes, teens ignore problems or blame other people for them. A teen may say he's failing math because his teacher doesn't explain the assignments. Or, he may avoid doing his homework because he's too anxious to face the pile of work he's been avoiding. It is however very important to identify the problem/root cause(s).
3. Brainstorm Options
Often, teens think there are only one or two solutions to a problem. But with some time and encouragement, you can usually come up with a long list of creative solutions.
Challenge yourself to identify as many choices as possible even if they seem like a bad idea, list as many as you can and write down your options so that they can be reviewed.
4. Review the Pros and Cons
Once you have a list of options, learn to identify the potential pros and cons of each one. Writing down the pros and cons will help you see for herself which option could be the best choice.
Note that emotions can play a big role in decisions. Fear may prevent you from trying something new while excitement may cause you to underestimate risk.
Also, there isn't always a bad choice. Choosing between two good colleges will have pros and cons but both options may be good ones. So while it may be stressful to choose, it could be a good problem to have.
5. Create a Plan to Move Forward
Once you have reviewed the pros and cons of your options, talk about how to move forward. Identify what steps you can take next.
In summary, it is important to note that failing forward is highly encouraged. Be open to making mistakes, however be accountable to a trusted adult or adults.