Growing up to be a happy, successful, independent adult means creating a self. This includes life skills, relationship skills, thinking skills, learning skills, character strength, values, attitudes, and more. it’s a lot, and every child has to do it. Some leave home ready to deal with life, and others…

My own parents were kind and always there for us eight kids. But eight kids is a lot and most of the time it was all about just getting through the day, not helping us develop into our best selves. I was fortunate to be a high-achiever and got a very good start in life. But two of my brothers didn’t graduate from high school. Another became a criminal who was murdered outside a convenience story in Miami.

Parents have a huge opportunity to help their chid grow stronger and more capable.

Among the hundreds of articles on this website are many insights and suggestions that can help. Here is one you may not have seen before: share your thinking.

As you deal with the tasks and challenges of your day, you think through what you need to do. What if you shared your reasoning with your child? It would indicate that thoughts are an important step to solving problems and taking action. And sharing your thoughts is one way to set an example for how problemsolving works.

“Hey Buddy, it’s getting late and we need to get you a new backpack. But I also need to take these clothes to the cleaners. I’m thinking I drop you off at Dick’s where you can see if they have what you need. I’ll go to the cleaners and join you there afterward. What do you think?”

“That works.”

“Take your phone. I’ll call you when I’m in the store.”


Verbally expressing your thought processes involves the child in your reasoning while communicating that you don’t just pull decisions out of thin air. You think through what you need to do. By sharing your thinking you influece your child on their own journey to becoming more practical and reasonable in their actions.

What if you made this your habitual practice? What if you did this hundreds of times while they were growing up?