Monday, January 23, 2012

from the desk of... De-stress: The power of "Not my problem"

Need to find some extra brain energy? Try the ‘not my problem’ method. I picked this lovely gem up while working for a local artist group a few years back. Guess the admin guy really knew how to delegate because this was his common answer and I have to say I can see why it works so well.

I began using it mentally at first as a self check. Quick example: Why again was I worrying if the kidlet could not find the toy he wanted. He had plenty of toys if the one in question was never found again.

It's kinda of blunt to think this way but the goal is to reduce the frustration all around for everyone involved. Kidlet has a habit of not putting his toys away and then freaking out when he can’t find them back again. By not buying into the hype of “Oh my gosh! Missing toy!” I am reducing the urge to frantically search for or fix issues which I really have no business trying to solve. I do communicate beyond "sorry, not my problem" by suggesting things he can do to resolve the issue himself. Yes, the kidlet gets disappointed but eventually he either find the item, usually in a very obvious place, or he would give up and play with something else.

It sounds harsh but after a while you have to cut back on what qualifies for panic mode and what doesn’t. In this situation I would have been the one actually looking while he aimlessly followed me through the house, which doesn't actually solve the root problem behind the missing toy. By me not going along with his fretting he has to learn to take better care of his things, become better at looking for lost things or do what he ended up doing anyways which was to go find something else to engage in. It frees up a lot of brain juice when you stop worrying about fixing everyone's problems.

... and since many adults do in fact act like children this method can easily be applied in the grown-up world as well ;)

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