Project and Purpose

Students will learn about decision making skills.

Essential Questions

What do I need to consider as I make grow and make more decisions on my own?

Discussion Questions: After watching the video...

Discuss in pairs, in small groups, or as a class:
1. Both Ryan and SQ say that people unfairly judge them. Ryan says, “people become suspicious of
people who are into subcultures” and SQ says, “he’s got colored hair he’s into drugs-I already know that”. Why do you think Ryan and SQ say they have been unfairly judged? Do you agree or disagree that they have been unfairly judged? Why or why not?

2. Both SQ and Ryan’s mothers have opinions about the decisions that their sons have made. Ms. Brantley talks about the importance of boundaries for Ryan. Ms. Sunseri discusses how she lets SQ have as much freedom as possible. Explain how each can be correct in how they allow their sons to make decisions.

3. In the video we hear from SQ’s mother. What does she say about SQ’s hair? Is this a good approach for a parent to take? Why or why not?

4. Why is it necessary for parents to limit the decision-making freedom for their children? What advice could you offer to parents regarding how they should approach setting limits in decisions?


  • Paper and writing utensils or devices with note taking software
  • Prepare decisions for the Future handouts for each student (below)
  • In a remote environment, meeting software will need to have “breakout room” and “raise hand” or similar functions enabled allowing for small group discussions and Decisions for the Future handouts (below) must be prepared to distribute to students and shared by email or chat function
  • Decisions for the Future


1. Ask students several reflection questions such as:
What are some decisions you have made today?

What types of decisions should middle school aged student be allowed to make? Not allowed to make?

Describe why you think as you do

2. Using your knowledge of students split students into groups of 2, 3, or 4.
Ask students to brainstorm decisions that are typically made in their lives and place them in one of the two columns on the Decisions for the Future sheet provided. Ask students to come up with things that are more important than daily decisions like whether to eat a meal or come to school, instead focusing on decisions that are more important such as choosing a hairstyle or choosing to do things without parental supervision. Groups should also come up with an age when they should be able to make the decisions that they cannot make now on their own currently.

3. Once students have developed their lists, ask each group to narrow down to the most important decision in each column.

4. For the decision from the “Decisions I get to make” column ask each group to share out the reason why they have the freedom to make that decision.

5. For the decision from the “Decisions others make for me” column have students think about when and why they are not allowed to make that particular decision. Ask student groups to write down an argument for how to ask the appropriate person (such as parents) to be able to make the particular decision.

6. Have each group share out their thoughts and plans for discussing how to ask for greater freedom to make a decision from the list. Each group should give an age when it is appropriate to for teenagers to be allowed to make that particular decision.

7. In a whole-class discussion, ask students to reflect on the exercise that they just completed: How do our personal experiences shape our perspective on events and ideas? How can the same situation be so different from other people’s perspectives?


Debriefing Questions

  • Why are there limits on the types of decisions teenagers can make?
  • What are some decisions that are reasonable to not allow teens to make?
  • What are some decisions that teenagers typically are not allowed to make but should be allowed to make for themselves.
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