10. Making Your Mind Up


Ask children for their ideas about how they make decisions.


Ask children to talk in pairs about:

  • some important decisions they might have to make in the near future;
  • what the consequences might be of taking different decisions.

Explain that you are not going to ask about these decisions as they may be very personal, involving family matters, for example.


Show this short video about an indecisive person. Explain that although the clip features an American girl who’s a bit older than them, there may be moments that they recognise:


If you are unable to show the video, try a role play based on examples of what the children think are dilemmas in ordinary life, e.g., choosing what film to watch, deciding on plans, what to have for lunch etc.

Ask children for their thoughts on the film or on the role plays:

  • Why couldn’t the girl in the film (or people in the role plays) make any decisions? What do you think she was (or they were) afraid of?
  • What do they find difficult to make decisions about in their daily lives?

After getting some feedback ask them to put themselves somewhere along a continuum line, stretching across the room, with one end standing for ‘totally agree’ and the other end standing for ‘totally disagree’, according to their answer to such questions as:

  • Choice is always a good thing.
  • If you can’t make your own mind up it’s best to go with what your friends are doing.
  • I find it really easy to make my mind up about choices whether they’re big or small.
  • Always stick with what you believe in.

After each question, ask a few children to explain their position and invite them to change their position on the line if they are persuaded by the arguments and opinions of others.

Explain the importance of exercising the imagination when making decisions. We might not be able to see into the future exactly, but we can think ahead to the consequences of our actions. Remember that what we decide can affect others as well as ourselves.


After a little discussion time, explain that there may be lots of factors to bear in mind when making a big decision, but one thing that many people say helps is to reflect on what you find most valuable in life. For many people, such values can come from their religious or belief community, and they can find people there to help, advise and support them, including members of their family.

Ask the children to talk to a partner about who might best help them when it comes to making big decisions. Remind them that they should never feel alone when it comes to making a tricky decision: there are plenty of trusted adults who can usually help.


A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

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