D – Decision-Making Skills

Good decision-making demands alertness and acumen
The concept:

The ability to choose the best from amongst the available choices or alternatives defines the person’s decision-making skills.  These are critical skills that can define the direction and journey of a person’s life. Big or Small, every decision one takes defines the future direction of his life.

While kids begin to make sense of this world on their own, it is the right time to start making them exercise their decision-making skills.  Starting simple and then gradually moving on to the complicated and more complex decisions is the way to go.

A typical 7 step decision-making process involves identifying the problem, gathering information, making a list of alternatives, understanding the pros and cons, making a choice, executing the decision, and finally evaluating its impact.

Now, this is where our discussion this night led to –

The Story:

In the movie, Uri: The Surgical Strike, Major Vihaan Singh Shergill of the Indian Army had to make an instant decision. He had to choose either going ahead on foot to enter Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or returning to India when his helicopter was commanded by seniors not to cross the Line of Control. He decides to finish his job by choosing the first alternative even if it was risky and unsafe.

  • For Major Vihaan his duty was more valuable than his life – a virtue that resulted in constructive decision making.

Do you remember the mighty Thanos from Infinity Wars? The random killing and the beastly acts of cowardice forced even his beloved daughter Gamora to push herself away and denounce him as her father. The scene where Thanos had to choose between Gamora and the Soul Stone, he was so overwhelmed by his desire to rule the world that he chose the Stone over his daughter.

  • Thanos proved to be a poor decision maker & he regretted his decisions later.
How can you help your child become a good decision maker?
    1. Model aloud the process of decision making in front of your kid. Make him participate in simple decisions like what to cook for dinner or how to spend the weekend. Walk him through the entire set of options you have, the pros and cons of alternatives and then pick one final decision. Modeling is the simplest form of teaching you could do.
    2. Start small and try giving them 2-3 options and ask them to reach their decisions. It is easier to decide which handkerchief you buy if there are 3 design options rather than 562 design options.
    3. Listening is an important part of a good decision-making process. Encourage good listening skills in kids.
    4. The “I would rather do” game and the “What if game” are great tools to encourage logical decision making in kids.
    5. Keep room for mistakes. It is natural for them to falter while trying out new things. Encourage them and support them to be more independent and make their own decisions.