When trying to make a decision, my family looks like we are engaged in desperate game of volleyball – no one wants to be the one to let the ball drop in the sand by making a decision!
Decision making has become an albatross in my family. No one wants to bear the weight of it. This albatross passing happens most often when it is time to decide what we will eat for dinner – or say today – where we will go for lunch after church (with the added dreaded decision of – do we go have a sit down dining experience? or do we get it and bring it home?) On this occasion the dread of decision led to a stalemate where we stomped off to our cars discussing it along the way. Inevitably, one of the kids chose to get sandwiches and take them home.
Now, I am sad. Sad I didn’t get a sit down dinner with my entire family where we talked and enjoyed each other’s company. But, perhaps in the mood we were in because of the dread of decision it would have been more of a verbal volley of irritation. Who knows. What I do know is this dread of decision is getting in the way of peace in my family.
Why don’t I want to just make all the decisions? Well, I could. But, when my dream is to share the responsibility with my family because we are “all in this together” then my being sole decision maker sort of defeats the purpose. I want my kids to understand and respect what others want as well as how to make a decision without bickering. I do not want the almighty matriarch role – I just want to hang with my fam!
In my classroom, instead of choosing who will be in groups, I have a set of cards with each kid’s name on one. When its time to do group work, the kids pull random cards to choose groups so the groups are totally random. I was trying to think of a less obvious way to do the same thing with the dinner decision. One of my very best friends once told me that when she and her husband were remodeling their house they made decisions based on how they ACTUALLY live not on how they WISHED they lived. I think this is brilliant. So, in the spirit of how we each really, really hate to be the one to decide, I will get us together (family meeting!) and come up with two lists – one of restaurants close by to get something to take home and another of our favorite out to eat restaurants. I will write them down as suggested. Then when time to decide, we just go to the next name on the list. (I keep my planner with me all the time! I can have it out in a snap!)
As far as deciding on whether we need a take home or a sit down meal, I think this is a decision we will just have to make on the fly.
How else is this dread of decision affecting my life? I will be looking out for this one in the weeks to come to see where else this weird little fear is raising its head!
P.S. I would also like to note the irony: In the spirit of not having a conflict over differing views over something as inconsequential as where we eat, we are having conflict. There is confrontation in avoidance as well as disagreement.