Decision making is a process. In fact, it is a thought process. It is a skill. Decision making is an essential life skill. Life skill can be learnt to live an integrated life.

Integration of intuition, emotion and rational thinking help us to take a wise decision.

Child is gift of God. God provides us unique capacity to survive in the world. Child is a spontaneous individual. He can say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ instantly. He can leave good thing and can cry for trivial thing. Everyone realizes the beauty of a child in our life. Child is free from one the biggest worry of the world, ‘what’ other will think for him. A child is spontaneous thinker. S/he is a natural decision maker. Generally, his/her decision is based on his likes and dislikes. A child takes decision without fear of others.

We are world citizen. Our life styles changes very fast. Kids become crazy in this virtual world. They love to spend much of their time on smart phone. Nowadays a child can forget to take lunch / completing homework on time. They may not show much interest in learning but they need smart phone/laptop to see their favourite programmes. Parent faces a big challenge in deviating child’s attention from smart phone or smart laptop. Parent makes aware his kids, ‘what is good or bad’ for life. They are kids. They will show rigidity and stubbornness but parent makes him sensible.

A wise parent develops good habit in child’s habit formation stages. A wise parent establishes the values by providing ample opportunities and facilities rationally right from childhood i.e. when a child does not know the values of his demand but becomes a rigid boy/girl based on his/her likes and dislikes. Experience people remarks that there is a thin layer difference between likes and dislikes at early stage of life. Child may be unable to differentiate between these two. Parent inculcates right values and helps his ward to develop decision making skill at right time and right place.

When we observe children in our family, society, school, market and in a branded national or international shopping centre, we closely observe the decision making skill of kids at different situations. Of course they know what to share, what to demand and at what place to demand. A five years old child never ever demands chocolate/ice-cream in a medical shop. They demand different eatable items in a sweet shop and different toys in a toy shop.

Parent nurtures his kids in a good manner. A wise parent develops decision making skill in his wards through using different tools and techniques at different situations.

A wise parent spends quality time with his child.  Decision making skill should be developed through inculcating good manner at early stages because at this juncture a child only understands the word ‘good and bad’. A parent develops decision making through good habit, and through using external source of motivation. Parent inculcates habit of brushing teeth regularly, taking healthy breakfast timely, and reaching bus stop on time, completing class work and homework on time, returning back to home on time after playing in the evening, watching television and using mobile etc on time. Parent motivates his child, if s/he shows moderate behaviour. It counts as a good habit but right habit formation leads to develop a sense of decision making skill. Gradually, child takes decision that he will go to bed in time because it is 10.00pm. S/he herself or himself can ask for a glass of milk, if he takes it on daily basis.

Decision of buying a laptop by Ms. Sonali of class 6th

A good parent always talks to his wards for involving him in decision making. Mr. Chandan is a primary teacher in a government school. He wanted to buy a laptop. He decided a budget of 25000 for the laptop. His elder daughter Sonali studies in 6th class in a reputed school. She searched each and everything on Google and suggested her father to buy a laptop costs 37 thousands. She was very happy and shared all necessary information with her father. Mr. Chandan has only 25 thousand in the bank account. If he would buy choice of Sonali, he will lend money on interest. Mr. Chandan sat with his daughter and discussed real problems with Sonali. Sonali got upset because that was one of the best laptop and two other classmates’ father had already bought that configuration too; even she had talked her computer teacher regarding this laptop. Notwithstanding, Sonali went to market with her Uncle and bought the choice of her father, and was very happy after bringing the laptop at home. Mr. Chandan had arranged 37thousands in advance but first he discussed with Sonali, gave her opportunity to think what would be the best for family. Sonali came up with rational decision which suited to her and family too. Sonali is only 11 years old and have great passion for latest technology but made right decision although she pressurized her father to buy costly laptop but later on she bought laptop.

What do we think?  What was the role of Sonali father? How did he nurture Sonali? Mr. Chandan helped her to identify objective of buying the laptop. A wise parent makes his/her child sensible enough to indentify the purpose of any task. If a child is able to identify his/her need, surely s/he will take a rational decision.

How to do we get? What are benefits?

When discussing for buying laptop, Mr. Chandan discussed with Sonali about process of procurement of the items. The laptop which Sonali wanted to purchase, it was not available in nearby town. She had to buy it online but one of Mr. Chandan friend offered him discount of 500 Rupee on the laptop. So, Sonali  thought that she will not only buy laptop very soon that fulfils her need but will also save Rs. 500, which can be spent on other family expenditure.

What are the best possible alternatives?

Mr. Chandan helped her daughter to realize that although her choice was very nice but she has only 25 thousands in her hand to buy. He helped Sonali to think other possible alternate (different company) before taking final decision.

What does our wisdom say?

