' Bad Timing ' is one of the most likely causes that makes the Collaborative problem solving process difficult and unsuccessful.
CPS should be pro-active and ' not in the moment'. When we are in the midst of a problem – in the moment -and the heat is on , our kids are agitated and frustrated, their ability for clear thinking is limited , we and our kids are not in the right ' thinking mode' to engage in CPS. This is not the time to try to teach a kid a lesson or try to engage him in cps in order to find a permanent solution to the problem. At most we can try and redirect , calm the kid down and take out the back-up plan. A back-up plan is always a great thing to have.
We should have a list of unsolved problems with which we approach with plan C. We acknowledge that this is not the ' time' to deal with these problems and let-go . We let go of our expectations for the time being. We can only really deal with 2-3 problems at the same time. We need to prioritize and put some problems on the back burner. This helps reduce negative interactions, the kids intensity and relax the atmosphere.
We should try to make a regular fixed time to discuss with our kids -how thing are going, a time to deal with problems the CPS way , and a time to review how solutions are working out. Even if we do ' CPS' out of the moment, the surprise of a cps discussion makes kids less open. If we have a regular time for talking, we can tell a kid ahead of time ,that we want to discuss a certain problem in the next talking session.
Solving problems is something that takes time, sometimes more than one session or discussion. When we get stuck on a problem or the kid is becoming restless or agitated, we can always take a break and come back to it later.
A CPS discussion should be preceded with some time just bonding with the kid, finding out how he is feeling in general ,and if possible in the discussion getting him to agree with you. This sets the stage for him being open and actually ' hearing you'.
Teachers can do CPS during the time they would normally deal with academic problems on a one to one basis, which is usually before or after school , recess , or time when teaching is not frontal. Kids must feel comfortable with the time set for CPS.
If we encourage our kids to share their perspectives and thinking, input and we focus on being good listeners , they become more interested in their own thinking and sharing their concerns with us. This is so much more easier for the non-emotive stuff and helps kids navigate the more emotive problems solving sessions.