Monday, May 23, 2011

It is what it is - A show stopper

Kids can really end any discussion with show stoppers like - I don't care, I don't want to talk about it , it is what it is - this is who I am. Don't be caught off guard by these statements - just reset your GPS and try get an understanding of his concerns - why he doesn't care, does not wnat to talk about it or nees no point in talking about a problem.

I have talked about the factors that make getting good quality concerns of the kid on the table  a difficult task.  It could be we are trying to do plan b ' in the moment '  instead of proactive plan B , our opening statement presenting the problem is too vague , or not neutral enough , sounding more like Plan A , the kid thinks that plan B will end up as Plan A – plan B is Plan A in disguise - just another tactic. The kid could be lacking the language skills or in truth does not have the answers on the tip of his done as he has not given much thought to this in the past.

In discussions kids can be vague , generalize and not be specific about the details of a problem or the identities of other people involved – these or those people.

What is even more difficult is when kids use
 a show stopper , a cliché or phrase which seems to be putting an end to the conversation.

When I kid says I don't want to talk about it ,  we can shift the plan B discussion to why he does not want to talk about it , try to address his concerns and take it further.

Kids often answer   -  What ! I don’t do that , it is not true !  I don’t deal with such people.

We may need to first to reassure the kid that we are not talking about blame , we are not mad at them , we are fond of them , we just want their side of the story , their perspective so we can solve problems.

They may answer – 'It is what it is – this is what I do – this is who I am .'

It is a show stopper, they are saying there is nothing we can do about it , so why talk about it.  It won't get better so we don't need to talk about it.

The reason for this type of talk , could be as we said above in the beginning of this post , they don't have the answers , we have not talked about this before , they could be not very optimistic about the possible success of Plan B .

We need to challenge the truth of clichés and move away from them.

It is what it is – this is what I do – this is who I am.  – Well ,yes that is what it has been , the question is what is going on with it  and if there is something that we could do that we have not done before ?

This is who I am is the type of remark that a kid with a fixed mindset will say.  I remind kids that we are not smart or stupid but depending on how we apply ourselves and benefit from the guidance of others we can grow.  Actually people are dynamic beings , we never remain in the same place , we either can be moving forward or not so good backwards , we never remain in the same place.

Kids say – It is just too hard , I just don't want to do it !    and it seems that they have just ended the discussion.

We need to keep the conversation going and drill down further using the components of drilling down list .  We can choose the appropriate strategy from the list.

1 Asking the wh questions – who, what, why, with whom , over what , when , how

2 Conditions – under what conditions does the kid do well with this challenge and under what conditions does he struggle

3 Break the unsolved problem into the component parts.

4 What were you thinking in the midst of the problem.

5 Clarifying statements
How so , I am confused or don't understand , can you tell me more , what do you mean, can you say more,

here ae some  more detailed posts on 


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