While the title sounds a bit gangsta (which, by far, I’m not), something I’ve begun to do with my kids, especially when they have a problem, is respond with, “What do you want to do about it?”

For instance:

  • “I didn’t finish my homework.” (What do you want to do about it?)
  • “I’m bored.” (What do you want to do about it?)
  • “I can’t get to sleep.” (What do you want to do about it?)

I wouldn’t respond with this question if it’s an emergency. (“Help, I broke my hand?!”) There are some situations where I, as a parent, need to intervene immediately.

However, there are plenty of times when I don’t need to intervene (like those examples above). For me to immediately step in to solve their problem means 1. I’m taking ownership of it when they should be and 2. I’m taking away their opportunity to resolve it themselves.

So, more and more, I find myself becoming a “What do you want to do about it?” parent. Not because I don’t care, but because my kids are capable of resolving those situations by themselves.

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