People say that being a parent is the most difficult thing in the world: I think that entertaining fulfilling relationships with the people we love can be challenging, and among them there are also our children.

I spent a whole afternoon in frustration this week, because I didn’t know which way to take to help my son with a problem he has. He wants to reach a goal and he asked for his parents’ help; we think he has to behave differently, but telling him would probably cause more harm than good.

So, here’s the dilemma: should we try to sugarcoat it at the expense of effectiveness, or should we tell him openly what we think about it even if this would cause him harm for sure? No parent would want their son to suffer, but he would suffer both if we sugarcoat it and then things go wrong, and if we told him our truth (thus being the cause of his sufferings).

After hours and hours of frustration, we decided to:
1) let him talk, ask him questions to help him (through his own thought and reasoning) get to his own conclusions.
2) let facts speak for themselves: if he reaches his goal, it means he’s on the right path (his own path); if he doesn’t, we will help him understand what went wrong and what can he do differently to reach the goal.

I don’t know if this is the best strategy, I don’t know if my son will reach his goal, but this week I learned that letting him walk his way will allow him to learn better for the future than if I had told him which way to go or what to do.