Quick Tip

Find a Real Problem to Fix

Some people are “problem-solvers,” and they love to find solutions to puzzles. They tend to be great strategists and resourceful fixers. They pride themselves on the accomplishment of helping others. They find real problems to fix.

The problem is that when there are no problems that actually need to be solved, these people tend to create them to keep life interesting for themselves. It can leave a whole lot of drama in its wake and put a lot of unnecessary pressure on others.

So the tip this week is simple: Pay attention to the “problem” you're trying to solve and make sure it actually wants your attention.

Get clear on:

  • What is the actual problem?
  • In what way is it a problem?
  • Who is it impacting?
  • Whose responsibility is it, really?
  • What will happen if you do nothing?

By getting clear on those questions, we are evaluating if this is really a real problem to fix or not.  We often discuss the phrase “taking aim.” And that means taking aim on really little details. Really look at the details of the issue to determine if it actually warrants our attention or if it is something we can let go of. 

It's easy for us, as parents, to feel like we're supposed to tackle every problem our kids face. And it's even easier to expect them to do everything we ask, independently and without any pushback.

Would be nice in an ideal world. But that's not how any kids are really wired, certainly not independent ones!

You might be surprised to learn that, with a little patience, the “problem” will work itself out. Or, better yet, your child will figure out what to do to fix things!

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