When you’re a kid, Mom & Dad make decisions for you. They usually do ok.
When you’re a teenager, Mom & Dad make too many decisions for you. They’re usually wrong. If you could make your own decisions you’d do it right.
When you become an adult you get to make your own decisions. At that point you may learn the reality that very few (if any) occasions for decision making come with all the information you need or want. You even discover, to your horror, perhaps, that you don’t even know what you want.
But you have to decide anyway.
If that’s the way it is, what can we do about it? Here are a few thoughts.
- Pray. Not just about the decisions in life, but as a general practice. If you have a habit of listening and talking to God both good and bad decisions are likely to go better.
- Once you’ve made the decision move on. Don’t linger. Don’t wallow in What If.
- If you think you made a bad decision, identify what you can learn from it. Then move on.
- Talk to people you respect (this might include parents, friends, experts). You can’t give away your responsibility for decision making, but you may gain some wisdom. It’s often cheaper to learn from other people’s experience if you can.
Great advice. I tell my kids they can’t afford to make every mistake for themselves. They need to learn from others’.
Great advice, Richard. Can I offer an adjunct list for parents?
1. Pray. Not just about your kids and that they will make good decisions, but about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life now that they’re gone, so that this part of your life will glorify God and fit you for eternity.
2. Let your kids make their own decisions unless they want to involve you in them. However, once they’ve made a decision, don’t bail them out if it turns out to be wrong. Dealing with the consequences is part of the learning process.
3. If your kids go against your advice and make a bad decision, no gloating and “I told you so”s. Sympathize, empathize, pray for them, and support them … but no shelling out money etc. to bail them out.
4. If you do fall into the trap of bailing them out, you can stop anytime. Just because you bailed them out before doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.
5. The best thing parents can do for their grown children is to have a life of their own.
Sorry, Richard, I don’t have a blog of my own, and sometimes the urge to pontificate just overwhelms me.
I don’t mind pontificating.