What if problems didn’t exist for you as a parent? Impossible you say? Would you be willing to discover how to eliminate problems and parent from a different space of possibility?
What is a problem? This was the definition I found when I Googled dictionary meaning of “problem.”
"a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome."
While it wasn’t my intention to project onto my child that HE was the problem, just his behavior, the message that I sent was that he was unwelcome and that HE needed to be dealt with and overcome. As I allow those words to wash over me, I realize how unkind they are and how difficult it must have been for him to feel good about himself. I didn’t stop to consider what was truly going on that caused him to express himself in these ways. It’s not that he planned to be difficult.
This got me to wondering about this word- PROBLEM. And I became aware of how I have used problems in my life to create even more problems. I valued being a wonderful problem solver. I could rise up fix those problems. And doing so, meant that I was of value, needed and this added meaning to my life. It is important to note here that I needed to create problems so that I could feel valued. I needed to create problems and be with people who would give me problems to solve and fix. And I also took on any problems my children created as my job to fix or solve these problems. This job of being a problem solver did not really make my life meaningful. As a matter of fact, it did the opposite.
In order to be a problem solver, I had to judge others about their choices. How they were wrong for making such choices. What they should be doing instead. This allowed me to judge myself as the righteous one, the one who wasn’t doing anything wrong, or at least I didn’t have to look at my own life if I was busy solving the problems of others. What an unkindness to myself and to others!
Being a problem solver also meant that others didn’t get to be empowered to change what wasn’t working in their life. If you find yourself always being the one to fix things or make things better or solve the problems that others create, I invite you to ask yourself if that is truly a contribution to your life and to those you care about.
Problem-free parenting does not mean that there aren’t challenges in life- hurdles to meet and step over. It does mean that we can approach these from a place that will empower us and those that are also affected- our children and other loved ones. It is all in how we respond to it.
What if the word “problem” didn’t exist? What if we just acknowledged what is real and true about a situation without attaching any “problem” energy to it?
As you read through these examples notice the different energy that each statement offers:
- My child has problems with his behavior. Or – My child expresses his frustration by yelling.
- My child has problems with her health. Or - My child’s body is experiencing the symptoms of diabetes.
- My child has problems being motivated or focusing. Or - My child is easily distracted.
- I have a problem getting my child to eat foods that are healthy. Or - My child won’t eat the foods that I offer.
After making these acknowledgments, it isn’t necessary for the child to feel unwelcome or even that the problem is harmful. From here we move onto being curious and asking questions so that we can put focus on dealing with the situation or the choices without dis-empowering the child or even ourselves. As we ask questions, we get to connect with what we know, what else we need to know, what our kids know, what is required, and even what else is possible beyond this that we would never have considered as long as this was a problem.
Let’s play with an example:
I have a problem getting my child to eat foods that are healthy.
Asking questions will give awareness to what is truly going on for the child and give you insight to where you are coming from too. Does his/her body require something different? What do you notice when you force your child to eat when they don’t want to? What are you creating about food in making it a problem? What are your past experiences with food and eating that you are projecting onto your child? Is there a different way to approach food that would allow it to be more enjoyable and not a problem? Ask your child what they know about the food they eat or don’t eat?
In this example there may any number of things going on that won’t be revealed as long as this remains a problem. Stop thinking of it as a problem and see it as an opportunity to empower your child to know more about their body and what it needs, what happens when it eats certain foods. This information will go a long way in guiding a child in making choices now and in the future.
We could go on with more examples, but the main point here is to be aware of what gets created when something becomes a problem? What if parents could experience Problem-Free parenting with their children? What if it is simply a matter of choice in choosing to see it as something different? Would it empower you more or less? Would it empower your children more or less?
For more examples of Problem-free parenting listen to the replay below.
Image by Isa KARAKUS from Pixabay