Over the years, I have encountered kids that struggle with how to deal with even the slightest amount of adversity. Some of these were children of parents who tried to build a “problem-free” world for their kid. I have also witnessed kids that navigate challenging situations and come through the experience better because of it. Now I’m not criticizing (and never will) how parents choose to raise their children because my wife and I raised our children the way that we saw best.
But, this is what teenagers have taught me:
We need problems because problems help us to grow! The problems I’m referring to could be really simple, nothing dangerous or crazy. What researchers tell us is that when kids learn problem-solving early in life, they continue on that growth path and become adults who don’t fall apart when facing adversity.
I’m not saying we should create problems just to see if a kid can solve it, but trying to create a “problem-free” world is futile. Failure is a part of life and we all will face it at some time, so why not give kids challenges in an environment of love and acceptance when they are young. Challenge them to get involved with projects that are outside of their comfort zone. They will thank you when they are 25.7 years old.
Hamsight: Don’t solve your kids problems – let them figure out some challenges on their own.
Featured image: Albert Einstein at the age of 3