Focusing on Problems or Solutions?

I don’t know about you—but I can definitely get focused on my kids’ behaviors and problems that we may be facing as a family. Focusing on what is going wrong certainly doesn’t help me to find solutions or come up with creative ways to solve those problems. It’s only after I take the focus off of what I DON’T like that I’m able to focus in on coming up with a creative solution.

I guess it’s really very basic, but I confess that I forget. When it comes to my parenting, even after nearly two decades, I can get totally caught up in a specific behavior or problem—ruminating on the why of it and why it’s wrong or aggravating—even though this doesn’t get me focused on how to fix it.

Now, I know in my head that focusing on solutions to parenting and family issues—whether it’s sorting out schedules, dealing with teachers and coaches, or working on specific behavior issues that pop up with my kids—is much more productive, sometimes it’s tough to get past the problem to actually sort out the solutions.

Sometimes, just getting another prospective helps. As a single parent, I can really get isolated in my independent parenting. Reminding myself to talk things through with a mentor or friend is usually one of the quickest ways to help me remind myself to focus in on a solution and get my brain OFF of fussing over particulars of the problem. Another person’s fresh perspective or even suggestions for possible solutions can be all I need to get back on track.

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that what we focus on grows—so focusing and fussing on problems can actually make them worse. Or at least make them seem unsolvable and overwhelming. As parents, taking our thoughts and energy off the problem and turning our efforts towards solutions will help us be more effective in our parenting!

See Also: Are You Hanging On to Parenting Techniques and Strategy That Don’t Work? and How Many Ways Can We Solve This Problem?