On February 6, 2013 I taught an amazing group of parents at Parents Place in Palo Alto, CA. about the connection between emotions and problem solving. We cannot problem solve until we acknowledge and try to understand our children’s emotions. Many parents want to be logical with their children. When their children are upset, they try to logically tell them why they “shouldn’t” be upset. This approach does not work at all. Here 3 reasons why.
Solving Problems is Emotional
- People can feel hurt and shut down with the wrong problem-solving approach.
- Emotions need to be heard before creative thinking will happen.
- Children need to feel valued and empowered.
There are two important steps before even trying to think of solutions together. Here is a tried and true approach that merges together the understanding of emotions and the process of thinking of solutions together.
The 3 Step Problem-Solving Process
Step 1: Stop blocking communication
Step 2: Listen openly
Step 3: Discuss Ideas
In order to solve problems, we need to have a mind set of openness and support. I call this parenting approach Ally Parenting. Here is the difference between Ally Parenting and Adversarial Parenting.
Adversarial Parenting Approach (Hard Power): Wants a win/lose result to conflict where the parent wins and the child looses. The child’s emotions and thoughts are not considered and therefore the relationship is not of primary concern.
Ally Parenting Approach (Soft Power): Strives for a win/win solution to conflict. The emotions and thoughts of the child are important and considered in the decision making process. The relationship is important to keep intact and healthy to maintain influence and cooperation.
Watch for future blogs where I continue talking about solving problems with our kids.
©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.