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Empower Your Bond: 5 Problem-Solving Approaches for Mothers and Tween/Teen Daughters

 

Hi, Brave friends!

In this blog post, I'll share five choices that can help you and your tween or teen daughter effectively work through problems.

Do you often find yourself or your child struggling to solve problems? 

It's important to approach problem-solving from a bigger perspective, enabling us to explore different choices and move forward rather than getting stuck in the details.

Choice #1 - Fix the Problem:

When facing a problem, the first choice is to focus on finding a solution. It might require thinking creatively and coming up with unique approaches. Often, we tend to feel overwhelmed and frustrated for longer than necessary. Encouraging your daughter to believe in herself and her problem-solving abilities is crucial. Allowing her to solve the problem on her own is equally important.

Choice #2 - Change Your Attitude:

Sometimes, the problem lies not in the situation but in how we perceive it. By changing our attitude and looking at the problem from a different perspective, we often realize that it's not as impossible as we initially thought. It's important to take time to reflect, take a break, and approach the problem with a fresh mindset. This shift in attitude can make us feel more in control and optimistic about the experience.

Choice #3 - Accept the Situation:

In some cases, we may encounter problems that cannot be solved. These could be circumstances beyond our control, such as an illness, the challenges brought by COVID, or online schooling. When faced with such situations, it's crucial to learn how to accept them, release any negativity associated with them, and move on to focus on more positive aspects of life. Staying stuck in a negative mindset and dwelling on what we've lost doesn't solve the problem; it only keeps us trapped in a negative space.

Choice #4 - Stay Miserable:

Believe it or not, some people choose to stay miserable when confronted with a problem. Even when a problem has a potential solution, they consciously decide not to pursue it. Similarly, if a problem cannot be fixed, they refuse to accept it. Instead, they allow themselves to stew in negative emotions and unhappiness. It's important to help your daughter understand that this is not a productive or healthy approach to problem-solving.

Choice #5 - Make It Worse:

Sometimes, when we are reactive and triggered by a problem, we inadvertently make it worse. Our strong emotional reactions can escalate a minor issue into a major one. Continually engaging in this pattern affects us and the people around us, including our children. It's important to help our kids understand where they have power and control, especially in how they choose to think about and approach a problem.

In addition to these five choices, I want to share two additional strategies to assist you in guiding your daughter through problem-solving.

Connection-Seeking Behavior:

Instead of labeling certain behaviors as "attention-seeking," consider reframing them as "connection-seeking."

By doing so, you shift your perspective and approach problems from a place of understanding your daughter's needs and desires. It's essential to avoid dismissing her experiences as mere overreactions and instead explore what she may seek or need in those moments.

The Anger Iceberg:

When your daughter expresses anger or frustration, it's important to recognize that there are often underlying emotions beneath the surface.

The "Anger Iceberg" concept illustrates this well.

While anger may be what we see on the surface, underneath lies a range of emotions such as embarrassment, confusion, guilt, or fear. You can support your daughter more effectively by acknowledging and addressing these underlying feelings.

I recommend exploring resources like the Anger Iceberg from the Gottman Institute to assist you and your daughter further. This resource provides a visual representation of emotions that can help your daughter better understand her feelings. 

If your daughter's problem is dealing with conflict in her friendships, I have another tool that may help her, the Friendship Conflict Iceberg. Uncover friendship drama's hidden depths with this PDF, helping your daughter gain insights into conflict and navigate relationships with clarity.

Remember, as parents, we play a crucial role in helping our children develop problem-solving skills. By providing guidance, support, and encouragement, we empower them to face problems confidently. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. 

Take care, dear friends, and keep living life bravely!

Warm regards,
Laura Hayes
Founder of The Brave Girl Project

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