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Leaky Roof Repair and Parenting

March 28, 2011

Unfortunately, we have experienced several water-related problems at my house over the last few years. Recently, we found a contractor who has been helping us tackle some of these issues on our quest for a water-tight house. What I like most about Willy is that I can see him thinking and trying to figure things out.

Several months ago I was interviewing contractors to repair a water-damaged piece of wall in our basement that was caused by water seeping in through the garage. A previous contractor had figured out a fix to seal the wall between the garage and the basement. I was willing to live with a little post-storm rainwater in my garage as long as it stayed there, but Willy wasn’t. He got the job from us to repair the wall because he had an idea (at a reasonable cost) for stopping the water from collecting in the garage in the first place. When we had a leaky roof a little later, he was the first and only person we called to repair it. He was here again today because of yet another issue, and we could see his mind wheels turning.

His visit today had me reflecting on the skill of trying to figure things out as related to parenting. So often parenting requires us to stop and think about potential causes of our kids’ behavior before we can develop an effective plan of action. I am always impressed with parents whom I work with when I can see the wheels turning in their mind trying to figure out what is going on with their child in the face of a challenging behavior. In my opinion, you don’t always have to be correct in your attempts at guessing what’s going on with your child, but you do have to at least make some attempts and be open to the process of trial and error.

Sometimes we need others to help us with that figuring-it-out process. Spouses, friends, parents, teachers, and folks like me are all potential resources for helping us see problems and their potential fixes more clearly. What has been your experience with this process? Who helps you?

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