Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.
~Gilbert Keith Chesterton
It’s tempting to jump in and rescue our kids when they have problems, but it’s better for everyone involved to teach them how to find their own solutions. While it may be hard to see them struggle, there are many benefits to including them in the problem-solving process:
- They are then more likely to abide by the decisions;
- It helps them to be resilient and flexible;
- They learn that problems are surmountable and that they can deal with them;
- It decreases tension in families when parents include kids in helping to resolve conflict.
Let’s say, for example, your son repeatedly forgets his lunch. Even though it might be easier for you to figure out how to resolve the issue, it would not give him the opportunity to practice being a problem-solver. By allowing your son to have input into deciding how to remember his lunch, you enable him to become an assertive and responsible person. In other words, you didn’t free the camel from his hump; you taught him how to live with it!
By Claire Gawinowicz, Certified Parenting Educator