“There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who run away from problems and another who solve them.”
Which kind do you want your kids to be? I am sure it’s the latter. Let’s look at what are the steps that we as parents can take for our kids to be ‘problem solvers’.
1. Set right examples for them. Yes, you need to be a problem solver as well.
- House help on leave today? No problem. We will manage lunch and cook together at night!
- Boss yells at you on phone! No problem. I am with my wonderful family and that’s all that matters.
- No money this month to go out for movies? No problem. We will make some popcorn at home and watch a movie on the TV! Or, let’s go to the park like olden days.
- Grandma is seriously ill? No point panicking. We will get her the best possible medical help and envelope her in oodles of love!”
When kids see that you do not indulge in blaming, complaining, or coming up with excuses when you face problems, they will emulate you. If you are irritated for long when your house help did not come, if you yell at your kids after your boss calls you up and yells at you for an error at work, or you sulk over ‘not enough money’, or you worry yourself endlessly and lose sleep when a loved one falls ill, your kids will pick up on that behavior. After all, you are their Superman and Superwoman! When kids watch their parents coming up with solutions for everyday challenges, they watch you, learn from you, and believe that they can do it as well.
2. Do not solve the problems on behalf of your kids. Your kids would not benefit in the long run, if you go and solve all their problems today. You need to be a facilitator of course. Ask the right questions and lead them to solve their own problems. Be a Coach and not a player. If your son tells you about a bully at home, don’t go and speak to the bully’s parents. Instead, tell your child to have an honest heart to heart with the kid and sort it on their own. Or, just ask him how would he/she have been liked to be approached if he/she had been the one bullying the classmates. Or, ask him if he needs any guidance to face the bully. Of course we can let our kids share their worries and anxieties with us, but after that, we need to get them to think, “What now?” “My friend hurt me real bad by talking rude to me and breaking my handmade craft toy,” says your child. Instead of saying “It’s okay, let it go,” you could say “Oh, that’s hard. That must hurt. Let me give you a hug? After the hug, ask – “Did you perhaps speak to your friend and ask why he/she did that? Is she hurt by something you did? Now that you are yet to submit the craft for the school project, have you thought about how and when you will make another one?” Initially, your number of guiding questions would be more. Once your kids get used to this problem-solving attitude and thinking pattern, they will do the thinking on their own. You just be there for them.
3. Start small. Begin by helping your kids solve small issues. Like fixing a broken toy, helping an ailing dog, working on school projects on their own. These are small issues. Once your kid gains confidence, you can let them take on bigger issues. Like thinking of ways to save up money to fix their malfunctioning phone, thinking of how to get out of a trouble that they got into, deciding on how to mend their habits, figuring out how to enjoy their summer.. Once your kids master this “I can” attitude and learn to solve issues, there is no stopping them from soaring high in their lives. To end this blog, here is a list of benefits that happens when our kid becomes a problem solvers:
- They develop confidence.
- They do not get anxious easily.
- They are success and solution-driven. Exactly the kind of people that everyone wants on their team.
- They are happier and kinder individuals.
- They become emotionally strong
- They do not get stuck in a negative thought rut
- They will always find their way, and lead a joyful life.
What do you think? Do you want your kids to be problem solvers? What kind of problem solving works for you that you would pass on to your kids? Want to learn good parenting skills?