Whose problem is it anyway? Who owns this problem? Parenting can be challenging at any age, and sometimes it moves over into parenting adult children, or grandchildren. So, don’t assume you’re not still raising good humans because there aren’t any little fellows wandering around your home every day.
The influence you have over the good people in your coffee shop might be as intense as the influence you had over your child “back in the day”. I find it tiring to think of all the people that have brushed past me in a lifetime and been influenced by my reaction to their personal woes, when I’m reading a book such as Hunter’s Raising Good Humans. Even now, I find myself abruptly reprimanding a stranger who issues a sharp word to another.
Often, with a reminder, “A gentle voice turns away strife.”
I fell in love with the idea that we don’t have to fix problems that belong to someone else, even our children. What a freeing concept for any parent. Sometimes, the problem needs to be fixed by the person who owns the problem, and not by the parent.
To define this, the author told a story about a backpack left in the hallway – the problem belongs to me, not the child. The child doesn’t care that the house isn’t neat and tidy. I do. On the other hand, the child might care when they can’t find their backpack or have it ready to take to school the next morning. Making the problem belong to the right person is a big key to solving problems.
A child having a disagreement at school isn’t your problem, it’s theirs. Allowing them to own it, then find the solution is a great way to teach children to handle their own issues.
Giving your child suggestions, ideas, and confidence to handle their own problems is a big step toward raising independent and capable young adults with confidence in their own abilities. That bit of wisdom is spectacularly well positioned as a great takeaway from reading the book!
So, this book teaches you to slow down when the meltdown starts. Yours or theirs, and assess the situation. Decide who owns the problem and react accordingly, but not with a meltdown. Calm, reassuring tones often prevent meltdowns from children.
Instead of screaming about the milk that got spilled, if you just grab a towel and start wiping it up, or helping to wipe it up, while calmly encouraging your child not to “get upset over spilled milk” then you’ve solved two problems. Cleaned up the mess. Prevented a meltdown.
I recommend this book because there’s a solid basis of information that helps people to relate to other people. But even more, I recommend it because it helps people to adjust their own thinking, take responsibility for their thoughts, responses, and ideas, and move through the problem instead of being stuck in overt actions that really don’t benefit anyone.
Jan Verhoeff, posted by Garth Thomas