I recently had to attend a class provided by the youth court with one of my children. Not one parent wanted to be in the room, yet we were all required to be there.
Each child had to go around the room — stand-up, state their name, and why they were here. Some were embarrassed. Some were brave. Some were nervous. Every juvenile was there based on a decision they made — which were not good ones.
The instructor asked the kids if the reason they were there was a mistake or as a result of a bad choice. Two out of the eight said they made a bad choice and the remaining said both. The ones who said both had to explain their answer. How was being in that room a mistake? They were stumped and could not even fabricate a reason. Bottom line. They were there because they made a choice.
If there is anything I teach my kids, it is that everyone has a choice. Choices rule us from the moment we wake up each day.
What am I going to have for breakfast?
What am I going to wear?
What do I need to do today?
Should I call my mother? (BTW: You should always call your mother)
What should I eat for lunch?
Should I work out?
EVERY. DAY. Decisions are made by all.
We can choose to pay our taxes or we can choose not to. If we choose not to, there are consequences. Simple as that. Every single person has a choice.
Choices dictate certain directions in our lives and sometimes we do not think of the potential consequences of our decisions. While I ,myself, do not believe in regrets — I think that others do and they beat themselves up when they reflect and think back on a decision they felt they should have made.
I am a believer that I made whatever decision I made at the time due to my circumstances during that moment in my life. I may have been influenced. I may have been rebellious. I may have been lost in identity. But at the end of the day, it all came down to a choice. A choice I made. I am exactly where I am supposed to be in life. Period.
As the class continued, I began to think about the decision making process and how much we get so wrapped up in life that we make decisions quickly without following a process. I recalled my 8th grade teacher, Mr. Rogers ( he had a cool mustache ) and I remember his discussion about decisions and how they would effect our lives. Naturally, as an 8th grader, it went in one ear and out the other.
So I began to write down what Mr. Rogers talked about. It was as if I was sitting in his classroom all over again.
Decision Making Process
- Identify the matter which needs a decision
- Gather facts, information, and advice
- Evaluate the information
- Determine what alternative, if any, exist
- Make a decision
- Implement the decision
- Evaluate the outcome
As I sat there listening to the current teacher, I began to wonder how often adults actually use this process to make decisions today. Not just the big decisions, but the smaller ones too. Does it seem too time intensive? Are we always rushing and forget the steps? Do we teach our kids to make decisions quickly and without proper process? Are we too busy to set the foundation for good choices?
All these questions began to surface for me and I had to be honest with myself. Was I teaching my kids to make good decisions by following a process to good decision making. I would like to think I am and over the next several weeks, I will watch and become more aware of how my kids make decisions.
I will admit, before I went to this class — I was the parent that did not understand why I had to sit through this class when I was not the one who made the bad choice. Yet, what I learned from the class was just what I needed and once again — I was right where I needed to be.
From my fingertips to your eyes my favorite Soul Kissers