Parenting Tips - Solve Problems Without All The Drama

Many families are not good at solving their problems because they move into drama as soon as one person disagrees with another. Many families avoid bringing up important issues because they know it will escalate into full-blown drama.

In some families it is the children who blow up and cause the drama – causing the parents to lose control of the discussion. In other families, the children are the quiet ones while the parent(s) take the discussion into a drama.

Following the steps below, you can solve your family’s problems faster and easier – without all the drama.

1. Identify the problem.
Start by simply stating the problem. Remember to keep it from being an accusation.

For instance:
“You keep forgetting to take the garbage out.” (Accusation)
“I don’t like the garbage piling up in the kitchen. Can we talk about a solution to this?” (Problem solving)

2. Listen.
There may be reasons that you aren’t aware of. Allow your family to talk without fear that you will blow up at their reply. Never make fun of their reasons or their suggestions for solutions.

If you want them to participate in future problem solving, show respect.

3. Agree on a plan.
After you have made several suggestions for a solution and have listened to their suggestions, agree on one plan that will work.

If you can’t agree, don’t escalate the discussion into an argument. Table it for tomorrow. Simply say: “I don’t think we are going to reach an agreement today. Let’s sleep on this and talk about it again tomorrow.”

As I say in my Parenting Class, never tack the work “OK” at the end of your request. That only gives an opening to come up with a reason not to. If you find yourself ending your requests with “OK?”, practice requesting without using that word.

4. Appreciate efforts.
Once you have agreed on a solution, appreciate efforts. Your kids might not be perfect every time, but try to point out when they do well. If they only do part of the agreed upon solution, try to find a way to show that you appreciate the effort and find one good thing to point out, but let them know that you still expect the task to be completed.

“I see that you took the garbage out. I appreciate that. I still expect a new bag to be placed in the bin.”

Practice solving problems using this technique and before you know it, your children will look forward to problem solving with you. Why shouldn’t they? If you follow these simple instructions, your children are getting your full attention AND you are showing them respect -- something every child craves.

You can learn how to make raising your children more enjoyable with a Parenting Class.

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Anonymous said...

These ideas work with a SPOUSE, too, not just with Parents and children!

story teller said...

You are so right! They certainly work with my spouse.

Thanks for sharing that!

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