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Problem Solving

We want to encourage our children that there is more than one way to solve a difficulty and not all problems need to end negatively. There are many different ways to solve a problem.

Problem Solving

. For example:

  • Feeling they have been unfairly treated by children or teachers
  • Being teased by other children or siblings
  • Being told off by parents for not following the rules 

We want to encourage our children that there is more than one way to solve a difficulty and not all problems need to end negatively. There are many different ways to solve a problem.

Problem Solving

Stop-Plan-Go

One way to help children to think about problems is that we don’t have to rush into saying the first thing that comes into our heads or do the first thing we think. A traffic light method can illustrate easily how this works.

Red = Stop

It can be hard to stop rushing in but encourage your child to use a visualisation of a traffic light system with the red light saying STOP. Take a few deep breaths or use the Square Breathing technique (Breathe in for a count of four, hold for four, breathe out for four, and hold for four). Add in some Positive Self Talk statements. This will take practice and you can tell your child that we don’t need to get this right the first or every time, but the more we keep trying the better we will be at it. You could create an image, or use this one, to put up in your home as a reminder for your child and yourself!

https://www.sweetfamilies.com/product/stop-plan-go-poster

Amber = Plan

Remind your child that there are always more ways to solve problems. Try this Hand of Options activity.

  • How would it feel if you did that one?
  • What might happen as a consequence?
  • How would others around you feel?

Green = Go!

Once they have chosen an idea to go with, help them put this into action. Ask the question, what do you need to do next? Then when the action has been taken, help them reflect on what happened as a result of their action.

Again, key questions could help:

  • How does it feel now you did that?
  • Was it what you expected?
  • Would you do this again?
  • What else would have worked better do you think?

Are there things you can do to help remind your child of these plans?

  • A traffic light poster in their bedroom and/or kitchen 
  • List of what to remember
  • A few post-it notes pinned up to remind them of positive self-talk statements
    • “There are always different ways to solve problems”
    • “I’m a good problem solver”
    • “Take a breath, relax, then think”