What To Avoid If You Want To Raise A Problem Solver

3 important behaviors parents should avoid if you want to raise a child who is a creative problem solver.

I was first introduced to Mariah a couple of months ago when I saw her post in a Facebook group about a free webinar she was doing on helping our kids become creative problem solvers.  The idea intrigued me and as I listened to the call I knew I wanted Mariah to come on my blog and share her amazing insights.  She does a great job of sharing real life examples and empowering parents and caregivers to teach their kids that they can be creative problem solvers.  But first, there are some things we really should be avoiding if we want to raise problem solvers.  I’ll let her take it from here!

Hey there, mighty Moms! I’m Mariah with Be Mighty Mentoring & it’s splendid meeting you here today. I’m going to assume that we’re somewhat alike and motherhood has kicked your trash a time or two–or even a time or two x 92. Am I right? These kids we’re raising, although loved beyond belief, didn’t come with all their capabilities in place. That means it falls on us to teach them. It can be easy to show patience while they learn to walk or read, or dress themselves, but it’s not as easy to show patience when they lack the ability to solve a problem. Specifically, I want to speak about the the ability to solve an emotional issue. We all have emotions. Nothing is wrong with having emotions, but usually it’s the things we do while having a strong emotion that will cause issues. When we get frustrated we may yell at our kids. When we’re sad, lonely, or restless we may retreat and not be present for those that need us. Our kids are no different. They experience emotions & don’t know how to resolve them yet. You can be their greatest teacher.

Let’s discuss 3 reasons why we might be struggling to do this:

We’re all walking around with a system of beliefs that determine our actions. This system is formed by beliefs we’ve gathered over the years and a belief is simply a thought you’ve repeated over time. The trouble is, some of these beliefs don’t serve us or the people we’re trying to raise. I’ve listed a few misguided beliefs below that I think are driving our actions and preventing us from teaching our children to solve their own problems.

We want to make it easy for them 
We go to great lengths to prevent our kids from experiencing negative emotion. It’s ok if your kids are frustrated. I promise–it’s actually ok if they are frustrated, sad, angry, or upset and you don’t need to talk them out of it. Practice saying these things to them, “it’s okay that you’re sad. I’m here if you need me.” “I can see you’re upset.” “That’s frustrating isn’t it?” The more they are equipped to label what they’re feeling, the better they will become at processing what they are feeling & solving their own problems. I call this exercise “Name it to Tame it”. Neuroscience backs up this approach because brain imaging has shown the brain’s ability to call on the prefrontal cortex, where reason and logic happens, when emotions are named or labeled.

It’s more convenient to solve the problem for them 
I’m a lover of efficiency, so I get the desire to place this high on your value list. But, our children are not here to make our life easier (duh, right?). Too often, though, we have an agenda, and when their needs and issues get in the way, we try to quickly fix it and move on. We’re more concerned with life being easy in this moment than we are with helping them solve a problem, which is happening in our subconscious–so we have to bring our awareness to it in order to fix it. Try connecting with them in their moment of need next time. Let them feel whatever they are feeling, even if it’s inconvenient to you, and most importantly, comfort them. It’s okay for them to experience hard things, you’d be surprised how comforting them will reap far more benefits than a consequence. The more comfort and validation you provide, the more they will build the confidence needed to solve their own problems.

3 important behaviors parents should avoid if you want to raise a child who is a creative problem solver.

We are unaware of our own emotional chaos
If you find yourself frustrated often, yelling too much, or numb and not as present as you’d like to be, there are likely some beliefs you’re carrying around and parts of your self-concept that you could bolster to have more peace and joy in your home. Do some work on yourself and explore what could be changed to achieve better results. Let’s be honest, I’m doubtful that anyone ever helped you through your own negative emotions. This likely means that you’re doing what the majority of people are doing by default–dumping them on your children or spouse. When you calm the chaos within you, you’ll turn into a parent that responds with compassion rather than reacting with impatience. This then, will empower your children to do the same. If they knew better, they would do better. Look at their extreme emotional outbursts as a deficit rather than a willful rebellion. They are not manipulating you. They are not acting out just to be difficult. They need help. You are the help. Your kids will model you as you learn to manage and master your own emotions.

**I loved being here today. If you are aching for more, jump over to my website and claim the FREE assessment to find out if you’re raising a problem solver. Included are 3 more tips on how to start raising problem solvers OR, if what you’ve read resonates with you, let’s talk. I offer FREE 30 min sessions to those that are looking for more guidance on how to love your life in every role you play–even, and most importantly, as a mom to kids that don’t know how to solve their problems yet. Go to www.mariahwickham.com & click Work With Me. Also, I host a Facebook group called Moms Gone Mighty and share tips and encouragement with that community throughout the week. Come join the mighty movement!

Mariah Wickham - 3 important behaviors parents should avoid if you want to raise a child who is a creative problem solver.


Seriously, I want to give Mariah a big THANK YOU for guest posting for me today.  Every time I listen to her or read her posts, she empowers me to do better.  You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see more of her uplifting posts.

Of the three obstacles listed above, which one do you struggle with most?


Hi! I’m Shani,

A stay-at-home mom of 4 and wife. I love sharing easy to follow craft tutorials, kid activities, family-friendly recipes, organization, travel and motherhood. I hope you’ll feel uplifted and empowered by each post, regardless of what kind it is. Join me as I raise my little munchkins and share the sunshine in this beautiful, crazy thing called life! Read more...

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  1. These are great points! I think I struggle the most with just wanting to solve the problem myself because it's easier. I'm busy and tired and pretty much with all things in life, it's usually just easier and less frustrating if I deal with something myself, you know?

  2. Wow! This is so insightful and thought provoking. I will have to read over it a few times to try to absorb all the wisdom here.

  3. Such good ideas! I find it's so much easier to do things too- I have to really focus, slow down, and breathe to let things take longer. Great things to think about!

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