"Duck Dynasty's" Sadie Robertson got it right in her life hack for teens: Five seconds of good judgment can prevent a lifetime of regret.
When teens do stop to think, they are better able to say “no” in these difficult situations: getting into a car with someone who has been drinking; drinking when hanging out with friends; letting your date influence how far you’ll go physically; not following God’s lead to help and serve others; and gossiping with friends.
As parents, you can reinforce this idea by helping your teens make moral decisions based on thought rather than emotion. Encouraging kids to pause and think before responding has long-lasting merit. This is super difficult, though, because teen emotions tend to influence many of their decisions.
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Teens should visualize an actual, physical pause button and know why they are pushing it. It’s like learning a new skill; you need to know why you are learning it first. As Sadie mentions in her video, there is a moment of awkwardness, but as teens use this skill more, it becomes more natural to do.
Remember, certain personalities will do this better than others. Find fun and creative ways to celebrate when your preteen or teen uses the pause idea, whether it’s the five-second rule or any other positive way to make a better decision. Then celebrate these choices. Celebrations can be as simple as a genuine high-five or fist bump.