Wednesday’s Parent: Lessons on Decision Making from Olympic Athletes


athletesDecision making is definitely a learned behavior. As parents, it’s our responsibility to teach our kids not only how to make decisions, but how to deal with the consequences of those decisions. Decision making is never easy but if you teach your kids to stay the course they will win the gold, much like the U.S. Olympic athletes.

Here are some lessons we can learn from Olympic athletes that can help with decision making.

Start young

Olympians start young in their sport of choice. They start young because they know that with practice they will eventually improve. As with any lesson or task, starting young is the key. It’s easy to give them simple choices when they are young that teaches them to make decisions. These simple choices will be the beginnings of a decision master.

Add technique as you get more experience

A figure skater starts simply with learning how to skate, and then they move on to learning spins, jumps and other tricks. The more your children make decisions, the more decisions you should allow them to make. As they master small ones, move on to larger decision choices, such as purchases.

Stay focused

Olympic athletes stay focused on the end goal: to compete in the Olympics. With any decision, it’s important to keep your eye on the goal and focus on the decision that needs to be made. Teach your teens to break their decisions down, weighing the pros and cons of each.

Learn from defeat

Olympic athletes fall and fail many times. They learn from their defeats and improve to produce different results the next time. Not every decision you make will produce the desired outcome. There are consequences, both good and bad, to all your decisions. However, if you learn from those defeats and capitalize on the victories, you will be successful in reaching your goals.

Olympic athletes train for years to often compete just one time. Everything they have is put into planning for the competition. As you grow, decisions become an integral part of your life: choosing a college, choosing a career path, choosing a mate, purchasing a house, and deciding whether to have children. If your children start young making small decisions, the big ones will be much easier.

For more decision making tips, read Wendy’s blog:

7 Shakespearean Steps to Good Decision Making

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One Response to “Wednesday’s Parent: Lessons on Decision Making from Olympic Athletes”

  1. […] over to Suzanne’s blog chock full of more parent tips to teach teens how to make good […]