Making Right Choices.
An important aspect of developing and growing as a teen is making appropriate action choices.
When it comes to making a decision, many people would rather not due to the recurring inherent risk when it comes to choosing a path, no matter how grandiose or minuscule.
Right choosing doesn’t only apply when a person is about to get married and has to choose the right partner, but it also applies in our everyday life. If you’re going to be a successful person in life the choices you make matter a lot.
The oxford dictionary defines choices as
an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.
So, how do we make good choices:
1. Stop and Think:
There is a part in the human brain (frontal lobe) that affects decision making and this part takes a long time to be fully developed.
It’s actually difficult to make the right decisions when you’re excited, anxious, angry or all emotional. Decisions made with just emotions and not thinking skills are most likely not to have a ‘happy ending’.
Free your mind of all the ‘hassles’ and take a deep soothing breath
2. Identify the problem or challenge you’re facing.
For example, you’re the boy who’s facing pressure from a group of boys in school who keep offering you cigarettes, or maybe you’re that girl who just wants to be good and do good but there’s a group of girls (mostly your friends) who are pressurizing you into being sexually active. or maybe you’re the one whose dad is addicted to drugs and mom’s threatening to leave and you have to make a decision whether or not to move with mom or not.
This gives you an idea of how important the decision is.
identification is the first step towards solving the problem.
3. Gather the Facts:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There must be somebody you can talk to who can give you a piece of positive advice, if there is then this is the time to talk to that person.
Seek guidance from people you trust, recommend ably a get a counselor and also get help from valid sources.
4. Write down your options
Put in black and white every idea that comes to you about the situation.
Brainstorm a list of options for the situation and review each option in turn. You could do this with a friend.
5. Consider Your Values
6. Review the options:
If you find out that a particular idea will lead to trouble in the future, don’t do it. This is where you weigh the possible results or consequences of each step listed. God said in Philippians 4:8-9
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
7. Now Choose: After you’ve found that making a particular decision or taking a particular step is the right one go ahead and do it.
WHY DO SOME TEENS MAKE BAD CHOICES
It has been found that children and teens are poor decision-makers, emotional, and attention-seeking.
1. Due to the fact that areas of the brain that control decision-making don’t fully develop until early adulthood.
ii. Most of the so-called bad decisions are made during emotionalism (anger, anxiety, worry, excitement etc.). As a teenager, these feelings are bound to come but your reaction to these impulses is what matters.
Emotionalism increases the chance of engaging in sensation-seeking behaviors, with little self-control or consideration of the possible consequences of their actions.
Make this observation – most of the ‘crazy’ decisions we make as teenagers were made during high emotional arousal and of course, with little or no consideration.
For example, you’re mad at your sister for breaking your pad again then you slap her and she knocks her head against the wall and goes unconscious then you’ll likely start calling for help. But you had two choices – To react negatively or positively, each choice has its own results. What would have happened if you had just walked away?
But you say, I don’t know what came over me.
Actually, your emotions were highly aroused and without even giving it a second thought you made a choice and reacted negatively which didn’t bring a happy ending.
Sometimes, natural consequences can provide valuable life lessons.
The mind is the control room of all emotions, thoughts and actions.
Learn to control your mind then you’ve learned to control your emotions, actions and life.
Growing up can be very painful, you’ll experience things you most likely didn’t anticipate. You might not even be able to recognize yourself anymore. This is why we’re here; to ensure you go through this stage successfully.
3. Peer Pressure
As a teen, it’s likely you’ve experienced the effect of peer influence in a number of different areas, ranging from the clothes you wear to the music you listen to. Peer influence is not necessarily a bad thing. We are all influenced by our peers, both negatively and positively, at any age.
For teens, as school and other activities take you away from home, you may spend more time with your friends than you do with your parents and siblings.
As you become more independent, your peers naturally play a greater role in your life. Sometimes, though, particularly in emotional situations, peer influence can be hard to resist—it really has become “pressure”—and you may feel compelled to do something you’re uncomfortable with.
Peer pressure does have a positive side to it. The same way your peers influence you to see a particular movie or sometimes make rational decisions they can also influence you to make positive decisions
DID YOU KNOW?
You have the potential, to shape your own brain development through the choices and the behaviors you engage in.
Activities—such as physical, learning, and creative endeavors can simultaneously build strong pathways in the brain.
Of course, though we are constantly influenced by those around us; the ultimate decision of whether or not to act is in our hands.