Anxiety coping skills using SODAS method | Parenting anxious child

Anxiety in kids leads them to believe they don’t have the necessary skills or information to make good decision in new situations. That can result in them freaking out or resisting as a means to stop perceived possible embarrassment or failure.


Decision making skills for kids is one anxiety coping skill you can teach your child. The skill of Decision Making (SODAS Method) allows your child to break down decisions into manageable parts while giving them confidence in their ability to handle unknown situations.

SODAS stands for Situation, Options, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Solution.

Start by watching the online video class with your child. Work with them to create a list of task or activities that cause them Anxiety. Most children have trouble seeing options or the outcomes of decisions. Help them understand the many options available for addressing those feelings by using the SODAS Decision Making PDF worksheet.

Here are some tips for parents when doing decision making activities.
Work on the SODAS assignment together with your child, but have them take charge of coming up with suggestions for options and solutions.

It’s ok to adjust the SODAS assignment for the age of your child. For very young children use fewer disadvantages and advantages.

Practice (Role-playing) the chosen option. Start simple. As your child becomes comfortable, increase the intensity to match as closely the situation as possible.

Be patient! If your child struggles too during practice, much evaluate if it’s too intense. If not, then the option is not correct, and you may have to do SODAS again to come up with a new solution. Solutions that look good on paper may not be effective in real life.

Practice the situation multiple times. We recommend at least 3 to help your child become comfortable.

Decision Making (SODAS Method) can help discover how your child thinks. This knowledge will improve your ability to understand better their thought process and, consequently, that will allow you to help your child in future situations better.

Parenting anxious child is possible. Visit Smarter Parenting for additional ways to help your child make better decisions.

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