Empowering through Problem Solving

adapted from: Love and Logic Magic for Lasting Relationships

Students Don’t Need:

  • someone to solve their problems for them
  • anyone enabling(reinforcing) their weaknesses

“Having mother nurse our wounds and beat up our bullies
was fine when we were five, maybe even six or seven,
but not so good when we’re fifteen and beyond.”

Students Do Need:

  • To flex their own muscles
  • To peck their own way out of their shells
  • To discover they can manage life quite effectively
  • To grow in self-esteem and self-respect.

“So, even if I give you the message I can’t make it on my own, don’t believe it. I can.
Even if I ask you to solve my problems, please don’t do it. I’ll figure it out.
My mistakes help me grow and not make bigger ones in the future.”

What to Do:

As I invite you into the sacred space of my problems, it is often helpful…


  • Share your stories with me
  • Softly share how others have solved similar problems without implying I should handle them the same way
  • Ask if I want more information without giving me TMI (too much info)
  • Don’t overwhelm me with ways you have tackled problems in your life
  • There are only similarities in our problems — not identical issues


  • Give me words of encouragement
  • Suggest that I can manage my own problems effectively
  • As you believe in me, I begin to believe in myself
  • Build me up without putting me down
  • Help me reach within myself for my own answers

“When we face and solve our own problems,
we come out the other side stronger than ever.
We develop self-confidence to face any struggle.”

In one hour each week, a mentor provides a sanctuary/respite where a student feels completely accepted as they are in that moment. Through encouragement a mentor stimulates resiliency and personal growth. A mentor’s message demonstrates high regard for a student, which in turn raises hope in every area of a student’s life.

Which relationships in your life could benefit from applying these principles?