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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

Let Children Solve their Own Problems

Image of a child in front of a chalkboard with a light bulb drawn on it. The light bulb symbolizes the child having an idea.

Always encourage children and students to look to themselves to solve problems, rather than relying on others. This is critical because many well-meaning parents and teachers too often do things for children that they could and should be doing themselves.

Never take on a young person’s problems if he or she is capable of meeting the challenge. The reason is that every time you solve a problem for someone who is capable of solving the problem without you, you are depriving the person of an opportunity to become more responsible. In addition, the person misses the satisfaction that arises from success.

As it has been aptly said, “If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” If today’s youth are to learn how to become responsible, they must experience responsibility. When they have a problem, rather than solve it for them, ask, “What do you suggest?” and “Do you want me to do it, or can you handle it yourself?” Invariably, the young person will come up with a solution that doesn’t involve the adult.

Start with empathy before referring to the child’s handling the situation. It can sound something like this: “I know it is hard; the same thing happened to me when I was younger. But what would an extraordinary person do in this situation?” Elicit a solution so the person gains confidence to handle future similar situations.

The more you trust others to not only handle but also solve the problems they are capable of solving, the more responsible they’ll become in all areas of life.

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Live Without Stress

Teaching, parenting, and simply living can be stressful at times. That’s why I wrote my newest book Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. If you’re looking for stress management advice, check it out. The book is available as a print book (Buy one and get a second copy free to give as a gift), as an eBook, and as an audio book at PiperPress.com.

 

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
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