Sunday, July 1, 2012

Positive parenting and CPS- collaborative problem solving

Parents who practice ' Positive parenting '  tend to focus on ' behaviors '  - hitting, biting etc and the direct  teaching of  replacement behaviors -  communication skills  etc  instead of focusing on problems and teaching skills indirectly through the collaborative problem solving process .

Parents who practice  ' Positive parenting '  have difficulty in implementing the Collaborative problem solving approach because they focus on the behaviors  -  hitting, biting, screaming or running in hallways etc . These behaviors are merely symptoms of lagging skills, and  unmet concerns . Treating these behaviors and replacing the hitting, biting and screaming with better communication or teaching a kid to walk and be safe in the hallway do  not  deal with the problem. 

We can only get a clear understanding of the problem once we have put the child's concerns alongside our concerns on the table.  It does not help parents guessing the child's concerns. Kids need to feel understood and participate in seeing  that their concerns are being put on the table so that they can be  addressed. So if a  child hits another child because he has taken his toy, there could be different concerns at work here.  This is a toy that the kid does not want to share with others, the kid is scared that it will be broken, the kid is not certain that the other kid will give it back when he needs it , this is the toy that the kid wants to play with now  etc.

  Teaching the kid communication skills  to replace hitting at most  means that the kid will now express his displeasure in words and not hit , but we have not helped him come up with a solution that will address his concerns  -see my tentative suggestions - and our concerns for pro-social behavior . Teaching a kid how to be safe in the hallway is unlikely to stop him running to the school canteen so that he can  make sure he gets his favorite  ' warm ' meal.  Teaching skills does not address concerns. When the canteen staff take up his suggestion to  keep  a warm meal for him until he comes , he will no longer  need to run.

Another area where positive parenting has difficulty with CPS is   the understanding   that the lagging skills are taught by working with the child through the CPS process.  There is a place in CPS to teach certain skills directly , but the focus is to teach the communication and all the other cognitive skills  such as executive functions, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation skills and social skills in a dynamic way in the context of addressing concerns and  solving problems. 

CPS is not a technique , but rather a process whereby kids acquire cognitive and life skills . The idea is not only the result  which  counts but in a sense more important is the process that promotes kids' autonomy , competence and relationship.


No comments:

Post a Comment