Parents: How do you react when your kid has a problem?

I mean an outside-the-family problem, like being bullied at school or losing their (physical) driver’s license (not the driving privilege). Or a problem that you find about other than from them, like if the school calls to tell you he’s been suspended for fighting. Would you rather he solve the problem entirely on his own, without involving you at all? Do you offer advice and support, while still hoping he can solve it himself? If you do get involved, how deeply? Note: I mean minor children here, or at least not living entirely on their own, so college-age offspring can be included.

Guns. Lots of guns.

Sorry, I don’t have any kids but I just had to post this. I am sleepy and should be asleep instead of posting hugely off-topic posts.

If it’s a tiff between kids that causes some drama, I would listen and offer suggestions solutions, etc but the kid would be the one to manage the drama. If I get a call from the principal/superintendant/cops/store owner/ another parent, you can bet that I am getting involved, how could a parent say FO to another adult who wants to bring up an issue regarding your kid?

Bullying, well only if there is a pattern (not a once in a great while sort of thing) and my kid can’t shake off the bull by themselves, then I will adbvocate for them and step in.

It depends, of course. My 9yo was having a problem last year with a couple of boys in her class who were teasing her–exasperating, but not horrible. We talked about how she could deal with it, but I didn’t do anything else much. But if she was enduring real bullying, I’d step in.

My son is twenty years old and resides with me - just a couple of bachelors livin’ life in a comfortable way. My son isn’t doing drugs and hasn’t got any GF pregnant. He’s a decent kid. That counts a lot with me.

I answered “other”, because altho my first reaction is generally to do whatever I can to “resolve” a problem, I frequently have to remind myself that the kids have to learn how to get out of their own messes. So it requires an assessment of the nature and extent of the problem, your kid’s aility to deal with it, the likelihood and severity of repercussions, etc.

On second thought I probably should have said “help any way I can”, knowing that in some situations I provide the best help by leaving them to deal with their own problems.

If nothing else, I am always available to discuss situations and possible solutions, but I am not available to just be dumped on and whined at.

She’s 2.5 years old. If someone is picking on her I’m pretty much in full-on Momma Bear mode. Hear me roar.

She’s got excellent social skills though, and can generally handle herself without my intervention. I’m assuming here that it being a “problem” means that she has tried and failed to handle it in the moment.

Long term attitude? I’ll let her do the light work. If it begins to affect her overall outlook on life, or if the other kid “getting away with it” could have a long term effect on the path that kid is on, I’d intervene.

I have a twenty year old daughter and a five year old daughter. I will help them both in any way I can, but I know better than to get too involved in certain situations involving my oldest. There have been days though, I’ve been tempted to…very tempted. She handles herself well but sometimes she’s too passive for my liking. Still, it’s her life. She has to learn from some mistakes because she won’t let me do it for her.

I still remember giving a certain bully a talking to back when my oldest was in third grade. Maybe I should have let her deal with it herself but I think it worked out for the best.

Depends on the problem and the severity. Something that appears to be minor teasing, I’m not reacting to at all other than to let them know they can’t expect everyone to be nice to them all the time. Moderate teasing - we get to the advice and guidance level. When my daughter came home for the second time - once without a hat because it had gotten “stolen” on the bus, the other time with a torn hat because it got “stolen” on the bus - both backed up by her brother - I went to the principal with “I’m only here because you have a zero tolerance on bullying and I want you to know this is happening.”

If they were to get physically hurt or the name calling was beyond “teasing,” - I’d be in the office that day sitting in the principal’s office and demanding action.

If its them - we help work out a solution but don’t fix it. My daughter’s been having homework problems - she does it - IF she remembers to bring it home - does fine on it - but then forgets to turn it in. So we’ve helped her develop a plan to fix it, but implementing the plan becomes her responsibility - fewer and fewer reminders over time.

As a parent whose sons have fled the nest, I can only say what I did.

I would listen, give advice, and rarely I would get directly involved. Sometimes a problem can be beyond the child’s ability to solve; however, they learn best by solving those that are within their skill/maturity set. I just tried to make sure they couldn’t hurt themselves too much.

Now that they are in their 30’s, I only give the various possible solutions to a problem if asked, and reluctantly give my advice when asked. We all get along great!

True, but on the other hand…I went through HELL as a teen (a deaf fat lesbian in a very snotty suburb) and I had a ton of issues. My parents did what they could…and I appreciate that, BUT they also sometimes made me feel like I was one of those delibrate druggie/ delibratly gets in trouble kids. At least from the distance of years, they have realized that it wasn’t really me causing the problems, but rather the hellhole of this enviroment that I was reacting to.
Wish I could go back and fix those problems.

I believe it depends on the situation. As children get older (beyond preschool) it is important that you teach them how to deal with problems on their own. I have always tried to encourage my son (now 14) to come and seek my advice about problems he is having, and then try to give him solutions that he can execute on his own. We have been fortunate that he hasn’t found himself in any major difficulties.

(There’s an echo in here) It really depends upon the situation. I tried to teach my kids how to handle things, but sometimes a kid is really in over his head and you have to step in.

I put “help any way I can” because the ‘do nothing’ scenario is sometimes the best help.