Eps 9: Whose problem is it? Joint Problem Solving with Kids

Episode 9

Such a great conversation with Marcilie Boyle!!  Solving problems with our kids is no joke and such an important way to teach life skills.  Marcilie breaks down the task in a way that gets parents excited to practice!!  She is full of information and real life stories that I know will be inspiring and helpful to you – Enjoy!

Marcilie studied the work of Ross Green –
Lost at School
The Explosive Child

He writes and teaches about Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) – involving kids in solving their own behavior challenges

Parents tend to think it’s our job to solve our children’s behavior challenges…  Truth is, our kids can be awesome problem solvers – yay!

The brain likes it’s own ideas best!!

David Rock – Neuro Leadership Group  

CPS has 3 main steps –

– Empathize gather info from child – from their point of view
– Define the problem
– Brainstorm solutions together with your child.

Most powerful part — not necessarily the process, but how we shift perspective about how we look and think and feel about behavior challenges….

Recognizing that behavior is a sign of something deeper that is going on.

“Most helpful when we can focus that deeper thing, rather than just the behavior itself.”

Your child’s behavior is not the problem – What’s the problem, THE PROBLEM! (I love that)

The problem is always underneath the surface…

“Kids do well if they can.” – Ross Green


Child won’t turn in his homework.

What’s the problem?  Lacking organization skills and some auditory challenges…  The solution is brainstormed with child and addresses these problems and the homework situation shifts (solutions are helpful)

Consequences don’t necessarily teach skills…

What are the lacking skills behind the behavior?

P.E.S.O.S. (Marcille’s Problem Solving Recipe)

Combines principles of Ross Green’s work, with Positive Discipline  and How to Talk so Kids will Listen and How to Listen so Kids will Talk

Prerequisite: You and your child must be level headed – calm, in a good place emotionally

When intensity is high, communication and problem-solving skills are low…

P – Permission…  Giving yourself permission to engage and getting child’s permission

E – Empathize…  Understanding problem from child’s perspective –stay neutral and specific – “Tell me about…. (the problem)” then validate their concern

S – State your concern…  Short and sweet “My concern is…”

O – Options…  Brainstorm options for solutions that are a win/win for you both

S – Select and idea to try…  Must be realistic and mutually satisfactory

Try it out, make a date to review and see how it’s going…

Seeing our kids as a person who wants to do well, but have something in their way towards that success….

Click here for Marcilie’s handout on the steps of P.E.S.O.S.

Marcilie Smith Boyle
Website – www.workingparenting.com– blog, free gift, newsletter
Facebook – Working Parenting
Email – [email protected]

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