What kind of house should we buy?
My husband and I have been talking about buying a new home.
One night, at dinner, we pulled the kids into the process by asking each what was important to them in this big decision. And then, how important was each factor in the overall decision.
We created our own, weighted, decision criteria.
Clearly cost, location, and school district were critical factors. The children all agreed that these considerations likely carried a higher weight than theirs. However, they got us to agree that each child having their own room, a backyard large enough to play in, and a basement for friends to hang out in were important considerations.
We laughed about ranking the importance of a pool, back-yard spa, barn for horses we did not have, and our own tennis court.
Then, we regained our seriousness as we talked about the need to be close to stores, old friends, and work.
It was a nice family moment. But it also showed the children the importance of identifying values, weighing their importance to others, considering and rationally evaluating options, and then the need to gather information.
(Special thanks to the Society of Decision Professionals, for sharing personal stories from their members—experts in the field and also parents, spouses, friends, and family-members.)