Sonali was very rigid to buy costly laptop because so many of her classmates bought that laptop. She wants to show her high stature among her friends. Her father asked her questions. What do you want? Do you want that I should lend money on interest? Do you know our source of income? How will I pay? Do we really need to buy laptop of such configuration? It was hardly 10 minutes discussion between father and daughter but result is before us. We are experienced and educated people. We know things in a better way. Parent sole purpose is to sensitize his/her kids. Our kids are sensible, they will develop right understanding. Our task is to make them aware because it may be possible that s/he visualizes something according to her age and understanding.

Decision making skills grow in real life experience

Wise parent leads his ward to walk on right path. He initiates ways and provide different opportunity through different means and medium to nurture the decision making skill in his child. He helps his wards to pass through different situations to feel the pulse of right and wrong decision and its consequences in our life.

Mr. Bhola Singh was an astute farmer. He used to ask his son if he had to help other needy farmer in terms of sending his own tractor to plough the field. Mr. Nilabh recalled his childhood memories. He flashed back and shared, “I did not feel the importance of the particular questions, asked by my father. I did not remember now, “what was my father’s decision in such situation, but he used to ask me and I used to give answer at that time”. Now, I felt that my father used to make me a sensible person, indeed a decision maker.

Parent plays central role in developing decision making skill among students. S/he can assign simple task to make them sensible to take a wise decision according to need. Usually, student initiates to complete the task interestingly as well as enthusiastically.

a.       Ranjay’s father announced that his son will do marketing for kitchen. Ranjay will buy kitchen items from Hypermart. His father has given only Rs. 1000.  Ranjay will check kitchen items and make a list of necessary items for purchasing. He will identify essential and luxury kitchen items. He has to decide and buy kitchen items so that his mother would be able to cook today’s dinner uninterruptedly.

b.      Tappu is younger son of Mr. Gopal. Usually Tappu does not eat green vegetable on regular basis and always complains his mother for other alternative vegetables for lunch or dinner time (which his mother could not cook at particular day). Mr. Gopal found out a solution. He has given Rs. 100 for buying green vegetables for the family. He encouraged Tappu to visit nearby ‘Vegetable Market’ for shopping. He will purchase green vegetable of his own choice which other family members will eat in dinner.

Help to set priority in life- essential decision making skill

Mr. Nishant son was appearing for the intermediate board examination. His son was an average academic performer in examination driven education system but was a sensible child. He was properly preparing for his board examination. It was only 14 days remain for commencement of examination. Suddenly, he came to know that his maternal uncle was going to marriage after 8 days. Mr. Nishant knew that there was a great emotional bonding between Ayush and his maternal uncle. Mr. Nishant caught in a dilemma. If Ayush goes to attend marriage ceremony, it will take at least four days. If he leaves Ayush at home then who will take care of food etc. Ayush was doing unique planning for last six month for his uncle marriage I.e. purchased different dress for different ceremony. Mr. Nishant had a discussion with his wife. It was matter of great tension and emotional turbulence in Nishant family. Ayush skipped breakfast and lunch and did not study whole day but everything was normal at dinner table. Finally, Ayush decided to stay at one of his father close friend house for preparing for the board examination. What do we think i.e. how did he decide this, what were points of discussion in the family and what could be other emotional  ups and downs faced by other family member?

Parent shows faith in ward’s ability to take rational decision

A wise parent sometimes takes serious challenges to develop decision making skill in his child. He motivates his child to think his own but provides several points before him to consider before taking final decision. It may be possible that sometimes child may select less important thing or can do useless decision, wise parent accepts the decision of his ward but he also encourages his ward to evaluate and assess the outcome of previously taken decision so that process of learning in real life situation can continue.

Decision making is a life skill. Skill helps us to grow. Decision making involves thousand of factors.  A wise parent nurtures his/her ward’s capacity to take a wise decision. He develops the ability to understand the importance of decision making and decision making process to lead an integrated life. We have to accept the universal truth that “Nobody can decide anything for us. Of course, others can help us to do so, but the decision has to be ours. I am accountable for my destiny. It is “I” who has to take right decision at right time. We remember quotes of French philosopher, René Descartes (1596-1650) who proposed a ‘truth’: Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am). A wise parent develops his ward as an independent individual thinker who can think rationally and accept the challenges of his own decision. He says, “I think it is very well’; I am going to do this. He can say, “I have taken this decision because I think (point 1, point 2 so and so forth). Parent will say ‘yes you can’; I believe in you. Nurture an independent decision maker. A child is unique individual; we will not make him/her a parasite.

Learning is complex phenomena. Learning something is good when we learn it consciously; when we learn something (good/bad) in an awaken and alert mode; when we face it in real life situation; when we believe in our own capability to learn something; when we have strong will power and determination; that day, if we decide to sail the life boat in opposite direction of the wind even then we will certainly reach our destination.

Rajeev Ranjan

Indian Educationist

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