3-step solution for solving parenting problems

May 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Now that you know where problems originate, it’s time to solve them.  Here is a quick and easy 3-step solution:

1) Identify the problem

2) Brainstorm solutions that focus on the 3 PROBLEM PRODUCERS: the environment, the child, and you.

3) Choose a solution and put it into practice!

Let’s walk through an example.

(Identify the problem)  Say there was an inquisitive toddler, I’ll call him L.B., who loves  eating my, um his mommy’s, laptop cord. 

(Brainstorm solutions for each of the Problem Producers)


  • The environment: it would probably be best for me to put my laptop and cord out of reach of the little guy.  But realistically, it’s not going to happen.  It’s a laptop, not a countertop, and I use it too much to have it out of reach.
  • Change your own expectations or attitude: Was it a big deal that L.B. was eating my laptop?  Yes.  Not only are those cords expensive, but I was worried that it could pose a safety hazard.  Besides the risk of electrocution, the end of the power cord gets very hot.
  • Change your child’s behavior:  I decided I needed to keep L.B. from putting my laptop in his mouth.
(Put it into practice):  At this stage, some people would probably be firm with their child and let them know that eating the laptop cord IS NOT OKAY.  Maybe they would swat the baby’s hand away or yell. . .that’s not really my style.  In fact, it didn’t even work to say no.  L.B. was just drawn to the laptop cord and I wasn’t sure I could stop that.  So instead, I went against the conventional wisdom and made it into a game.  Every time L.B. went for the cord, I made a bunch of silly noises, scooped him up, and tickled him.  It didn’t take long before he started to look around for me before he went for the cord–and this bought me enough time to distract him before the cord landed in his mouth.  Soon, he was more interested in our game than the cord, and now the cord doesn’t even attract his attention.  This plan might backfire if the reason for the child’s behavior was attention-seeking, but in L.B.’s case, the attention helped him to stop the behavior, not escalate it.
So go try these 3-steps for eliminating your parenting problem, and be sure to tell us how it went in the comments below!

 

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