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some help please about 11 year old & decision making

(2 Posts)
vorpalmum Tue 31-Oct-17 12:19:25

Hi everyone,
I am a long time reader & first time poster. Sorry about the length of this post, but I hope that with the explanation, advice can be clearer...

I have an eleven year old who is (typically) beginning to act like a teen in some ways. Where the problem comes in is helping her develop a good decision-making process.

Her decision-making process currently is usually:
be indecisive
be indecisive
commit too much or not all
be indecisive
X amount of time to deadline
get anxious, but do nothing
deadline approaching
get more anxious, but do nothing
deadline very near
*panic** tragedy* drama*

She then makes an on-the-wire decision which she later regrets. The bigger the decision, the more drama and bigger regret.

It doesn't seem to matter what I say. When I can influence it, I've tried moving deadlines one way or the other to help. It doesn't.

I think that she feels that she has made some poor decisions int eh past, and this now paralizes her decision making. She recognises that it's not a good way to do things, but she and we seem incapable of changing it. I will say that she generally does fine with decisions that either don't have a deadline, or have such a generous amount of time associated that they might as well not have a deadline.

If anyone has any advice about how we can help her I would much appreciate it. TIA

A couple of examples from recent things follow (skip this if it's too much).

We went shopping more than a week ago for Halloween costume stuff. She had been saying what she wanted to be for more than a year, but when we went shopping she was unsure. So I bought stuff for her younger brother (8), and we went home and started on his costume. We went shopping again on Friday (still no decision) and Saturday (few days ago) for Halloween costume stuff. She decided Saturday an hour before the shops closed (and after the fabric shop was closed) that she wanted to be a mermaid. I thought that she could use some stuff at home, so we looked at it, but she wasn't happy with anything that we already had. So, I just left it, and finished her little brother costume (a pokemon outfit that came out really well).
Monday, we went back to the fabric store, where she wanted to get a huge number of things for an elaborate costume that we no longer had time to make. She got upset and flip-flopped between crying that she had ruined halloween and berating me for spending so much time, etc. on her little brother's costume, and why wouldn't I agree to do it for hers. This involved some discussion. Of course, we had to pick something that I thought I could manage in a couple of hours, and she could finish after school today (Halloween) We settled on some things right at shop closing time, and I threw together a mermaid tail in 3 hours Monday evening. It came out surprisingly (even to me!) good, and she grudgingly allowed that it was a good mermaid tail. I don't know if she will regret being a mermaid, but she seems okay with it now.

A good decision making process goes more like when we recently bought winter boots. We went to one shop and tried on lots of boots and then to another shop and tried on lots of boots. Then, she decided she wanted some from the first shop, so we went back. She put them on, walked around in them for ~5 minutes. We bought them, and took them home, and she is happy with them. No tantrums or regrets. But there was no deadline, either.

Gelly12 Sat 04-Nov-17 17:25:04

I have an 11 year old too and tgink that at thus age its all about peer preasure and how their actions and decsions are going to be percieved by others in my sons case he has ideas but tgen thinks of what his so called mates will say so then changes hus mind I feel I beed to just reasure him to give him more self confidence

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