05 Jun Is There an Elephant in the Room?
One of the many advantages that come with being “grandma age” is that I have figured out my strengths and weaknesses. I’m grateful for my strengths, and I’m patiently working on my weaknesses. One of my strengths: I don’t ignore the elephant in the room. I remember my mom telling me that recognizing the problem and then focusing time, attention, and ingenuity on solutions can resolve 85% of all difficult situations. The most damaging problems are those that are ignored.
1. Most recently I have watched an aged neighbor and friend as they have prepared to move out of their home. Their age doesn’t allow them to help much. They have six adult children, and all six children live nearby. The problem: Only one daughter is helping with the move. She is frustrated and exhausted.
2. A couple I know is having problems finding time to be alone, communicate, and plan. Their young children have no designated bedtime. These children are often up until 10 or 11 p.m. The problem: The parents are not in control of their children or their time.
3. A forty-year old man who is married with seven children calls home to ask dad for money every month. He and his family go out to eat on a regular basis, and financial planning is something they have never taken the time to figure out. The problem: This forty-year old man has been enabled all his life.
These are real family issues that I have observed in just the last week. Are the solutions going to take some effort to resolve? Definitely! Would the outcome be worth it? Absolutely!
Problem #1. A family meeting of the minds (and bodies) is required, and a division of responsibility needs to be delegated.
Problem #2. As I have said before…parents are in charge. These children can be taught a different bed-time…even if they go to their rooms and read until they fall asleep.
Problem #3. Instead of giving financial aid each month the father needs to sit down with his son and teach him financial responsibility…the income the outgo need to be recalculated.
In any situation…someone needs to be the adult ( and hopefully it IS the adult) who is willing to take charge. I’m surprised at how many people love to talk about the problems they are facing, but how few ever try to solve them. Solutions CAN be found. Like my mother said, “It just takes time, attention, and ingenuity.”