Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whose problem is it?

Now that "Anne of Green Gables" is over (Snuggler was Marilla, and Little Guy had a small part) the built-in social outlet of rehearsals needs to be replaced.

I am, admittedly, a woman of minimal motivation when it comes to managing my kids' social lives. For me, playdates are like peanut butter sandwiches: you can make your own, or do without. It's not that I'm insensitive to the social needs of my kids: our schedule includes classes and enrichment activities, and I do negotiate with other moms when complicated logistics are involved. But when it comes to my kids' free time, I am not in charge of making phone calls to see if friends are available. Because I'm not the one who wants to play.

My kids will tell you I am very annoying when they want to make something my problem.Yesterday we were at the library after soccer and Little Guy dropped his tote bag on the floor next to me while he went to get a drink of water. I went to the counter to check out my books, leaving the bag on the floor. A library employee  grumbled something about people leaving their stuff all over the place. I looked up, smiled, and said, "Oh, that's my son's bag. He has this weird idea that I'm going to pick up after him. But as long as I don't let him make it my problem, it's not my problem." She laughed.

The way I figure it, my kids might work to solve their own problems, but they have zero incentive to solve mine. This is probably why they try so hard to transfer their problems to me. And this is why I work so hard not to let that happen. We have a lot of conversations that go something like this:

Child:  I'm hungry!
Mom:  Oh. What are you going to do about it?

Child:  But there's nothing in the house to eat!
Mom:  Hmmm. Sounds like you have a problem.

Child:  But I've looked everywhere!
Mom:  So what's your plan?

Like I said, extremely annoying. But (wink) that's not my problem, is it?


  1. Yes! You don't happen to be a Love and Logic parent?? Fun to read. Put a smile on my face. :o)

  2. I have been reading your Daily Guidepost messages for years and am now a fan of your blog. As a mother of 4 grown children, I really enjoyed today's post.

  3. Ditto to what Sue said. And I really liked your problem solving idea. Wish I had known that when I was raising my kids, but realize I can still use it today w/ them and w/ others. Thank you.

  4. @Kate, I've heard of that book, but never read it.