Fab Fridays 75: Making Better Decisions

6 ways to help kids make better decisions

Hey Everyone!

Happy Friday and greetings from Austin, Texas.

In today’s edition I’ll share 1 video, 1 podcast, and 6 tips to help kids (and adults!) make better decisions.

Helping Kids Think For Themselves

A few months ago I wrote about how to help kids become more independent-minded and why this matters so much. Today I’m excited to share a video I made on this topic! Thank you for watching and sharing.

Embrace The Chaos  

I was recently interviewed by two of our wonderful Synthesis students, 11-year-old twins Emma and Xavier. 

Emma and Xavier host Curious Conversations: A Podcast for Kids by Kids, where they interview interesting people from all walks of life. 

In this episode we talk about the importance of asking questions and figuring out the answers ourselves, the challenges of a traditional classroom, different ways to learn, the Synthesis experience, and alternative learning paths. 

You can listen to the podcast here! (Also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify)

Making Better Decisions

Here are 6 ways to help kids (and adults!) make better decisions:

  1. Talk about how good decisions require effort, not genius

    In fact, the smartest people often make terrible decisions!

    That’s because great choices come from using a disciplined process, not scoring high on an IQ test.

  2. Avoid either-or choices

    It’s easy for kids to think that decisions are binary: Do they want to learn the violin or not?

    In reality, they have tons of different options! They could learn to play the violin, beatbox, or write musicals.

    Help them explore all the possibilities.

  1. List 20 options

    Our brains can only hold so much. Putting ideas on paper helps kids lower their anxiety.

    Once they list all the obvious solutions, encourage them to keep going!

    Your kid will be surprised to see what new options they discover. 

  1. Identify one-way doors

    Jeff Bezos calls irreversible decisions “one-way doors.” Once you go through, you can’t come back.

    Ask your kid, which decisions on your list are unchangeable?

    Encourage them to modify these options to make them less permanent.

  2. Run experiments 

    We often get stuck going around in circles in our heads.

    To break this cycle, run an experiment!

    Ask kids: how can we try out one of the options?

    They’ll gain a fresh perspective from real-world data.

  1. Let kids make mistakes

    It’s tempting to always protect kids, but they need the chance to learn from bad choices.

    After all, the best way to avoid catastrophic failure as an adult is to make lots of small failures as a kid. Read my previous article on how to fail without feeling like a failure here.

Until next week!

Ana Lorena Fabrega