Picture this: you are a working parent and in the middle of the day, you receive a call from your 18 year old daughter, and she tells you that she has had an accident. You speak to her for a while, and the hang up after saying “take care of it on your own”.
On the face of it, you look like the most unconcerned parent. But on the contrary, I would say that there is something deeper to this. This is a real-life incident that happened to my niece. She had just learnt to drive, but she somehow managed to ram her car into another car. When she called up her mother, her mother simply asked: “are you hurt?”, “Is the other person hurt?”, when the answer turned out to be no for both these questions, the mother replied- “take care of it by yourself”. These seemingly unconcerned words were the ones that taught my niece how to solve her own problems, a skill which in today’s society, most people don’t have.
This is a very required skill, because as a founder you don’t know what kind of problems are going to land up on your table. If you’re not prepared to solve them as they come, or give it a shot with the best of your skills, there is no way you’re making it as a founder. Businesses and start-ups require an immense amount of persistence and iteration, and that is what problem solving is all about. It is about looking at a problem, finding out what is the best solution, trying it out and seeing whether it works.
Problem-solving is also a very important skill in all STEM education. Think about what coding is, it is essentially teaching you to solve a problem in a logical manner.
Think about the problem my niece faced: her problem was that she was in deep trouble, and she had to get out of it. It involved human relationships, it involved being calm, it involved not getting worked up and getting out of the way. Those are small little problems, but they have to be experienced.
Very often, as founders, we can also be faced with relationship problems. Problems between two humans. Surprisingly, those problems do not have any logical solutions- it is all about trying out, meeting, discussing and communicating.
As a parent what is it that you can do to teach problem-solving?
Take a step back!
Don’t solve the problems that they can. Let them do it even if it takes them longer, even if they fail at it- leave it, let it be.
Stay tuned, for more.