A wise man once said, “If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” Which has been my motto for, at least the last 10 minutes.
I think my thing is that I tend to work backwards. Like with new computer software, I WILL make that shit do what I want it to do… somehow. I mean it, I WILL get there. You need me to break into your car? Well, I’ve never done that before, but I WILL do it now (true story)!
I pick an end goal, and then start problem solving in order to make it happen. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Am I right, people!?! Or rather, is Lewis Carroll right, people!?! The other thing I tend to do, at least with kids, is to focus on what I can do, and not what I can’t. I can make a whole list of reasons why I can’t do something, believe me. But what good is dwelling on that? None. No good. However, focusing on the things that can be done – even if you aren’t successful – will give you a more positive outcome, ESPECIALLY WITH CHILDREN.
I remember this one time when a seven year old asked me if she could get her “driving license.” The obvious answer, of course, was no. She wasn’t old enough, duh! End of discussion. But I didn’t say that. I explained to her that there are steps to getting a driver’s license. There are things that you need to do first. I told her that she would need to know about traffic laws. That she could get a permit to practice driving at 15 and a half. That she could take driver’s education classes, that she could learn about cars and driving, that she could even save money to buy her own car… blah, blah, blah. Oh man, she was SO excited! She decided that she can watch how other people drive, like her parents, while riding in the car, AND that she would, in fact, be saving her money for a car. From what I could gather, she was A LOT happier than if I had just said, “No, you’re too young.” A little disappointed perhaps, but now she had a goal in mind, and knew what steps she had to take to reach that goal. Then, she went and made a bed for her dolls out of a newspaper and a box of tissues, using only a stapler. Which I thought was pretty cool.
Maybe it’s just me, but what’s wrong with children having ideas, even crazy ideas? Even if your gut reaction is “THAT’S FUCKING RIDICULOUS!” Why wouldn’t you help your little one brainstorm solutions? YOU might think it’s impossible, but what if you tried thinking about what IS possible? Actually… anything is possible. For all you know, that problem has already been solved in another dimension (Personally, I like to think that that is true for all of my own problems). One of my favorite talents is that I can take two completely unrelated events and demonstrate cause and effect. One time I told Chase bank I was late on a credit card payment due to the birth of Jesus. I’ll let you get there on your own, but I made a pretty compelling case. So compelling, in fact, that the guy on the phone was speechless, and apologized to me. He later hung up on me though, after I said I didn’t know what month it was because it’s not like that information is available to just anyone. But I digress… I’m just saying, put your thinking cap on once in awhile, it’s good for you, and you will raise kids who do the same.
If you think about it hard enough, you will find that there is a solution to every problem. Don’t just be the mean old naysayer, be a thinker. Be creative. Think WITH your kids. Brainstorm. Write that shit down if you need to. This is not “extra work”, people, this is parenting. 24/7/365…for the rest of your life (although it will feel like 25/8/one million-billion).
Don’t be afraid, yes parenting is work that you don’t always feel like doing. The good news is that, at times, that’s okay too! (We’ll talk about when don’t nobody got time for that shit another post.)
You don’t have to have all of the answers, but you do need to be willing to think, and to find out.