Decision-Making for Kids

Written by Empowering Education

June 8, 2021

Social-emotional Learning

The Importance of Decision Making for Kids

Good decision-making takes a while for kids to learn. Part of the problem is that most adults don't stop to understand how they make decisions - we simply make them. 

Over the past few decades, researchers have looked into how teachers make decisions. One study found that a teacher at any given moment makes more decisions minute-by-minute than a brain surgeon. On average, teachers make 130 decisions per hour during a six-hour school day.

Clearly, good decision-making is crucial for kids and the classroom. How do we learn how to make decisions? We've got a full lesson that covers how to teach kids decision-making. One way to start is to fully understand your values.


decision making for kids


Companies and organizations use core values to create their culture, guide their decisions, and ultimately define how they do business. These core values are often summarized in short mission statements. But how many people have defined their personal core values?

Have you written a personal mission statement for your life? Core values are the principles and guidelines by which you live your life. They help you make decisions, know right from wrong, and choose how to act and treat others. A personal mission statement summarizes your values and provides a big picture goal for living your life

Personal Values and Decision-Making for Kids

Knowing your values and mission statement is like having a compass for life. You may not always be able to see your end destination, but as long as your decisions are in line with your values, you know you are headed in the right direction.

A personal mission statement is a 1 -2 sentence statement that summarizes your purpose in life. This is different from a goal in that you are not targeting one specific behavior (e.g., I will get an A in math, or I will improve my time on the mile.). Rather, you are creating a big-picture statement based on your values that will capture how you want to live your life. Focus on what is most important to you and who you want to be as a person.

Core values are the principles and guidelines by which you live your life. They help you make decisions, know right from wrong, and choose how to act and treat others.

Of course, the steps described above are just the beginning. High-quality social and emotional learning requires integration into core academic content and school-wide culture shifts, as well as at-home supports, to truly support deep shifts. Luckily, we've got you covered here.

Empowering Education provides comprehensive lessons that include reflection questions, journaling prompts classroom integration tips, school-wide integration tips, academic extensions, and at-home resources for each and every lesson.


Get The Full Lesson

Empowering Education offers full lesson plans for teachers on teaching kids how to make decisions. 


More importantly, a good mission statement can (and should) change over time as students grow and learn, and as the demands of their environment change with them. Imagine how much more engaged students might in the learning process, however, if they have an underlying sense of purpose in their daily life. In short, give them a why to live for.

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Empowering Education

We're a non-profit that supports K-8 schools with an Social and Emotional Learning program that is fun, effective, and easy-to-use. It's also trauma-informed, in English and Spanish, and built in diverse schools for diverse students. We train schools and we're friendly and mission-driven, so reach out!

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