Decision-making Methods Resources

These resources will help you to practice and implement Decision-making Methods with your child.

Feel free to rewatch the Decision-making Methods video as many times as you need to, and come back to this page often for resources as you and your child grow and advance with this skill.

How other organizations use the SODAS Method

The SODAS Method of Decision Making and problem solving is widely used in Mental Health interventions as well as in scholarly reviews. We have included information and links to how SODAS is used in multiple settings and with various populations.

The University of Florida used the SODAS method for Adults At-Risk for Homelessness. To read of their study click HERE.
The University of Nebraska has this explanation of SODAS and use for students. Click HERE.
Adventure IQ provides outdoor adventure based experiences and cultural immersion experiences and community service experiences usually in the wilderness. They teach the skill of SODAS as a training tool in preparation for their program. To view their video on SODAS click HERE. To visit their website you can click HERE.

Activities & Games

Games and activities are a fun and instructional way for parents to engage with their children and teach the skills in an environment that is cooperative and collaborative. These activities allow parents opportunities to explore multiple options, disadvantages and advantages. They are helpful in learning the SODAS Method.

Upside down puzzle

This activity is helpful and fun for younger children. Parents can use this skill when trying to teach the skill of Decision Making (SODAS Method) to a group of children.

How to use this activity

After explaining the game, allow your children to play it and don’t interrupt. Allow them to set goals and work toward them. You can use a timer or you can allow as much time as you need. The parent should observe the interaction and take notes of what the children do well and what they can improve on.

Once the activity is completed, be sure to praise the children on what they did well. Using the SODAS Method worksheet you can begin to outline and discuss with your children each of the steps. Talk with them about options but allow them to share what they want. The parent should observe and encourage but not provide answers. The goal is to allow the children to explore options, disadvantages and advantages on their own. This is a great ice-breaker to use with children before using the SODAS Method for something more challenging.

Once the children understand the steps of the skill have them set goals and retry the activity. Observe improvement and praise them for the good they do.

Materials needed:

  • a puzzle
  • a notebook and pen (to take notes)
  • SODAS Method worksheet

Balance the nails

This is a lesson activity. This activity takes around five minutes to do.

How to use this activity

Use this activity with teenagers. It’s a problem solving activity that challenges the way your child will think through problems and cause some discomfort for them. This activity provides you with many opportunities to examine and discuss how your child makes decisions. Be sure to allow them time to figure it out without interrupting them. Allow them enough time to be uncomfortable with the puzzle. Discomfort when trying to solve problems is normal to everyday decision making. You can refer back to this activity whenever your child is confronted with a difficult decision. Be sure to praise them for trying to work through it with you.

Materials needed:

  • 13 long nails
  • a base to balance the nails

Dice game 4-1-21

How to use this activity

The game is simple and it is quick to play. After playing, you can talk to your child about why they made the decisions they did and discuss things they would do differently if they were to play it again. Play it again and continue the discussion afterward.

Don’t take too much time analyzing everything. Just discuss options and the disadvantages and advantages of options. When you feel the time is right you can introduce S.O.D.A.S. from this lesson and talk about more complicated decisions.

Materials needed:

  • 10 dice per player

Peg board game

This is a popular game you can create, order online, or find in most stores. Some restaurants also carry this game. The game starts with pegs (golf tees) in all the holes except one; the goal is to jump pegs one at a time, removing the jumped peg until only one peg remains. The instructions on the board say that if you leave only one peg, you are a genius.

How to use this activity

Allow your child to play this game until they are finished. Once they have finished talk to them about how they played the game. Review and define the situation of the game first and continue to discuss options and advantages for certain moves and disadvantages for other moves. The game allows parents to explore and discuss the Decision Making process and to Problem Solve in a neutral setting.

Once the steps of SODAS have been openly discussed in this setting, it will be easier to begin using this skill for other situations.

A word of recommendation: When introducing the SODAS method to your child use a situation that is simple. DO NOT USE A SITUATION THAT IS TOO DIFFICULT UNTIL YOUR CHILD CAN USE THE SKILL EFFECTIVELY WITH SOME CERTAINTY.

Materials needed

  • peg board
  • pegs (golf tees)

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Related Articles & Podcasts



Chaz explains how using the SODAS Method changed his life. He also talks about sharing this skill with friends.


Jesse talks about using the SODAS Method to make a decision about purchasing a big ticket item. Jesse is a father and a Mental Health Therapist.


Cameron shares his experience with SODAS and how it helped a young man he was working with improve his life.

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