We make choices every day, we choose many times, from the moment we wake up, until the time we choose to fall asleep.

There are choices all around us that need to be made. What kind of choices is your child making? Are those choices making your child’s life successful? In other words, are your child’s choices resulting in good grades in school?  Do you approve of their activities and friends? Is your home happy, calm and peaceful? 

Children and teens spend a lot of their time in groups with those similar in age. Many of their choices are made without much thought of the consequences of those choices. Helping your child think through their choices will be of benefit to both of you. Listing and discussing the pros and cons of decision making and choices gives them a new tool of logic and common sense that they don’t get from their peers.  Every choice creates action and every action creates a reaction.

Here are some areas of discussion to help your child think through about their own life. Asking and discussing topics like these gives your child a big part of decision making about their own life and future. 

Sleep:

Is rest and sleep important to you? What time did you go to sleep and wake up? What did you do instead of going to sleep? Which choices did you make instead? How do you feel when you don’t get enough sleep? What effect does lack of sleep have on you throughout your day, especially at school?

Food:

Can you tell a difference in your day when you eat a healthy breakfast compared to no breakfast at all? Do any particular foods make you feel sick? What kinds of foods do you think are healthy choices for you?  What affect does certain foods have on your energy and health? 

School and Homework:

Why do you have to go to school? What are the benefits of school?  What is reason for homework?  What effect does your homework have on your grades? Why is getting good grades in school important?  What happens to your grades when your homework is late?

After School  Activities:

Are your after school activities leaving enough time in your day to do your homework, study for tests and still get enough rest?  Are these activities creating enjoyment in your life? Or are they creating stress? Are they something you really want to do? What benefit are you getting from these activities?

Managing Time:

How much time do you spend on various activities throughout your week? Where can you find time to work in extra study time? Is your time being spent on things and activities that will benefit you in one way or another? How can you break down a big report or school project into smaller pieces? What are the consequences of being late on an assignment or to an appointment?  What are better choices to make with your time to get even more benefit? 

These topics help your child analyze and think through the choices they are currently making.  Consequential and critical thinking skills will help them succeed in many areas of life. Your child needs you to help them through this process. 

Jane Moughon, M.S., CPC

Jane Moughon, M.S. is CEO and Founder of Directions for Teens. She is a former professional recruiter, taught career development and is a Teen Career Coach.  Directions for Teens helps children along the path from middle school to career by offering classes, coaching and career compatability assessments.

Visit www.DirectionsForTeens.com or call 281-712-1019 for more information. 

Directions for Teens