[SUMMARY]

This week’s best life parenting tip is super simple and fun, but also very powerful. 

It will help you and your children get more control over your lives and happiness.

It will teach your children how to think creatively, problem solve, weigh choices and make decisions, and take control and responsibility instead of blaming and complaining.

You can teach this to children from 2 to 22 and it’s good for everyone else too!

So be sure to watch the video and put this tip into action today!

Remember, as always, that knowing and doing it are two very different things. If you want all of the benefits of this best life parenting tip for you and for your children, you actually have to use the tip!

Enjoy the video and be sure to let us know in the comments what you think of the tip and of course come back after you’ve tried it and let us know how it went!

[TRANSCRIPT]

Here’s a fun tip to try with your children this week. It’s going to help them develop all sorts of skills, and you too. It’s fun, it’s easy and it doesn’t take much time at all and you and your kids can do it no matter how busy you are or your family is.

I’m Cheri Fogarty, founder of The Habit Gratitude Blueprint™ For Busy Families as well as The Best Life Blueprint™ For Busy Families and author of How To Get Happier & More Grateful Children In Just 21 Days, where we show you how to get happier and more grateful children and be happier and more grateful yourself.

This week’s tip is to play a game. I call it a game with my kids. The next time you run into a roadblock or a stumbling block or a problem, or your children do or you all do; come up with 10 solutions to the problem.

I don’t remember, in the hundreds if not thousands of articles, and books, and research studies I’ve read on personal development and parenting and business and everything else over the last 30 years – my passion and what I love – where I first heard that or learned that but I remember learning, and we’ve put this into practice in our home many, many times, that there are always 10 solutions to every problem. 

Now that said, that does not mean that you’re going to like any or all of the solutions. I always tell this to my kids and there have been many times where we’ve come up with 10 solutions to some problem and there’s not one of them any of us want to do. But you’ve got pick one anyway, or come up with more solutions so that there is one you want to do!

So try it this week. It’s super simple. Make it a game, write it down, tick them off on your hand, etc.

Whatever the problem is, think of 10 solutions to it.

Now, as an example, my daughter the other day had a project that was due. She had worked really hard on it, way ahead of time, thought she had given herself enough time, but because she’s a little bit too much of perfectionist – which we’re also working on – she didn’t have anything done and she was really upset.

So we went through this 10 solutions process. We talked about it. We discussed what the options were and I’ll just give you three, I won’t give you all 10 things that we came up with.

One was, to take the extra day, turn it in late and get a lower grade. She didn’t like that option.

One was to turn it in ‘as is’ and then complete the parts that were missing and take a hit on the grade, but maybe not as much. She didn’t like that option either.

Another one was to turn it in ‘as is’, and it was good enough. It might not have been up to her standards, but it was good enough. She didn’t like that option either.

Then we continued through the process of trying to find 10 solutions. 

It turned out that she decided, because she had to pick one even though she didn’t like any of the options, but like we said, “this is the situation, we are in this situation, you can’t change the situation, you can only respond to it. You can only come up with solutions. What are your 10 solutions? Is there one you like?”

There was not one she liked but she picked one anyway. 

As it turned out everything worked out fine. She’s a great student, her teacher loves her, and she works really hard. It was clear to her teacher how much effort she had put in to it and that it was still better than most people’s projects because she did such a good job.

It turned out to be a wonderful experience for her, because here’s the thing: She came up with options, didn’t like any of them but had to pick one, you have to act, you can’t just do nothing….

I even gave her the option of staying home and taking detention because I wouldn’t write her an excuse saying she was sick when she wasn’t. Or missing half a day to finish it and again taking a detention. I didn’t like any of those options but they were part of the 10. She didn’t like those either because she didn’t think that was a good idea and that was fine, and I concurred. But it was an option, right, one of 10 things. We talked them through and it all worked out.

The lessons she learned, among others, was plan further ahead. Don’t plan on finishing the day before if you have a big project, finish the week before! So good lessons there.

But she also learned that even if you don’t like the solutions, that when you come up with them, when you act (take action), then things turn out more often than not. 

Even if she had gotten a ding on her grade or not been able to … and she never did finish it exactly how she wanted to but there was a lesson in that too. Even though it wasn’t up to her standards, and ‘perfect’, (of course there’s no such thing like I always tell her), she still impressed her teacher and her teacher recognized the time and effort she had put in.

There were all sorts of lessons and that’s just one example.

So make it game, make it fun! Maybe you can’t come up with 10, that’s okay, but try for 10 because if you really keep thinking about it more often than not you can. You can make them fun and fanciful too. Come up with some really funny ones.

If it’s a basic problem and you come up with three or four viable solutions, then come up with a few fun ones too. Make it a game with your kids. It doesn’t matter how young they are, it can be any type of problem from not finding the outfit they want to wear, to having an AP Calculus text tomorrow that you didn’t study for, even though you should have! Whatever the case may be.

So that’s it. Super quick tip. Super fun and you can do it no matter how busy you are or your family is. You’re already trying to figure out the problem. And the good thing about this tip also is that what is does is empower your children. Instead of being a victim to circumstance, instead of blaming or complaining, they’re taking control and affecting their destiny. 

So again, my daughter, started the blaming and complaining thing and I was like “whose responsibility was this, to do the project?”

It was hers, 100% I said that complaining about it now serves zero purpose. But isn’t that, for many people, their first inclination, to start blaming or complaining.

But that doesn’t serve any purpose, and nobody want to hear it.

We needed to take action. It was 11:00 at night and she had to go to bed and I wasn’t going to let her stay up all night in 7th grade to do a project. Lessons in that also.

So, blaming or complaining, not taking responsibility, none of those things are good for your kids, but this little tip, as simple and basic as it is, gives your kids more control over their lives and of their happiness because they’re in control. Even if they don’t like the answers, they’re in control.

So use this tip today and let me know what you think about it in the comments below. 

As always, if you want more tips, tools, ideas and strategies for how to get happier and more grateful children and teach your children to create their best lives, head over to CheriFogarty.com after the episode, if you’re not already there, and sign up for email updates, follow us on Facebook or check out any of the links below for additional information.

Thank you so much for watching.

As always, thank you for being a mom or dad and for everything you do to be the best one you can be, including watching this video, including putting these tips into action.

It’s a hard job and I honor you for your commitment to being the best parent you can be!

Remember, we can have happier and more grateful children. We can be happier and more grateful ourselves and we can teach our children, inspire, motivate and empower them, to create their best lives while we create ours.

And we can change the world, one child and one family at a time, because really that’s the only way to do it, one child and one family at a time, starting with our own.

Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you next time.

Cheri

p.s. If you’re tired of all of the entitlement and ingratitude and ready to be an even better parent by teaching your children to be grateful, be sure to check out our exciting new program for teaching kids to be more grateful in just 21 days no matter how busy you are or your family is!

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