Why You Need to Teach Your Children Decision-Making Skills… And a Fun Way to Do It!

This post is sponsored by Imagination Stage. We hope you enjoy learning about their exciting new, interactive show, Escape From Peligro Island!

One of the most daunting tasks we face as parents is teaching our children how to make decisions. While some of the first decisions our kids make, like deciding what to wear to school, seem simple enough, the choices they make eventually shape the outcome of their entire lives.

No pressure, right?

Enter: Imagination Stage’s newest show, Escape From Peligro Island – You Create Your Own Adventure, designed for children ages 5+. It’s Imagination Stage’s first-ever audience-driven performance, making each show a one-of-a-kind performance.

Teaching Good Decision-Making Skills

It can be so easy to fall into the trap of trying to make the right choice for our children rather than letting them choose for themselves. “In our world today, children are increasingly being disallowed to make choices. With the constant monitoring by parents (brought about by fear that is only enhanced by the constant onslaught of a media barrage), children are kept ‘safe’ and insulated instead of challenged to face the ‘bad guys,’” says Imagination Stage Associate Artistic Director, Kathryn Chase Bryer, a Helen Hayes Award winning director.

Of course we want to protect our children. It’s our job! But making and learning from bad decisions is an essential piece of growing up.

Why? Because “when your children make bad decisions, they may suffer for it, but they can learn from the experience and make better decisions in the future,” according to Jim Taylor Ph.D..

That doesn’t mean we should just stand by and watch our children make bad decisions, particularly dangerous ones. Instead, we can learn to coach them through the decision-making process. Taylor suggests asking these questions:

  1. Why do you want to do this?
  2. What are your other options?
  3. What will the consequences be?
  4. Is this decision in your best interest?

When they answer these questions, children are better able to think through the risks and rewards of the choices they make. Sure, they still may make poor choices now and then, but talking it through always helps.  

Okay, but what does Escape From Peligro Island have to do with any of this?

One of Taylor’s suggestions for helping your children learn how to make responsible decisions is by giving them hypothetical situations to think through, and Escape From Peligro Island does just that.

Remember the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books we read as kids? Or the role-playing games our kids love today? That’s just what you’ll get during the show!

Escape From Peligro Island chronicles the adventures of 12-year old Callaway Brown, a lonely boy who’s constantly on the move between his distracted parents. One day, everything changes. Cal’s plane crashes on a desert island, and he’s suddenly on his own for the first time ever.

The audience pitches in to vote on Cal’s decisions. Economy or first class? Glasses or inhaler? Go right or go left? Rather, stay or go at all?

Throughout it all, the kids are thinking through the choices themselves – weighing the pros and cons, imagining how they’d handle the unfamiliar themselves. Each time Cal realizes his own power and strength, the children (and grownups!) in the audience will experience the same sense of empowerment since they’ve become part of the story, too.

“We all want to protect our children, and that is why live theatre is such a wonderful way to challenge ourselves, young and old! What better way to allow our children to use their imaginations and engage their minds than to bring them to the theatre to experience high adventure and daring feats of bravery?” asks Bryer. “We should all be allowed to be the hero in our own lives – this is how we grow and change to become the humans that will eventually save the world.”

Come See the Show!

Escape from Peligro Island, written by Australian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer, is best for ages 5+, and runs through May 26, 2019 in Imagination Stage’s Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre. 

Tickets start at $15 and may be purchased online, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660. Group rates are available. 

Be sure to enter our giveaway TODAY on Instagram to win FOUR tickets to the show anytime from now until May 26. You choose your showtime: Saturdays at 1:30 pm and Sundays at 1:30 and 4 pm.