Concerns vs. Solutions

Parenting

When the two of you have different ideas about how to parent, one of the most helpful things to do is to step back and re-focus on each of your concerns around parenting instead of fixating on solutions. Doing so will enable you to get the Collaborative Decision Making process rolling along.

Following is a list of some common parenting solutions and a list of some concerns underlying these solutions. Match each solution to its underlying concern.

Solutions

  • A. I want to set a 10:00pm curfew.
  • B. I want to give Max a cell phone.
  • C. I think Aliyah needs a time-out if she pulls her brother's hair again.
  • D. We need to finish bedtimes by 8:00 even if the kids aren’t done with their homework.
  • E. I think we need to hire a nanny instead of using a daycare center.

Concerns

The beauty of sharing concerns is that there are many ways to address them. Put on your creative thinking cap and see if you can come up with a different potential solution for each of the above concerns.

See our answers:

* We could ask Max to ride the same route each day and then if he’s not home on time I could trace his steps in the car.

* We could focus on fostering positive things between the kids. Maybe I could find some special “big sister” things for Aliyah to share with her brother and give her lots of praise when she’s kind to him.

* We could sit at the table and have “adults only” tea time in the dining room for 30 minutes after dinner each night.

* I’d like to talk with Alex about his friends and drug use so I know more about what’s going on. I wonder if he has some ideas about how he can have a social life and also stay away from drugs if other kids are doing them.

* I could see if I could find someone taking night-school classes who could be a “sick-nanny” on call for the days when Brittany can’t go to school because she had a fever the day before.

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