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How can I help my preteen develop good decision-making skills and critical thinking abilities?

Hello everyone, I'm a concerned parent of a preteen who is in elementary school. I want to ensure that my child develops good decision-making skills and critical thinking abilities for their future. I believe that these skills are essential in navigating life's challenges and making wise choices. So, I'm looking for some guidance on how I can help my preteen develop these skills. Can anyone suggest any practical tips or activities that I can incorporate into my child's everyday routine or suggest any books or resources that I can refer to? I'm open to any suggestions or advice that anyone has to offer. Thank you so much!

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Greetings! As a parent of a preteen, one of the things that I've found to be immensely beneficial is setting achievable goals for them. These goals can be related to their personal or academic life. Achieving these goals can help them develop good decision-making skills by setting priorities for themselves and making choices that align with their goals.

Another useful activity is to expose them to different types of experiences. This allows them to broaden their horizons and develop empathy and awareness of the world. By giving them the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives and lifestyles, they will be better equipped to make informed decisions in the future.

One resource that I found helpful when my child was younger was board games. I noticed that playing different types of board games with my child not only enhanced our relationship but also helped improve their critical thinking abilities. These games require them to think ahead, plan, and make good decisions to achieve success.

Finally, I believe that it's important to cultivate an environment where preteens feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. Rewarding their creativity and being non-judgmental of their views can help encourage the development of good decision-making and critical thinking skills.

Overall, by taking a holistic approach towards developing good decision-making and critical thinking abilities, preteens will be better equipped to navigate life's challenges and make informed decisions.


Hello everyone! As someone who works in education, I strongly believe that developing critical thinking abilities and decision-making skills is crucial to our lives. One approach that has been beneficial is teaching preteens about values-based decision-making. This approach involves reflecting on their own values and how they align with the choices they make. By helping them to recognize their values, they will be able to feel more comfortable making informed decisions.

Another useful activity is to encourage preteens to assess different sources of information. Teaching them how to evaluate the credibility of different sources, online and offline, is essential in developing critical thinking abilities. It allows them to make an informed decision.

Finally, creating opportunities for preteens to work in teams can help develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills. Encouraging them to collaborate and share their ideas with others will encourage critical thinking, as they must learn to assess different angles and viewpoints.

In general, I would suggest fostering an environment where preteens feel safe and free to express themselves. Encouraging good decision-making and critical thinking helps them become responsible and independent young adults who are equipped to succeed in life.


As a parent of a preteen myself, I understand your concerns and I can totally relate. One thing that has helped me is allowing my child to make some decisions on their own, even if it means making mistakes along the way. This way, they learn from their errors and develop self-confidence and independence.

Another activity that has worked for my child is engaging in debates or discussions with them on various topics. This helps them to think critically and form their own opinions. I also encourage them to read books on various topics of interest and discuss their learnings with me. This has not only improved their critical thinking abilities, but also overall knowledge and vocabulary.

Finally, make sure to show your child that you trust and respect their opinions. This way, they feel comfortable expressing themselves and are confident in their decision-making abilities. Hope these tips help you and your preteen!


Hi! I’m a teacher and I’ve worked with preteens for many years. One of the things that I find useful in developing good decision-making skills and critical thinking abilities is through activities that involve problem-solving. Encouraging your preteen to identify a problem, analyzing it, and coming up with possible solutions is an excellent way to help them develop these skills.

In addition to problem-solving activities, engaging them in age-appropriate reading materials that provoke philosophical and moral questions can also be useful. When they read books or watch movies, encourage them to ask questions about the characters' motivations and the consequences of their actions.

One important thing to note is to focus on the process of decision-making rather than just the outcomes. Praise your preteen for the effort they put into making a decision and remind them that they can learn from their mistakes. Finally, being a good role model yourself can help foster better decision-making skills and critical thinking in your preteen. When they see you make good decisions and think critically, they are more likely to follow your lead.


Hi, everyone! As someone who works with preteens in a mentoring capacity, one of the strategies that I use to develop critical thinking and decision-making skills is by teaching them how to prioritize their tasks. By breaking down goals into manageable tasks, they learn to assess each task's level of importance and how each one contributes to the overall goal.

Another approach that I find works well is practicing reflection after making a decision. This encourages preteens to reflect on decisions, learn from failures and mistakes, and reinforce successes. It also helps to build self-awareness so the next time they find themselves in a situation that requires decisive action, they can draw on their experiences to make better-informed decisions.

Engaging them in challenging activities that require them to solve problems is another great way to encourage critical thinking. This could come in the form of puzzles or fun games which require them to think creatively and use problem-solving strategies to achieve a given objective.

Finally, it's important to allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. Encouraging them to take risks and learn from their results can help develop resilience and confidence, qualities that are essential to good decision-making and critical thinking.

Overall, I believe that developing critical thinking and decision-making skills require continuous practice and support from the adults around them. With the right guidance and tools, preteens can develop these skills that will build a foundation for success in their future endeavors.


Hello there! As a youth counselor, I often see preteens struggling with decision-making and critical thinking. One activity I've found to be beneficial is having them role-play different scenarios that require making decisions. For instance, playing situations where they need to choose between right and wrong or between two seemingly equal choices can improve their analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Another great way to help develop critical thinking abilities is to encourage them to come up with solutions to relevant issues or current events. This will not only help them think critically but will help them learn about the value of research, inquiry, and open-mindedness.

Finally, I would encourage you to talk with them about the fact that everyone makes mistakes, and that decision-making and critical thinking aren't perfect processes. By emphasizing resilience and a growth mindset, you can help foster the confidence they need to make sound decisions and think critically, even when things don't go as planned.

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