The Best Way to Solve Your Child’s Problems

Written by Laura Markham for Aha! Parenting.

Ever notice how kids don’t really want to hear your solutions to their problems? Teenagers, particularly, often react with downright hostility when we give them our good advice. That’s because they need to see themselves as capable. Every time we tell our child how to handle something, we’re implying that he isn’t competent enough to figure it out for himself. We’re undermining his confidence, which erodes his self-esteem.

I know, you thought you were being helpful. And I do believe your advice is wise and would help your child! But kids feel more capable when they get a chance to figure things out for themselves. If you’re like me, that means you might have to bite your tongue sometimes.

That doesn’t mean you can’t help your child solve his problems. But think of yourself as the support person, not the boss.
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