Thought I’d open a most important topic of solving daily problems with little kids/tweens and teens!
Often we as parents seem to provide al the solutions:
"Why don’t you do this or why don’t you do that";
"I think this is the best thing for you because blah blah blah" and so on….;
"Give her back the toy";
"Stop hitting your brother";
"Go to your room", etc.
When two 5 year olds were fighting over a toy recently, knowing this was ‘their problem’ not mine i sat them both down and said:
"You two girls seem to want the same doll, is that right?"
Both nodded their heads to indicate yes, whilst sulking.
"We have a problem here as we only have one doll and I’m wondering how you two can work it out so that both of you get a turn with the doll? I think you girls are smart enough to come up with a good idea!"
I think the word ‘smart’ did it!
"I know I know" yelled one, putting her hand up like she does in school – "What if Jessica plays with it after I put dolly to bed"
"Huum….that’s one idea that could work, what do you think Jessica"?
"Well can I watch Amy’s dvd while she is playing with the doll?"
"Okay that too sounds good to me, why don’t you ask Amy this, see she thinks?"
Now that I got them chatting instead of fighting, I left them both work it out, after all, I don’t need to take on their issues!! Kids’ problems belong to them, let them work it out….and they are pretty smart and know what they want. Ten minutes later, they were both outside playing and chatting whilst the sad doll lay on the floor, all but forgotten! Still, they got the chance to think out a solution – benefit? the more you do this, kids will find their own solutions rather than fight or come to you for one.
How do you get your kids to work out stuff themselves? What about your teenagers or your tweens? How do you chat with them when they have a problem? Are they missing out on these opportunities because you solve every problem that comes to your home?
It would be good to share on this forum, so that other parents enjoy and learn from… Personally, I don’t believe punishment or naughty-mats work for kids, it just makes them angry. There are so many creative ways to teach kids! As for teenagers, telling them to do something because ‘you say so’ or because you are the parent, makes no sense to them, but a nice meaningful and rational talk adds to their lives and yours, don’t you think?