Try the Choice Tool today, it’s easier than you think!
Does your teenage daughter have a hard time making decisions and sticking to them?
We all struggle with what to do sometimes, and teens have more decision making pressure than they’ve ever had.
As they’re constantly
- trying to navigate the back-and-forth-to-school
- and keeping their spirits up even though they’re missing out on so many important rites of passage
But INDECISION can become an epidemic in the teenage years because there’s a lot at stake.
Perhaps there’s been a situation with your daughter that sounds something like…
You: “why don’t you stop scrolling through your phone and make some plans with your friends?
Daughter: “uh, I don’t know.”
This “no-answer” answer can
- make the hairs of even the most patient parent stand on end
- or instantly cause an argument between you and your daughter
because it’s hard for you to see her isolate herself or struggle emotionally.
And, quite frankly, when you see that her phone is semi-permanently-attached to the palm of her hand it seems like a simple task to just ask her to make some plans…right?
Or is it?
All kidding aside, there’s a hard part to this scenario and I what to share what I’ve learned.
Unpack that meaning behind “I don’t Know”
It’s important for you to know that “I don’t know” is actually full of good information.
And it can mean many, many things, depending on
- if your daughter has been hurt by her friends in the past
- or if her tribe is in the midst of some tribal unrest
And if that’s the case, even your loving questions may feel like a loaded question for your daughter.
And here’s why …
Her mumbled “I don’t know” may represent
- I don’t know how things are going to turn out and I don’t know if I can handle another disappointing, scary or hurtful situation
- or she just flat out doesn’t know HOW to handle the situation
So even though your daughter really wants that happy, connected feeling, taking a risk – socially and emotionally right now – may feel like too much.
The Good News
The upside to her ambiguous response is, your daughter can learn to find the clarity she craves.
And confidently make a decision, no matter how difficult her situation may be.
First, I’d like to encourage her to try the 3 Practical Approaches offered in the Cultivating Resilient Teens Podcast Episode #5 How to Turn Your Daughter’s Fears into Opportunities to Grow
Because even though
- fear and uncertainty often make her feel wobbly
- confuse her into thinking everything is out of her control
the 3 practical approaches can help your daughter quiet her fears and ease her sense of uncertainty.
The next step is to start using what I call, The Choice Tool.
The Choice Tool helps your daughter clarify
- her intentions
- what she wants
- AND what she needs
so, she can make a decision that feels good to her.
The Choice Tool is essentially 3 Key Questions:
- How important this decision is to you?
- Who are you making this decision for?
- What will you do if things go exactly as planned OR don’t quite go the way you’d hoped they would?
I want her to prioritize her decision by asking … How important is this decision to me?
And then she can scale the importance from 1 (kinda, sorta important) to 10 (really darn important to me).
Because if the decision isn’t a big deal, there’s minimal risk and no need to overthink it.
On the flip side, if her decision is really darn important, it’s crucial for her to be honest and clear with herself on the next two questions.
Who are you making this decision for?
If this decision is truly for and about YOU, then YOU get to control your reaction.
What will you do if things DON’T go exactly as planned?
Have a plan in place.
Literally decide ahead of time
- Who can you talk to that’ll support you?
- And who will help you keep a clear perspective?
Also, lovingly remind yourself that you’re growing up.
And part of growing up involves learning what you want and what you don’t want.
Allowing those “moments” to be your teacher is golden.
Lastly, what if things DO go just as you hoped they would?
Ahh, revel in the courage you tapped in to and seriously, celebrate the fact that you put one foot in front of the other and took a risk.
And make your moment a happy, pride-filled memory.
I’ve seen this approach work time after time.
So please don’t let indecision
- lead your daughter astray
- and confuse her into thinking she’s lost all control.
Instead, reflect on the 3 Practical Approaches.
And try The Choice Tool.
And, if you’re just not sure how to handle your daughter’s indecision, I can help.
Go ahead and grab a complimentary Discovery Session.
Or, I’m now offering a 90 Minute Strategy Session.
So, we can get your daughter’s confident decision-making skills up and running.
Here’s to cultivating a more resilient teen!