More Than a Fuss Box

Years ago I taught a parenting class based on a model developed by Jean Illsley Clarke. The content focused mostly on a theory of child development, but there were also several tips parents could incorporate – like a “fuss box.”

The idea was that if someone needed to “fuss” about something, they could go stand in a box and – while there – could say anything they wanted. No one was allowed to interrupt or engage with you while you were in the box. But here’s the kicker: once you were done “fussing,” you stepped out of the box and had to name at least one thing you were going to do to address the problem (not what someone else should do – but what YOU were going to do).

That last part is key because it is where one goes from being a victim of whatever it is that caused the fussing to being the one who is empowered with a solution.

It strikes me that much of our politics these days is caught up in fussing about what’s wrong. And the one who fusses the loudest gets the most attention. Not many folks step out of the fuss box and take that step of actually offering solutions.

But that’s where the Washington Monthly excels. Here’s what our mission statement says about it:

Instead of cynically tearing down institutions and programs, we offer innovative solutions: how to get the best people to work for the government and how to get the best government for the people…

If you think there’s enough fussing going on in politics these days and are ready to step out of the box and talk about solutions, please join us. One way you can do that it by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Washington Monthly. Please take a moment to click on this link or the banner below to do that right now. Thank you!

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.