Are You a Sounding Board or a Sponge?

When your children come to you with problems, what do you typically do? Do you try to find a solution to their problem or do you simply listen and leave finding a solution up to them? You may find your natural reaction is to help your children find a solution and even believe this is your responsibility.

However, when you take on finding solutions to your children’s problems, you become a sponge for their problems instead of a sounding board. The biggest risks in being a sponge are that your children learn to rely on you for solutions instead of themselves and that you become overwhelmed with trying to solve their problems.

The next time your children come to you with a problem, try listening and asking them what they think they are going to do about it. Help them think through the consequences of different solutions and then leave the choice of how to solve the problem up to them.


Kristen said...

My kids still need a little help coming up with solutions (ages 3 and 6), but we definitely let them start the ideas and then just nudge them along as they figure it out :)

Kathy Slattengren said...

It's wonderful that you're starting this when they're young Kristen. Soon they'll be able to figure solutions out on their own - and that certainly makes our jobs as parents much easier!

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