We’re Raising Problem Solvers

We’re Raising Problem Solvers

by | Sep 17, 2021 | Parenting Adolescents, Trending, Tween Times


When we notice the trash can is not on the curb, and it’s our child’s responsibility to get it there, which prompt is the most useful to solve the problem?

  1. “You didn’t take out the garbage this morning.”
  2. “Why didn’t you take out the garbage this morning?”
  3. “It’s garbage day, and the can isn’t on the curb.”

The answer is Number 3 – “It’s garbage day, and the can isn’t on the curb.” The garbage can’s location is the problem, not your child. This perspective opens the door for them to respond with:

“Oh, yeah, I forgot.”

“I’ll do it now.”

“That sounds like a reminder.”

“I’m on my way.”

“Is today Tuesday?”

We must keep in mind that our child, the owner of the chore, is the solution – the one who will transport the garbage can. Our job is to empower their ownership, responsibility, and accountability.

Unfortunately, our frequent go-to is finger-pointing at our child for not completing the chore. Prompts number one and two, above, can cause our child to feel guilty or put them in a position to defend themselves. Neither of these approaches gets the trash out to the curb. They can cause unnecessary conflicts. No child, or us either, wants to be identified as the problem, let alone hear our first, middle, and last name in CAPITAL LETTERS.

The difference in perspective matters. When we are solution orientated, we inspire our children to be proactive problem solvers. Seeing themselves as the answer rather than the obstacle builds their confidence and nurtures their positive sense of self.




©JoAnn Schauf, MS, LLC Your Tween & You  2021 All rights reserved