Are you coaching a Smart Ass or a Genius? Or both?

I love me some good problem solving.

Throw me at it. How do we do this? What’s the best solution? How creative can we be? Let’s do this!

This morning, I was stumped. Yeah, stumped. Impressed, yet mildly disturbed.

I found this next to the coffee machine left for me by my 11-year-old. Yes, there is water in those glasses turned upside down.


What happened? He used to be such a sweet, charming little boy. Actually, if I’m honest with myself, he’s always been a bit clever, a bit conniving, and a bit out to get me. And I love him dearly.

So, not able to immediately draw a conclusion, I pasted to the world of Facebook for a solution. I could have stared at it for a while, but why when I know there is a dearth of talent in the people with whom I keep company?

Here are some of the comments:

  1. Surround with sponges and lift
  2. Make him clean it up when he gets home and if he spills any, ground him, or make him write a poem about water.
  3. Drag the glasses to the edge of the counter, put a pan next to the counter and slide glasses off quickly.
  4. Drag them over plastic wrap!!!
  5. He created it. He can clean it up and maybe even lose an evening’s privilege or have to clean out the cat box. Some sort of consequence.
  6. Love it.
  7. I would write “funny” on the same paper and leave it for him to clean up
  8. Clever boy.

I gotta say, this kid has a lot of consequences for things that are real issues… like beating the life out of his brother. Should I really punish the kid or applaud his ingenuity?

I mean, what if I really did give birth to a genius? And what it the next ingenious thing he puts on the counter is a solution to world hunger, albeit it in a mocking “I got you” sort of way?

Would the way I handle this impact his future contributions?

Is it possible to separate out the feedback on being a smartass with positive feedback on his cleverness?

People we live with or work with do things all the time that might irritate us. We REACT and don’t step back. Are we throwing out the next best idea or great work because of the irritating delivery? Can we applaud one while coaching on the other? What do you think?

I think I’ll work with him on the solution and save the feedback for the next issue. And be thankful I’m not the kid of some of my FB friends… I’d be in perpetual time out!

Ultimately, though, I have to agree with my FB friend #6… I kinda love it.


5 Comments on “Are you coaching a Smart Ass or a Genius? Or both?”

  1. monica4pets says:

    I love it! So inspiring! So fresh and aligned with my frustration of our culture today that expects “perfect” behavior according to someone else’s standards.Monica Stettler Brozny(630) 677-2854 personal cellmonica@PassionatePetsitters.comFOR RESERVATIONS AND CLIENT SERVICES:(630) 805-3030 officeinfo@PassionatePetsitters.comhttp://www.PassionatePetsitters.comWhen you’re not home, we love your pets like our own. 

  2. Jane Hanson Baier says:

    My question to Wes or you: Did he start with ice cubes?

    • lglass4669 says:

      No! But, that is a clever idea! He cover the glasses with foil, turned them upside down, pulled out the foil and cleaned up and drops with a towel. Clever!

  3. Amy says:

    I’m with you about loving it! and I love the thought of tapping his creative problem-solving. Leadership principle: don’t assume all problems brought to your attention are your’s to solve : ) and on a personal level – don’t we all have enough problems to solve without taking on any we don’t have to?

  4. M Maley says:

    This is simply what you get for adding HUMOR to your vision board. Clever kiddo!

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