Teaching Safety to Children
The 5 Questions of How to Make a Good Decision
Making a good decision is Self-Defense. Did you know that accidents are the number one cause of death among children? Did you know that children who take swimming lessons are actually more prone to drowning due to overconfidence in their ability? Children are impulsive so what if as parents & educators we taught them to “Think before they act”? Teaching children HOW to slow down, think before they act & listen to their conscience makes sense to stay safe. This is another component of Intelligent Curriculum in our Martial Arts Education taught by Sensei Dan Rominski at TheDOJO. Also, these 5 questions work well for teenagers & adults.
1. What Would My Parent’s Say?
Think before you act! Making a good decision is about thinking before you act. This usually results in a safer outcome. Not thinking before you act is called being “Impulsive”. Being impulsive can lead to something bad, dangerous or foolish to happen. One is to be mindful the other is to be mindless. Before doing something ask yourself, “What would my parent’s say if I…?” Consider what your parent’s would say & then make a “good” decision.
2. What Would My Teacher Say?
“It takes a village to raise a child”, Parents & teachers are like the tribal elders of a village who have lot’s of life experience. This means that when we listen to them & their wise advice we don’t have to re-invent the wheel. We can however learn from their past mistakes & successes. Before doing something ask yourself, “What would my teacher say if I…?” Consider what your teacher would say & then make a “good” decision.
3. Could I Hurt Someone?
It’s easy to think only about ourselves, but that is a little selfish. When we think of others we expand our awareness beyond ourselves & consider how our decisions may affect other people. What we choose to do has a good or bad consequence. Before doing something ask yourself, “Could I hurt someone if I…?” Consider how your choices & actions could result in something good or something bad for others & then make a “good” decision.
4. Could I Hurt Myself?
Look before you leap! This idea can prevent something bad or dangerous from happening. Think before you act & ask yourself, “Could I hurt myself if I…?” Consider the answer & then make a “good” decision.
5. Should I Do It?
The question of questions! Ultimately ask yourself, “Should I do it?”Consider if your actions will be morally correct & how they affect the rights of other people.
After considering your answers of these five questions to Think Before You Act & Make a Good Decision go ahead & decide. Think wisely…use your common sense & good sound judgement. Trust yourself that if you thought deeply about it chances are you’ll come up
with the right answer.
Parents could give examples of something bad or something good, these questions actually apply either way. Teach the child to go through all five questions for each scenario. Be patient & let them come up with the answer, allow them to learn to listen to their own gut feeling or conscience.
Some ideas might be…
“What would your parents say if you climbed up that couch?”
“What would your teacher say if you cut in line while waiting your turn?”
“Could you hurt someone if you played rough?”
“What would your parents say if you cleaned your room?”
“What would your Teacher or coach say if you ate all these vegetables?”
“Could you hurt someone if you share?”