Sometimes, with the best of intentions, parents impede their child’s growth by putting themselves in the middle of their child’s problems. It is important to resist the temptation to steal our child’s struggles because we all learn from our mistakes.

It is a gift to our children when we let them know they have ability and can always look to themselves first for the answers to their problems. Kids who think “I can figure this out” become survivors with an edge in learning and relating to others. Children will never be quite satisfied when we solve the problems that they could have handled on their own.

Remember too that anger doesn’t help. If a child forgets to bring homework from school or loses a book, getting angry won’t be helpful and gives the wrong message. You want your child to learn a lesson from the consequences of his or her mistake rather than be consumed with feelings of anger.

When kids deal directly with their own problems, they are motivated to solve them. They know that if they don’t solve their problems, nobody will. And kids will feel much better about themselves when they handle their own problems.

More to consider: When to step in . . .

Occasionally, we do need to step in and help our children with problems. We step in when

our children are in danger of losing life or limb.
they are making a decision that might affect them for their lifetime.
our children know they are in a situation they can’t handle by themselves—and they know that we know they can’t handle the situation by themselves.
our children’s problems are our problems, such as when they are disrespectful, disregard agreed-upon chores, or behave inappropriately in public.