Can your Upbringing cloud your judgment or decision-making skills?

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Am sure if I ask this question in a hall full of people majority of the answer to this would be yes our upbringing does have an influence on our decision making. We are made up of beliefs and values which are to each their own but how do these belief and values form and when does it start interfering in our decision-making capabilities?

Like Mark Manson mentions in his famous book (The subtle art of not giving a fu*k) we are always making decisions – whether consciously or unconsciously – even to not make a decision is also a decision in itself.

And we all have our own value systems – some might think owning a house in a suburban community is a measure of success while for another person owning a luxury car ticks off an item from the list while some people long for emotional attachments like staying with your family and having kids and seeing them grow.

So the question is are we really making decisions based on our value systems and if the answer is yes then how much does our upbringing plays a part in it? If I talk about myself then yes I agree with the above statements but I also believe that two children living under same roof having same parents and living a similar life can have totally different value systems or decision making skills and that’s the beauty of humans I guess. We all can have same input of information or influences in our lives and yet the outcome i.e., our perceptions, intelligence, ability to understand something is totally different from each other.

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Research says that Values, rewards and costs have central role in economic, statistical and psychological notions of decision making.

In retrospective, when my parents had my sister they were frugal, they were still young so that means trying to save money as and when they can which probably led to my sister’s belief system that money is a big motivator in life while when I came into this world my parents were in their late 30s – made some cash, had some savings and perhaps more grown-up to make better decisions – so I saw a totally different household to what my sister saw. I never saw any money problems in the house and as a result, for me, money was never a big motivator in life – I was more on the creative side or at least I would like to think like that.

Is that the reason that a lot of Indian cricketers are the younger siblings in the family – MS Dhoni , Virat Kohli or be it the God of Cricket – Sachin Tendulkar ?

I thought so….

Now before jumping into the upbringing and stuff let me make myself clear on something called as biases. Like intelligence biases can be of different kinds – gender, race, color even accent – and No am not saying it – it has been proven by the researchers that we all are biased in one or the other way. So next time someone trolls you online just remember that you are not going to get validation from everyone around you – people are biased and we need to learn to take everything with a pinch of salt – believe me that will make life a lot more easier.

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So how to raise a child who is capable of making better decisions – while the shortest answer is you can’t – you can try but even the brightest of the kids make horrible mistakes but probably an early intervention might help in shaping up their belief systems which can guide them in making a good decision.

Like I have always said – Do not pray for a problem-free life for your child – there is nothing as called an ideal life – Pray for the strength and abilities to tackle a less troublesome life.

  • Start early. Let you toddler decide what to wear today or inculcate a habit of pocket money to your pre-teen and let them make decisions on what or how to spend it – children who think about saving at a young age grow up into responsible adults who are not hoarding up things and creating up liabilities both for himself and society.
  • Most children hate to listen to their parents so have a fun aunt or uncle as your crusader whom your child loves listening to while you are the one putting words in their mouth. Do not let anyone else steer your ship.
  • Stories are an excellent means of communication. They might hate to hear your life story but if you transform it into a bumpy ride of morals and heroes, villains, morals – rest assured even an adult will fall for it. Stories have been used since ages as a strong communication tool and many parents swear by it.
  • Most importantly, let them make mistakes – humans are built that way, we learn only by our mistakes. It somehow gets etched in our minds. As a parent your goal is to let them experience everything in a limited way – that way they will come to you if they are in trouble or sense trouble. Be patient and let them come to you.
  • Lastly, listen. As parents sometimes we jump to conclusions and start making judgments. If you have no control over your emotions as an adult then how do you expect a child who is far below your age to have control over their mind and emotions? Try to put yourself in their shoes, have patience, and listen attentively. As they say –

Small children, small problems.

Big Children, big problems.

Remember you cannot teach anything to your child, they will watch you and learn.

Hope you liked the article, please comment and let me know your insights.

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