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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Middle School Makeover Part 5: It’s not your problem



Our last big general advice chapter focuses on handling problems with your teen. Let’s dive right in:

“One of the biggest, most important, and hardest paradigm shifts that comes with parenting a middle school is that you should no longer solve their problems for them” (page 67).

This can be difficult for some parents because it means your child is growing up and becoming more independent. It can be helpful to see this as the remarkable thing that it is. You get the opportunity to teach them to solve problems rather than just tell them how to.

Michelle offers us some problem solving DON’Ts:
     -Don’t solve issues for them
     -Don’t skip empathizing and rush to solution
     -Don’t suggest a solution that would be right for you and not them
     -Don’t blow it off or make it seem unimportant if it matters to them.

She also gives us some tips on how to teach problem solving:
     -Introduce idea before problem occurs
     -Promise to stay calm
     -Promise he/she doesn’t have to take action
     -Get buy-in (ask them to continue to come to you with problems)
**you can also refer to the very helpful flow chart supplied on page 81 for more structure

Remember: even if they don’t choose the best option, their problem solving skills will be strengthened!

Thoughts for Discussion:

How have you tried problem solving with your teen in the past? Has it been successful?

Have you ever struggled to coach your child how to problem solve?

Next week we will begin going through part two of the book and dissecting more specific situations you may come across with your middle schooler. Stay tuned! 

1 comment :

  1. I agree that you can't solve all your kids problems but I think it is important for you to continue to talk to them about their problems. They don't have the experience that we do as parents and they don't always know what is best for them. They have to make mistakes in order to figure that out for themselves.

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