Wednesday’s Parent: 7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making

7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making in the park by Wendy David-Gaines

7 Shakespearean steps to good decision-making in the park by Wendy David-Gaines

Life is full of choices and the quality of life depends on the quality of those decisions. One of a parents’s major responsibilities is to teach good decision-making skills to their children. With this ability, students are able to make good NOUN choices – the ones about people, places and things.

Soon your child will be choosing where to apply to college, what he will major in, who she will choose as friends, who he will marry, and where she will live and work after graduation.

Taking parenting advice from Shakespeare’s timeless quotes, here are seven steps to making good decisions:

1. “Past and to come seem best; things present worst.” King Henry the Fourth, Part II  It’s normal to be stressed when faced with an important decision. Take a deep breath and go to your mental happy place to put everything into perspective before making a decision.

2. “This is the short and long of it.” The Merry Wives of Windsor  The first step in making a good decision is to clearly list the options.

3. “There is occasions and causes why and wherefore in all things.” King Henry the Fifth  Weigh the options carefully by considering pros and cons for each choice.

4. “Thou art a scholar: speak to it Horatio.” Hamlet  Seek advice from experts and those who have dealt with similar experiences when needed. (Don’t forget to let your child know you are a great resource – a parent available to listen and advise, when asked.)

5. “Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” Measure for Measure  Doubts and second guessing are common. Don’t let them press you into procrastinating or preventing the making of a final decision.

6. “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Twelfth-Night  Once a choice is selected, commit to it, make the most of it and move forward.

7. “What’s past is prologue.” The Tempest  All decisions have consequences and the future is filled with possibilities. Be ready to follow this Shakespearean plan all over again to make the next choice.

There are many other fine quotes from Shakespeare and others to inspire good decision-making. Let me know your favorites.

Jump over to Suzanne’s blog chock full of more parent tips to teach teens how to make good decisions.


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

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