Driving Forces in Making Summer Decisions

So what are we going to do today? The question of the long days of summer!

Here’s a story memory from our early days at Master’s Academy and College.  It is about a grade five student who had a summer birthday and could not make up his mind on whether he would host a party at the bowling alley or the roller skating rink.  His mother was in despair of him making the decision.  No amount of guidance and conversation seemed to resolve the issue until one morning when he skipped downstairs and said, “I know what we will do.  We will go to the roller skating rink.”  With surprise in her voice, Mom asked, “So what led you to make this decision?”  Without batting an eye, the young man said, “Well, I did a force field analysis and looked at the driving and restraining forces for each of the choices, and it became clear which choice offered the most advantage!”

Yes, that really happened!

So what’s the point?

Clearly, children love being part of decision making and with tools and processes that support critical and creative thinking, even the youngest can make wise decisions and experience the empowerment of ownership.

Try this tool – a Force Field Analysis

Force Field Analysis Example

Let your children proudly articulate “adult speak” and impress everyone as you daily address the question ”What are we going to do today?”

Write down the two forces that are present for all decision making: what forces are driving this idea forward and what forces are restraining this idea?  It will soon be apparent what to choose to fill the long days of summer.

Figuring out a plan that suits everyone can be challenging. Involving children in the decision making process teaches them valuable skills, while opening opportunities for them to advocate for what they want.  Giving them some voice keeps them interested and more willing to engage.  As parents, you learn too!  You sometimes have to suffer through choices that bomb!

Best wishes with all your decision-making.  Send in your stories!   Love to hear them.

Happy summer!

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