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Challenge: Open Discussion

How to Make Decisions … (from your gut)

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Plain or peanut M&Ms? Dress up or dress down?

Decisions are hard to make for everyone, for tweens and teens it can feel almost impossible! Nobody likes to make a mistake or choose the wrong thing, but making mistakes is important in helping us grow, learn and build resilience.

The world is messy and so are our kids — it’s a match made in heaven. So what’s your trick for making a choice? Is it a logical process, or is there a gut instinct element? It is so valuable to teach our girls about both. We can always share that time-honored staple and teach our kids about good ol’ pros and cons list making. But what else? How about teaching her to tune in to her instincts and listen. Listen to what her body says. What feels “ick,” what gives off a feeling of “safety”.

A great way to spark a conversation with the young woman in your life about this subject is to have your girl think of two opposite experiences — one positive and one negative. Name those two experiences. For example, meeting your new dog for the first time: Warm, Soft, Safe. Hold those feelings associated with those experiences in your mind. Then do the same for the negative experience. Scary Ocean, being pulled under the water by the undertow: frightened, powerless, cold. Tell your daughter to use these feelings and words as a reference point when she is making a decision. She can figure out how something feels feelings in her body and associate it with those positive and negative times.

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