February S.E.L.F. Newsletter

Your Monthly Toolbox for Social & Emotional Learning

Responsible Decision Making

You might not spend very much time thinking about your outfit or your drive to work, but you make decisions every step of the way. Cornell University research shows that the average adult makes “about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day,” including an average of 226 decisions about food, reports Frank Graf at UNC-TV.These small choices are mostly subconscious, but they reflect years of practice in choosing your own path. While you have these years of experience, kids don’t. They have very few choices and don’t have the tools to approach these decisions in a logical way. The sooner students can learn decision-making skills, the better prepared they will be to face major challenges that extend well beyond taking the highway on a morning commute. Research support that having decision-making skills can help students cope with anxiety as they age.


There are some ways you can give your students the ability to make decisions on their own.

Here are a few tips for doing it right.


1. Let Your Students Lead the Classroom

Teaching students good decision-making can be as simple as letting them be in control of how they learn.

2. Discuss Various Scenarios and Solutions With Students

One of the best decision-making skills kids can have is to come up with multiple solutions and options to reach an end goal.

3. Simulate Real-World Scenarios in the Classroom

In the classroom, budgeting can be recreated with “school dollars.” Students can earn money for good work and buy perks like choosing the games at recess.

4. Let Students Live with Their Choices

Consequences teach them to think through their ideas and understand that choices can have both positive and negative results.

5. Step Back from the Decision-Making Process as a Whole

One of the best things you can do as a parent or teacher is to take a step back from the decision-making process. Let your child or student weigh the options on their own mental scales and determine the best way to proceed.


For more of this article, visit https://blog.ozobot.com/teaching-strategies/why-we-need-more-decision-making-lessons-in-the-classroom/

Responsible Decision Making

"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. ­~Stephen Covey

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School-Wide Responsible Decision Making Ideas

Giving Students a Voice in Their Education
Solving a Class Problem
Teenage Brain and Decisions
Choice and Options for Students: Management in the Active Classroom

Parent Connection

The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning defines responsible decision making as “the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on considerations of ethical standards, safety concerns, the realistic evaluation of the consequences that stem from actions and the well-being of self and others.”

There are simple ways that we can work on responsible decision making with our children. Small, consistent moments of practice and reflection over time will help fine-tune a child’s ability to think through consequences and the effects of various choices and actions. A child doesn’t “Just say no to drugs,” without a great many small experiences of saying no to minor issues of concern. Typically children do not act as “upstanders,” sticking up for their friends who are being bullied, unless they have received coaching, practice and support for doing so. Here are some ways you can reflect on your relationship with your children and how you might incorporate practice, reflection and coaching on responsible decision making.

  • Articulate your love and acceptance for the child in the midst of poor choices.
  • Reflect on your language.
  • Ask good questions.
  • Talk about your own thought process.
  • Initiate family problem solving.
  • Look for ways to show care.
  • Use and discuss consequences.
  • Discuss children’s and young adult literature.
For more of this article, visit: https://confidentparentsconfidentkids.org/2014/02/28/responsible-decision-making/

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