November 22, 2013 3:26 pm
Updated: November 22, 2013 10:48 am

Parenting is about focusing on the solution

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“In order to realize our deepest desires, it is essential to identify exactly what we want and stay focused on that intention with dedication, focus, and awareness.”
~ Deepak Chopra

In our day-to-day parenting journey, it can be really easy to get bogged down in the challenges of what didn’t work.

We were late again today.

She left her dirty laundry all over the floor!

Will the dishes ever make it into the dishwasher?

I would rather not get up than have that same argument again today.

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There are always things that don’t work. In fact, just when we’ve worked out a solution to a behaviour issue, our kids will likely hit a development change and a brand new challenge will come right along. There will be challenges for as long as there are children around.

Challenges help us grow – we definitely need to be aware of them. Then, we need to spend our time and effort focusing on the solution rather than the problem.

How versus why

It is fine to know why something happened, in fact, if easily determined, a “Why” can be helpful. We just can’t spend a lot of time and focus there. That’s where we get bogged down. Ever been stuck here?

“Why won’t she listen to me?”

“Why can’t he get ready on time?”

“Why don’t I know how to fix this? If I were a better parent, I could do this!”

Once we move to “how”, we are on our way to a solution – “How do we make this better?” “How do we stop that from ever happening again?” Asking ourselves these questions takes us out of the mud and gets us moving on a clear path forward. We are now focusing on the solution which will help us to get where we intend to go.

Better yet – asking our kids these “How” questions is way more productive than asking a “Why” question, in which the answer is most often, “I don’t know.”

When we ask “How?” we tell our kids that we are looking forward to things being better. We tell them that there is hope and that we believe that they can make a better choice. Our kids need us to believe in them.

Wherever we steer, that’s where we’ll end up!

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