Instead of Fixing Things for Your Kids or Giving Advice…

Text reading "Instead of Fixing Things for your Kids or Giving Advice"

Do you ever offer your kids unsolicited advice or jump right in to help them solve their problems? Yeah, me too. Breaking the habit of trying to fix things for your kid is hard, especially if it was how you were raised.

I’m embarrassed to share how long I’ve been trying to stop doing this. Some days I do well, and other days I snap back into my old habit of offering solutions.

But, as my kids’age, it’s more important than ever that I break this habit. My kids want to be heard and supported by me. They DO NOT want me to get involved, give advice (unless they ask for it) or try to fix things. When I try to fix things, it robs them of the opportunity to learn to fix things themselves. And, not surprisingly, tweens and teens find it highly annoying.

“When I tell my parents about my day, the only thing I want them to say back to me is, ‘That stinks.’”

So this post is another reminder to myself to break this habit. I’m trying to follow these steps instead:

Instead of offering advice, solutions, or trying to fix things for my kids…

  1. Stop
  2. Simply Listen
  3. Empathize and Ask: How do you feel about this? How do you think you should handle this? How can I support you?

Luckily, every day presents a new opportunity to begin again. Wish me luck!

PASS IT ON. Jessica Speer’s weekly BLOG focuses on helping kids and families thrive. Posts offer simple ideas to help kids and families connect & foster healthy relationships. If you know someone who might appreciate this content, please pass it on! Click here to follow blog via email, Facebook or Instagram.


Published by Jessica Speer, Author

Author and Advocate for Kids and Families

4 thoughts on “Instead of Fixing Things for Your Kids or Giving Advice…

  1. Not giving advice is soooo hard! But having three questions to ask instead of barging in may give me a way to hold my tongue, while still feeling like I’m helping. Thanks, Jessica!

  2. It is so hard and our intentions are truly to be helpful. I’ve noticed my kids are reluctant to share when I jump into advice mode, so I’m doubling down on breaking this habit. But is really hard!

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