It is also a difficult step. Teens are naturally impulsive. They often act first and think later. Reversing that behavior can sometimes be a challenge to parents.

Here are some ways to guide your teen toward practicing good judgment:

  • Teach your teen to allow herself a few minutes before making a decision. To help her remember, call it the “Three-Minute Rule.” Encourage her to spend those three minutes asking herself some questions: “Is this the right thing to do?” “What will happen if I do it?” “Do I have any other choices?”
  • Ask your teen to rely on her “gut feelings.” For example, if your teen’s friends ask her to do something she knows is wrong, her emotions may set off an internal “alarm,” that says, “this is trouble.” But her desire to be like her friends may be so strong that it shuts off the alarm.
  • Tell your teen to keep the alarm on. If she immediately gets a bad feeling, then it’s probably a bad decision.
  • Tell your teen to learn from others. Examples of poor judgment are in the news every day. Ask your teen to be a critic. How does she think a person in the news could have made a better decision?

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