As our kiddos get older and are figuring “stuff” out, it’s a privilege for us when they come to us as parents for our help. Also as parents, we often want to solve all of our kids’ problems; from talking to that stinker’s mama who said those hateful things to our baby (12 year old), or swooping in and explaining to the teacher why our kiddo made all of those mistakes on the last test. This is a part of parenting: wanting to protect and guide our children. However, as they get older they begin to develop their own problem solving skills. This means that our role gets to change. I have one great question that you can use with your kids to help you as a parent know what your child may need in those moments.
“Do you need me to give advice, get involved or listen?”
Let’s break this down a little.
Give Advice- Do you need my advice or guidance? Do you want to hear what I would do in this situation or what I think would be a great option for you to do? This gives our kids permission to say “Yes, I need to know what to do!” or “Nope! Not today.”
Get Involved- Do you need me to intervene? Do you need me to call the school and tell them what actually happened? Do you need me to step in and help you get this problem resolved?
Listen- Do you need me to just listen? *Spoiler alert* Honestly this is the one they need the most AND it’s the hardest for parents sometimes. Our tweens and teens are growing and they may just need you to bite your tongue, drink that warm beverage and give them your undivided attention. They need you to be their safe place to go.
As our kids grow up they will make mistakes, they will do the wrong thing, and make the wrong choice. They will be put in hard places with friendships and relationships and school. As parents we get to help guide them. When we are privileged enough, we get to be the safe place they come to talk.
Author: Meagan Jackson, LPC-S, RPT-S
Think you might need some help figuring out if it’s time to guide or intervene, we can help.