Being a parent brings huge responsibilities. As my boys get older I am becoming more and more aware of this. Isaiah is 5 now and has recently started School. With this has come a whole new range of children’s problems, worries and possibilities to consider.
Just before the School year started I found myself kind of mourning the fact that I could no longer shelter and protect my first born from the world. Once he stepped inside the school gates I was going to lose some of that control. Although I was so excited for him to start this new chapter in his life I was absolutely terrified.
What scares me the most is his vulnerability and inexperience of the world. It’s totally inevitable that things are going to happen at school – whether it’s with his school work, teachers or friends – that he is not going to like. He will face dilemmas, situations that make him uncomfortable and moments that he will remember for the rest of his life that are good and bad.
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Of course I haven’t told him this. They will happen when they happen and we can’t protect our kids from them. What we can do is think about how we respond to our children’s problems when they come home in tears or full of worry.
My Husband and I can be pretty different in out views of how to handle things. This is true for our own troubles and worries as well as our children’s problems. I used to think that we had to always 100% agree on the advice that we gave our boys but lately I have realised that isn’t the case at all. In fact, I think that offering two different types of advice to a child can be very beneficial.
Instead of one of the boys coming to us, telling us his problem and us responding by saying “this is what you should do/ say/ think” we can offer some alternatives. I will tell him what I would do/ say/ think and my Husband can tell him what he would do/ say/ think. On top of this though I do think it is then important to explain why we would do what we say.
In doing this I think it teaches my Son that there is not always one simple solution to fix things, that different methods work better for different people and most importantly it opens up his mind to think for himself. He has to consider what we have said, think about what will work best for him and in doing so may even think of his own solution that better suits him that we can then talk about together.
I don’t want to add confusion to an already possibly stressful situation so it really has to be a case by case situation and of course, this isn’t always going to be appropriate. More serious situations may need immediate action taken by a Parent for example. I just think it’s important that as Parents we don’t just assume we know best and that our advice is what is 100% right for each situation. I think we should try to encourage our children to think for themselves and try to work things out for themselves, alongside our support and guidance.
What are your thoughts? How do you manage your Children’s Problems?