'Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile' - Bertrand Russell .. and teachers, parents and carers worry that the decisions that children and young people make might be unwise or dangerous. Decision making is a skill involving both a cognitive and an affective process. The ability to: " recognize the thoughts and feelings; " consider the consequences; " choose the best outcome; is a highly valued facility leading to resilience, achievement and responsibility. The skill can be taught and in these three volumes the authors provide all the materials needed to teach a course on decision making at each age level. The programme provides a menu of stories related to the real life experiences of the young people. Topics are selected to be age appropriate and the series includes: " Stealing; " Lying; " Social behaviours; " Risks; " Justice; " Loss, Grief and Bereavement; " Prejudice; " First love; " Disability; " Leaving home; " Family relationships. The teacher notes indicate 'stopping points' where reflection and discussion is encouraged. A choice of endings is offered or the young people can develop their own ideas about what might happen next. The course can be introduced at any age or used to develop the skills through school life from early years to the teens.

Aunt Dotty and the Dog
Aunt dotty and the dog
Focus
  • awkward relatives
  • the pain that family brings
  • revenge.

The story I am going to tell took place a long time ago. It happened one December when I was about eleven or twelve, maybe even thirteen. Time has a way of losing dates. But one thing I am sure about, it was the worst Christmas ever. Not because there was a shortage of presents. No, there were cartloads of them, all as necessary as ever. It was the worst Christmas simply because of Aunt Dotty and the dog.

The dog came first, two days before Christmas Eve. I was in the front room, lying happily in the warmth from the log fire and my unusual surroundings. The front ...

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