When Problems Come Up, How Do You Handle Them?


Worry (Photo credit: StormKatt)

Article by Wendy McCance

My daughter has a horrible habit.  She worries needlessly.  She has the ability to get wound up easily without thinking about the possibility that there might be a solution to any particular problem.

Today I went with her to register for another year of school.  She was given her schedule and then began to stress out.  She had seen her schedule on the computer a few days earlier.  She had compared notes with some friends who were also anxious to get a jump-start on their schedules.  She had loved the schedule she saw and knew that several friends would be in a few of her classes with her.

The schedule she received today did not show some of the same classes on it as the schedule online.  Immediately she went into doom and gloom mode.  She said that this would be her worst year ever.  The teachers were awful, no one she knew was in her classes and all the extra curricular activities she had picked out weren’t on her schedule.  After I took an extra breath and finished an eye roll, I told her not to worry and that we would figure it all out.

We got home, got on the computer and compared schedules.  Sure enough the schedules were different.  I called the school to find out which schedule we should rely.  We ended up going back up to the school to discuss the schedule in person.  We were able to figure out what her actual schedule was without much effort.

In the midst of my daughter’s doom and gloom moment, she had complained that she would be in a math lab again this year.  She went on and on about the uselessness of the class.  She didn’t understand why she had the lab since she was getting a B in math.  After a while, she mentioned that her 5th grade teacher thought she would benefit from the math lab and put the suggestion in for the middle school to review.  Finally my daughter admitted that although it was, in her opinion a waste of time, she did learn a few things that needed clarification.  She said that after she got that information under her belt, the rest of the year was a waste.

I put in a note for the counselor to give me a call so we could discuss my daughter’s progress and if math lab was a good choice for her to continue in this year.  By this point my daughter saw that I was tackling all of her worries and that everything she had complained about I took seriously and was willing to look into for her.  She understood that she might have a schedule that wasn’t exactly to her liking, but just seeing me take her feelings seriously was enough to calm her down and better deal with the situation.

What I am trying to instill in my daughter is that she needs to go with the flow and calm down.  Things aren’t always going to be exactly the way she might like, but it’s usually not nearly as bad as she makes it out to be.  With a calm head she can work through any situation that doesn’t thrill her and usually come up with some sort of solution that eases the problem.  Once my daughter calmed down and really thought about how she felt, she realized she had overreacted and that life wouldn’t come to an end.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

12 thoughts on “When Problems Come Up, How Do You Handle Them?

  1. Hi Wendy, I believe that since an early age children should learn that “If there is a solution to your problem, why worry; if there is no solution to your problem, why worry?” Instead of feeling like a victim they should look at the adversities as a challenge to be conquered. I’m glad you showed her how to handle this particular “crises”. Good Going. Have you told her what to do with life’s lemons? It is an old saying, but true to the core. Do the best you can with what was dealt to you. Congratulations.

  2. Hi, I found your blog on LinkedIn and decided to stop by and comment. Your post resonated with me because my daughter was the same way when she was little and I couldn’t figure it out. My husband and I have always been pretty ‘go with the flow’ type of people. Her ‘challenges’ were the basis for my childrens series; we played it in an interactive way and the results have been nothing short of astounding. In a nutshell, we talked about some universal laws that are rarely taught (but nonetheless true), such as, ‘we get back what we put out’. When you want to feel a particular way, make someone else feel that way . . . it comes back to you. She was hesitant at first but now she uses it on a regular basis and she’s 21!. She used to get all wound up (almost like a panic attack) over all sorts of things. It seems that you did the right thing by talking and listening to her as well. You have been an excellent role model :-) Great post, Patricia

    • Hi Patricia, thanks so much for checking out my blog. It’s always reassuring when I hear from someone that can relate to an experience of mine. When you said that your daughter got so wound up it was almost like a panic attack, it sounded just like my daughter. Thanks so much for your comment. :)

  3. The flip side of this is trying to teach a male child that it’s not only alright to show his emotions (other than anger), but it’s necessary. My son is now 27 and still struggles with being himself and allowing his emotions to “reveal” themselves or retaining what society deems to be ok for men and remaining stoic and emotionless. I’ve always maintained that puberty is easier on girls than boys because of this.

    Great words of mom wisdom to your daughter, Wendy! Thanks for sharing! =)

    • I know just what you are saying. I have a son in middle school. He appears laid back and has a go with the flow attitude. I can tell when things build up with him and he has a sort of temper tantrum. He has been the most challenging child to work with and express his emotions.

  4. You know, the young teenaged years can be so dramatic anyway, ESPECIALLY for girls. I applaud you for teaching your daughter emotional and crisis management skills. This way, she’ll grow up to be a woman who feels capable and in control of her emotions, and of her life. There are too many over-grown little girls with gray hair, who have never learned decision making or crisis management skills.

    On the other hand, I grew up in an emotionally repressive situation, so I didn’t learn how to manage my emotions or crisis until I reached my 30s. If a child isn’t allowed to express their emotions, how can they learn how to cope with them? So again, I applaud you for teaching your daughter important life skills. She’ll be a better woman for it, and she’ll be easier for others to endure.

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