This week’s revelation – When we own the solutions, we own the problems. Parents, too often we jump in and “help” our children. We bring up issues, prompt discussions, weigh in on options, and offer continual reminders – and in doing so we inadvertently take on the weight of our children’s problems until they are resolved. If we want our children to become more independent, we must step back and let them figure things out on their own.
This will come as no surprise to those who know me well, but my default is to intervene when my children struggle. Of course I see it as providing support, but there is definitely something wrong when I obsess more over my kid’s issues than they do. Although this is a normal parent reaction to a certain extent, we should do this less as our children get older.
Problems can become great learning opportunities for our kids when we let them. Rather than always controlling outcomes by being in the driver’s seat, let your children take hold of the wheel while you practice being the supportive passenger. After all, the more we let kids experience the consequences of their choices, the more likely it will be that they learn from them. Period.