Decision Making Model for Teens

Life is a path.  Sometimes the road is straight but other times we encounter a fork in the road and have to choose between two roads.  The path to a goal can often be full of curves.  Sometimes we need to walk around a hill and other times over it.   We are different from other people because of the choices we make.  Each day we make a myriad of decisions, from what to eat for breakfast to what time we go to bed.

The frontal lobe of our brain does not mature until our mid-twenties.    That is the part that uses logic and can understand consequences.  Because of this, youth rely mostly on emotion and appearance.  It was reported this week that if a parent wants to discourage their teen from going to a tanning salon, they need to tell them about how tanning will produce wrinkles around their eyes by the time they are 25.   Saying that they could get cancer when they are older means nothing to them.  Teens think they are invincible.  Appearance rules!

I’ve been working to come up with an easy acronym to help teens make decisions.  It has to be easy or they won’t remember it.  You could find me cheering and doing a happy dance around my home when I came up with the acronym L.O.V.E.  Love is a word that is easy to remember.  Most people associate it with good things.  Here is my L.O.V.E to Choose model to help teens make a choice.

L stands for Listen
O stands for Options
V stands for Values
E stands for Execute and Evaluate.  Evaluate is the part that most people forget. 

This is the way I want to help parents with an easy method to use with their teens to make decisions.  Do you have techniques that work to help youth make decisions?  I would love to hear about them.

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