"Restorative" people are problem solvers. I never thought of myself as a problem solver before, but after I began looking into it, I realized that, my whole life, I've actually treated everything as a problem to be solved: teaching, eating, even relationships.
I realized that, if I faced a problem where the solution wasn't obvious, I got stressed out. If the problem appeared to be unsolvable, I got depressed! And worst of all, if there wasn't actually a problem to be solved, I would create one.
You can imagine how counterproductive that could be. If I'm in a relationship of any kind, with a co-worker, a child, or even my spouse, and there's no actual problem, then by either consciously or unconsciously creating one, by starting an argument or making them angry, I will generate stress where there shouldn't be any. My desire to solve problems can trump my better judgement.
Even more interesting for me, I discovered that when I'm faced with a problem I can't solve easily, I may create a different problem that's easier to solve. Instead of figuring out what to do about my upcoming concert, I may go try to write a song. I might even engage in some nervous habit like picking at paint on the wall, just because it's an easier problem to solve.
I started wondering how many of my kids are problem solvers like me? How many of them not only like to solve problems, but are problem solvers by nature? Maybe they have the same weaknesses!
What do those particular kids do when I don't give them a problem to solve? I bet they create a problem, either with another kid or with me. They may start a fight or tell a joke or doodle (a pictorial problem) instead of listening.
What do those kids do when I give them a problem they can't immediately solve? Because they can't tolerate not being able to solve the problem, they get anxious, maybe depressed. They may create an easier problem for themselves to solve which may be a nervous habit, an interesting design or, again, a fight.
Knowing this, I can see how helpful it would be to always explain to the kids what the "problem" is, if there is one. I may begin to guess from certain behaviors when I may have given a problem but not prepared them for the solution. Without excusing their behavior, I can understand it and do my part to make the situation work.
What do you think about my solution to this problem? Does my logic make sense? Or am I creating a problem where there wasn't one?