1. Learn to say no when pressured by others.
2. Have a plan for what you will do if someone tries to hurt or steal from you, such as saying “No” and walking away, locking yourself in your room, running into a store, or calling the police on your cell phone (if it is safe).
3. Avoid people who are likely to try to harm you—avoiding them may mean not spending time with friends who are bullies or even adults who act like bullies (like teasing other kids), avoiding places where there might be trouble (like parks after dark) and going out of your way not to go somewhere alone when it seems dangerous.
4. Encourage your kids to talk with you when they have a problem and show them how to work out their problems themselves rather than relying on others.
5. Teach kids that it is okay to say no – even if other people don’t like it or think less of them because they said “no”, as long as the person does not threaten violence against him/herself or someone else, which includes suicide threats, then he should feel empowered enough in his decision-making skills to know what he can do instead (like saying yes) when pressured by others for something unreasonable.
6. When speaking about drugs and alcohol: teach children there are many reasons why using either one might be harmful to them, rather than just telling them that they are dangerous.
The following paragraph should be about the importance of talking to your children as a means for teaching healthy decision-making skills:
Kids need to learn how to talk openly and honestly with their parents when they have problems or questions because this provides an opportunity for kids to feel heard by someone who cares deeply about them. This will help give children confidence in being able to make safe decisions on their own if needed in the future without getting overwhelmed with fear or anxiety from making difficult choices on their own, which can lead young people into depression and addiction later on in life. The more practice we allow our kids now, the better prepared they’ll be when faced with real-world challenges.
You can start with these topics when talking to your children about how they’ve made decisions or choices in the past:
-What was a difficult decision you had to make? How did it turn out? What would have happened if you didn’t decide anything and just left things up in the air? -Did someone talk you into making an unwise choice, but now that person is not around anymore for support? Who do I know who could give me advice on this situation? -Do we want our kids to decide what activities are right/wrong or all of us agreeing together as parents first before allowing them to participate in certain events, situations, or behaviors?
How often should we check what our kids are doing?
What is the most important thing when making a decision, and why?
When you have to make decisions on your own without help from anyone else, how do you figure out what’s right for you in this situation or with these choices being made available to me?
How can we talk about our feelings when they’re uncomfortable so that it doesn’t seem like there’s anything wrong with feeling them. How can I know if someone really cares about my opinion or not? What should I say back to people who tell me something mean before walking away mad at them?”
After going through a list of questions together where both parties “talk” their way through different situations (i.e., deciding what to wear for school, what movie or TV show to watch), it’s important not only to teach kids how they should make safe decisions in the face of difficult choices but also when and why those decisions are being made.
Acknowledge that there is no one right answer.
Help them learn how to ask questions when they don’t know something (when their curiosity feels like a big wave) or when someone tells them something new about themselves related to sex/gender identity, relationships, etc. so that they can figure out if this is true for them too and get more information from other adults/adults in their lives who will be able – hopefully with your support – to help guide and support children through difficult situations.