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(UnsplashBrendan Church)

Sunday morning my husband received a text from our son: "Dad, can you come get Lisabeth? She doesn't want to go into her Sunday school class."

Because our Sunday schedules are different, we occasionally leave church just as our son's family is coming in. Once or twice we have taken Lisabeth home with us.

However, this particular day, we were staying for our Sunday School class. "Sure, I'll be glad to come get her. She can stay in our class with us," my husband texted.

My husband left and went down to the children's area of the church to pick up Lisabeth. When he got there, Lisabeth was in her class, playing happily with her friends.

"What happened?" my husband asked. "I thought she didn't want to go into her class."

"She didn't," my son said with a grin. "I told her that she had a choice to make. I said, 'You can either go into your class with all your friends and have fun at Sunday school or you can go sit in a room full of old people.'"

I guess the alternative convinced her that Sunday school with her friends was her best option.

Children are faced with choices every day. How can we guide them to learn to make good choices?

  1. Give them choices when they are young. When children are given choices when they're young, they begin to feel confident about themselves. Start with small things such as "Would you like to wear your princess pajamas or your pink polka-dot ones?" Or "Would you like to play with the green truck or the red truck?"
  2. Guide them as the choices become harder. Early in the situation, talk choices through with your children so they can learn good thought processes. If they learn to make choices in a good way with you, they will make better choices when they make them alone.
  3. Applaud your children when they make good choices. Affirmation is a great way to encourage children in their growth.
  4. Pray for them. There comes a time when you can't be beside your children to guide them in their choices. Hopefully the early training and guidance has given them the tools they need to choose wisely.
  5. Let them see you weigh choices. Ask your children to pray with you about the choices you have to make. Then they have a front-row seat watching the thought process. Follow through as they observe, particularly if the outcome is not what you had hoped or if there are unexpected consequences.

Linda Gilden is thankful for the opportunity to help her children and grandchildren learn to make good choices and is proud of the choices they have made. She loves the blessing of being involved in their lives and spending time with them and their families. Visit her at lindagilden.com.

This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.

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