No this isn't Jeopardy, although I do like that game show.
This is for all of us "fix it" parents.
Yesterday someone wrote a short little posting about her son that was 10 lines on her blog. I proceeded to write 29 lines of comment that was as clear as mud. I am so glad she questioned me for more explanation and I proceeded to write another 30 lines explaining my first comment. That was so valuable for me, it reminded me that fixing something is not always a solution. Also, brevity has never been my strongest trait.
Problem solving is one of our highest values as fix it people. We were trained to solve problems in school we carried skill that into our life and then in our career we find ourselves enrolled in multiple seminars and classes to enhance our problem solving. Eager to demonstrate our skill and mastery we jump at the chance to solve problems, not just our own but others problems too. This is noble, we do these things with the best of intentions. Never ever stopping to consider the consequences of our actions.
Eventually we get to the point that when we don't have enough problems to solve we look for problems. Our life evolves into one of endless crisis and rescue. At some point even "fix it" people tire of the treadmill. How do you get off the merry-go-round?
As this relates to my son and his addiction even dumb old me began to realize my son was asking for answers and solutions because he had no learning, experience or desire to solve the problems facing him. All of his life I had been his answer person. I solved all the problems no matter if it was him when he was addicted or before he was an addict. I had been robbing him of his learning and life experience in an effort to make, "our kids have it better than us."
It's hard for us "fix it" people to look beyond answers and solutions. Answers and solutions are so easy for us. What's much harder for us, but more rewarding for everyone when we think about and ask the right questions. We have to learn to move past the "what" questions that will solve the problem or crisis to the more important "why" question. Why do we have this issue facing us, why is the help being ask, why do others not have the skill or knowledge to solve this problem. The "why" question is the question that enables learning and allows everyone to grow.
Took me a long time to figure out there are consequences for me by solving problems and assuming the role of Mr. Fix It. For many years I have quoted a line I heard someplace and have no idea to whom to give credit but I now understand its meaning and I don't just quote it in jest; "No good deed goes unpunished."