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Peacemaker Coach Tip of the Week

Objective Signs for Readiness
Signals that can help you to explain your subjective decisions

What it is

Objective signs: Observable facts everyone can agreed to.

Subjective decisions: Individual interpretation about the greater truth in what’s observed.

Why it's

Parents make subjective decisions about the readiness of children to handle more responsibility and freedom.

Ready for two-wheeler?

Ready for a cellphone?

Ready for the Internet?

Having a clear list of objective readiness signs helps you to confidently lead at the perfect pace.


Outside influences try speeding the process making it difficult to justify unpopular decisions to a child pushing for more.

Some disagreement is helpful to expand boundaries, but too much can ultimately weaken your influence.

Amplify Your Influence

The Tip
Watch for Signs
Create a list of objective signs that mark the trail to readiness

Step 1

Help her understand the difference between your wisdom (experience and knowledge) and objective signals of growing readiness.


Subjective things are hard to describe and physically count.

Step 2

Invite him to explain the reason something made him laugh or cry. Help him experience the frustration we all feel when trying to explain an intense emotion.

Then ask him to describe a physical object. Point out how much easier it is.


Subjective things connect to a person’s unique experience of something else, e.g., love is a unique personal experience.

Objective things connect to people in similar ways, e.g., most people sit in a chair the same way.

Step 3

Ask her to explain the subjective reasons she feels ready for a cellphone. 

It sounds something like this . . .

“Now that you’ve practiced the difference between subjective and objective descriptions, describe your subjective reasons for having a cellphone.”

Hint! Reasons will link to emotional experiences with other people (Step 2.)
Step 5

Q: How many objective measures indicate readiness? (She's bound to ask.)

A: It’s based on your experience with your child. Ask her to tell you how many she thinks.

It sounds something like this . . .

"I want to feel comfortable giving you a cellphone. How many objective signs do you think it should take and for how long do you think we should see those signs?”

Hint! Touch on the idea of consistency and relatedness.
Step 6
Buck Stops

Q: How many objective measures confirm readiness?

A: It’s a trick question! The final decision is a combination of objective and subjective input. Make sure to let him know that the final decision is yours.

It sounds something like this . . .

“I appreciate your willingness to help us figure this out. A cellphone is a huge step up in responsibility and freedom. Having talked with you makes me feel better already. One thing we need to be clear about is that the ultimate decision must remain with me. I have your best interest at heart and that includes doing my best to help you be happy."

Coaching Certification Program @ Westchester Community College



Shared decision making means responsibility for the outcome.


You may still disagree but you’ll do so as comrades vs. enemies.


Walking him through the decision making process about something that connects to his future independence is real-time value.


We promise to teach our kids how to make good decisions. Sometimes the best decision will be unpopular and hard to explain to others. Her experience with this dynamic will make it easier for her to follow through anyway with peers


 Peacemaker Coach Tip of the Week - Objective Signs of Readiness

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February 2, 2013 


Peacemaker Coach Tip of the Week - Objective Signs of Readiness





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