Exploring the Role of Practical Wisdom in Addressing Adolescent Childrearing Dilemmas. By: Small, Stephen A.; Metler, David Charles. Family Relations. Apr2020, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p365-379. 15p. 1 Diagram.

Objective: To explore whether practical wisdom may provide a useful lens for understanding how mothers can address difficult childrearing problems more effectively when raising adolescents. Background: One of the major difficulties of raising adolescents is that there are no clear‐cut responses or universal solutions to many of the problems that regularly arise. Parents are expected to make responsible decisions about complex, indefinite problems even though they may lack a thorough understanding of the situation and have little formal training in childrearing. Practical wisdom—the ability to make sound, ethical judgments and decisions about difficult and uncertain problems—may be a valuable asset for addressing such challenges. Method: Thirty mothers of adolescents (12–17 years of age) were asked to reason aloud about how they would respond to a series of hypothetical childrearing dilemmas. Results: Guided by prior work on practical wisdom, our qualitative analysis identified a complex combination of eight interrelated parenting wisdom strategies: Compassion for Self and Child, Integrative Thinking, Parenting Knowledge, Perspective‐Taking, Problem‐Framing, Purpose Identification, Reflection, and Socioemotional Awareness. Conclusion: The findings provide evidence that mothers sometimes use a process that has been historically conceptualized as practical wisdom and offer insight into what some of these practices entail. Implications: The identification of these wise problem‐solving strategies highlight an important overlooked aspect of childrearing and hold promise as a valuable asset for helping mothers address difficult parenting problems.