Message in a Backpack™ Solving Problems With Your Child
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Sometimes children have problems getting along with others or following our few, simple classroom rules. When this happens, we work with the child to figure out a solution. Most of the time this works well. Children learn that their teacher is on their side. And they learn an important skill—how to solve problems.
You might want to try our Make a Plan method at home.
Put your child at ease. Choose a comfy space and a time when your child will feel open to sharing his or her ideas.
“I need your help solving a problem. Is this a good time for us to talk?”
Describe the problem.
It’s important for you and your child to agree about what the problem is. You may need to work together to pinpoint the exact problem.
“How did you feel when…?”
Have an honest discussion. Ask your child to suggest a few solutions and pick one to try.
“We need to make a plan so things go better later. What do you think we should do?”
Write it down.
Write the plan on a piece of paper and read it aloud. Invite your child to add drawings or words. This helps a child feel like it really is his or her plan.
“I’ll write down your idea on this piece of paper. Do you want to decorate it for us?”
Revise the plan.
Try it out! If the plan does not work the first time, revise it until you find something that works for both of you.
“Did it work today? It did? Hooray!”
“Our plan didn’t work! I guess we need to make a better plan!”
Message in a Backpack™ is available online in Spanish. Visit NAEYC.org/tyc to start reading now!
Vol. 7, No. 1