Next time your child is in the throes of frustration, remember this simple prompt:
What can we do to solve the problem?
Most problems can be sorted in to big deals or little deals. A big deal might be a friend who is unkind during a playdate. A little deal might be a spill or an accidentally broken toy. Either way, these problems can be solved.
It might look like this:
child spills milk ( Panic ensues. Milk is on the table, on the floor, and on his shorts!)
You: “Uh oh! That’s not a big deal! Spilling milk is a little deal. What can we do to solve the problem?”
This is good time to hand child some paper towels and assist him in clean up. When this is complete, validate! “See – you solved the problem! Spilled milk is a little deal. All you have to do is clean it up!”
Teaching your child to have perspective and solve a problem is a huge gift. It may be one of the most important life skills you can give him. But it takes lots of practice and patience. So next time you rush to solve a problem for your child, first ask how he would solve it and offer to solve it together!
Let Them Fly!