Problem solving starts early in life and every one of us has had the problem solving dilemma of a booger. In the nose. Now on the finger. Now what! First you try the secretive flick. Flick flick. Still there. Flick. Flick. A little change of strategy, more force. Still there. Now you are moving to the roll-a-tiny-booger-ball strategy. Roll it up enough that it starts to dry a bit and go back to the flick.
Not happening? Well now it’s time to think about a stage three solution. If I can’t flick it, where can I PUT it? Under the chair, car seat, desk. What about on the inside seam of a pant leg? Beginning problem solvers inevitably endorse the mouth option.
So, what about it? Boogers aren’t material for shame. No medical data indicates that eating the thing causes any serious health issues and might even help build up the immune system. And yet, we are, as a society repulsed by the booger and everything about it. Ever read Shel Silverstein’s poem? “Warning” Inside everybody’s nose, there lives a sharp toothed snail….. Isn’t it great?
It’s a sticky problem for sure. The first solution idea rarely works. The flick is a long shot and under a few rare and memorable moments, it actually works. Such relief! However, usually it doesn’t. I think that might be why the youngsters go straight for the mouth – they know what we won’t admit. It is the ONLY sure fire solution.
Teach Your Children
So, what do we teach children? Don’t pick. Blow! Use a tissue! But the tissue is all the way over there. And, did you know that a booger only gets one square of toilet paper, not two? I just recently learned that priceless bit from my adorable granddaughter. “No Grandma,” as I started to tear off a generous two squares, doing the loving and caring grandma thing. “One square for a booger.” Ah ha! Preschool wisdom! I am proud of her conviction and her early efforts at environmental conservation.
But back to the universal booger problem. How will you teach your children to handle the boogers in life? Stubborn problems that resist solutions. Give up? Aim for the easy out and eat it? NO! If any child is going to learn to problem solve they have to start with solving the booger problem. Independently.
- First – Ditch the shame. No one ever got good at the booger solution while still feeling shame over even having a booger in the first place.
- Second – Get used to the inevitable need for multiple solution ideas. Flick? Nope. Roll? Nope. Roll and flick combo? Maybe. Rub off? Probably. One square? Socially approved but could be inconvenient. Get creative.
- Third – Don’t give up.
Every problem in life is just a booger in disguise.