“Who Owns the Problem?”
Like many parents we have a tendency to try to save our children from discomfort and negative experiences. Some experts would call this being a helicopter parent, hovering near by ready to swoop in and save the day. Unfortunately, this practice sets the child and the parent up for failure over the years. The child learns that my parent will save the day no matter what poor choices I make. It may seem like not a big deal when they are little but it’s quite different when they are 22 years old or better yet in the 40’s. The parent on the other hand will find themselves anxiously awaiting the next calamity when they will need to foot the bill or fix the situation.
A healthy parenting tool is to begin by asking yourself whose problem is it really. Then instead of engaging the problem, ask the child in a loving way how they could fix it? It amazes me how resourceful children are. When given the opportunity they can solve problems and figure out how to fix situations and make things right. Depending on their age they will need some coaching but they will not need you to save the day. They just need the opportunity, support and love. A little bit of discomfort because of poor choices can teach us a great deal that can help us in the real world.