We all learn best from our own trial and error, and making mistakes. The challenge of solving problems is to understand that there can be different ways to SEVERAL solutions and sometimes, as the Zen quote reminds us, “There is no solution–seek it wisely.”
One of the most valuable roles an adult has in a child’s life is to guide him or her to develop patience and to tap into his or her own creativity. When they do this they are more likely to tap into their unique inner and outer strengths and resources to approach challenges. If we do things for them they will miss the growth opportunity to feel joy, competence, and accomplishment when they solve a problem. They also need to have the experience of finding an answer that doesn’t work and then, perhaps, going back to square one to begin again. Frustrating? Yes. Important lesson? Yes. They can understand the value of sticking with something through a difficult time. This is an important life lesson. We Encourage. We Guide. We Teach. We offer space for the child to explore.
How can we prepare kids to be ready for this? Start early and offer age appropriate opportunities to help themselves and others. Kids need to do chores. They need to understand how things work. Ultimately they will need to understand how to support themselves so helping them get there is the adult’s job. They will need to how to live on a budget, do the laundry, prepare healthy food, set up and show up on time for appointments, and take care of themselves if they have a cold!
They need to learn to take care of other people. They need to learn what to do in an emergency, and be able to understand what the options are at any given time. They need to know how to work on a team, how to lead, how to follow
and how not to expect that someone is always going to pick up after them.
There are a many ways to raise children who feel competent and good about themselves. Among the most important gifts we can offer our children is to raise them to be caring, loving, and empathetic, kind, compassionate, independent adults.