Oh, if only we could squish out all our problems. Don’t we all think AND believe, “If everyone would just do as I say, then we wouldn’t have any problems.” Seriously?!
However, let me give you a mind bender, a real thinker. Could it be that problems are where it’s AT? Hear me out people, don’t click away quite yet. Problems are where we find the humility, the stretch, the new, and the bold. We need the April Showers to get to the May Flowers part of the situation.
Toddler Tantrums: Gives us practice in accepting the moment, noisy as it may be. Helps us handle someone else’s strong emotions without taking it personally. Opens our eyes to the child that is becoming right in front of us. No longer a baby, the tantrums lead us to give our toddler positive power, train them in helpful tasks (sorting socks, folding napkins, holding the grocery list).
Elementary School Age - Waking Up on Their Own: Allows us to practice letting go (good to practice before we get to the tween/teen years). Gives us practice in observing the child that actually lives with us. Do they wake up to the alarm? Do they need two alarms? Do they need to go to bed earlier? Do we need to uphold screen limits more stringently? All these things are better to learn when our child is 8, 9 or 10 then waking them up until they go to college and THEN . . . BOOM, they have to learn what kind of waker-upper they are. Better to be late for 3rd grade a few times then miss ½ a semester of 8am expensive Philosophy 101 classes because they don’t know how to wake up.
Tween/Teen Device Wars: Allows the tween/teen to practice independence. We can grapple with our values, with our opinions about screens. A time to consider handing responsibility for paying for the device to the teen. Illuminates OUR relationship to devices (may be just as monkey mind as the teen, checking, re-checking, posting, liking).
Problems help us understand ourselves. Problems help us define, refine and uphold our values. Problems are to be shared. Avoid the habit of heavy lifting all alone. When we work alone in problem solving we lose out on creativity, camaraderie, energy and inspiration. Problems are like the rain that washes away the pollen, the wind that blows the leaves out of your yard, the summer storm that sweeps away the humidity. It sucks when it’s happening and we feel fresh and new when it’s done.