Parenting Points

4 Tips to Leading Your Child toward Good Decision Making


Good decision making is not a skill with which we are born. We can look back at examples from our past when we made very poor decisions that were not properly thought out and the unfortunate consequences that accompanied those decisions. There are two very real reasons for the lack of prudence children and teens show in their decision making. One reason is biological and the other is spiritual.

Biologically, the part of our brain used to reason and weigh outcomes, the prefrontal cortex, does not fully develop until we reach our mid 20’s. Research indicates it is one of the last regions of our brain to fully develop. On the other hand, the part of our brain that controls our response to pleasure is fully developed by age 13.


So when we see our children and teens making decisions that seem totally void of thought or reason, there are actual biological reasons this may occur. The main reason prudence is a struggle for all of us is our sin nature. Sin infects all that we do. We don’t automatically choose to define what is right and wrong based on God’s definitions of right and wrong, but based on what is best for “me.” Sin takes our focus and attention away from God, the source of all things good, and turns it on ourselves.

As parents, we need the love of Christ to combat both the biological and the spiritual roadblocks to prudence. We need to show Christ’s love and grace as our children learn prudence and we need His love in our own hearts to lead them into the realm of good decision making. Here are four keys to help develop godly prudence in your children.

  1. Demonstrate prudence for your children.
  2. Affirm your children when they make good decisions.
  3. When they make poor decisions, help your children think through other options they had and see how the consequences could have been different.
  4. Above all, train your children to seek what is right in the character and nature of Christ as He is revealed in Scripture.

Parenting Points Head Shot Drew Phillips_Byline pic

-Drew Phillips, Chaplain 

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