Teaching Kids to Make Good Choices

Teaching Kids to Make Good Choices - Parenting Like HannahLife is full of choices. Lots and lots of choices. Some of them are insignificant and there really isn’t a good or bad choice. Other choices can change the path a life takes for years to come. As parents, one of our biggest challenges is teaching our children how to make consistently good, godly choices.

Unless you become intentional about teaching your children how to make good choices, they will most likely go one of two ways. They will either copy whatever you currently do when you are faced with a choice or they will figure it out on their own – possibly by making decisions based on feelings or some other potentially unreliable method.

Jeff Shinabarger’s new book Yes or No: How Your Everyday Decisions Will Forever Shape Your Life can give you a framework for teaching your children the essentials of making good (and hopefully godly) decisions.

Shinabarger realizes some decisions are easy and have few consequences, The focus of this book is helping people know how to make decisions when they are confusing, difficult or have life-changing consequences. He divides the twelve chapters into three major sections – choosing decision making, your philosophy of choice and the decision making process. Each chapter ends with discussion questions if you want to read and discuss the book with others.

Shinabarger doesn’t necessarily introduce any radical new ideas into the decision making process. What he does is often take his personal journey with the non-profit Plywood People and show how his suggestions work in real life situations. His ideas are solid and provide a good framework for teaching a child or anyone else how to consistently make better decisions.

While this book is not what I would call a Bible study, Shinabarger does interject his Christian beliefs from time to time. Probably not enough for those wanting scriptures for every principle, but enough to make seekers know he believes God is an important part of the process.

My favorite part of the book was actually his discussion of problem solvers. I had never quite looked at leadership in that way, but what he said fit what I have experienced over the years. He emphasizes the need our world has for Christians who are willing to make the tough decisions and attempt to solve the world’s problems.

Although I wish Shinabarger had written more strongly about the importance of including God in the decision making process, this is basically a strong book on decision making with a Christian slant. While I personally would not use it in a Bible study, it can help provide a framework for skills you may want to teach your children to help them make good decisions. Personally, I am keeping it on my shelf for his quotes and thoughts on our responsibility to make the hard decisions to change the world.



A copy of this book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review.



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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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