Brainstorming Solutions…thinking laterally & creatively to solve problems

Problem SOlving Positive Discipline Tool positive discipline a-z book

I felt like I was quite old (I was a new Mum and in a relationship with my partner) before I realised that if you can brainstorm solutions and think laterally there is always a win:win solution….there will always be a way through if you just look hard enough!

I was fascinated with the recent Life at 9 series on ABC IView when the narrator said:

“Navigating life depends on our ability to solve problems, a skill scientists understand as creativity” and  “Creativity is a greater predictor of success in life than IQ”.

David Cropley, a creativity expert on the show, then said :  “The basis of creativity is all about starting with divergent thinking and that means if we hope to get a good solution we first of all have to go through as many solutions as we can”

And this got me thinking of one of the best Positive Discipline Tools from www.positivediscipline.com which I use at home and teach other parents all the time….the idea that as parents, once we understand the child’s underlying feelings and needs behind a behaviour we can then brainstorm solutions and in the brainstorming phase we need to write down all possible solutions, there is no right or wrong!

It’s so true we often need to brainstorm left field ‘way out there’ solutions to be able to come up with solutions that will work!  Something  I especially love is the idea of involving our own kids from the age of 4 in brainstorming the solutions for particular issues / behaviours.   The kids always come up with the most crazy solutions but also the most simple and best solutions too!  (e.g. in resolving shared bedroom issues: first suggesting their brother could sleep with the chooks or in the hallway cupboard but eventually deciding duct tape down the middle of the bedroom will do!)

How great is it that we can involve our kids in helping to brainstorm solutions but also help boost their creativity skills at the same time!  It is certainly something we want for all our kids once they become adults isn’t it? To be creative problem solvers who are able to resolve conflicts by finding win:win solutions…mindfully…

(At www.positivediscipline.com there are podcasts on Focusing On Solutions and one of their books is called Positive Discipline A-Z, 1001 Solutions To Everyday Parenting Problems)

Whale Watching Lessons of Mindfulness

So it’s whale watching season here… And I’m learning a lot!
1) it’s good to have a goal but don’t strive too hard… Detach from it a little bit and it’s more likely to happen!
2) sometimes you can be so narrowly focussed on your goal, you forget to look at the big picture, sometimes it’s good to look up and see the sky, or appreciate the beauty of the ocean, appreciate what is, right now!
3) sometimes my eyes strain peering for whales, focussed out on the deep, and I look just in front of me and there’s a pod of dolphins, right there!!! Sometimes what is right in front of us is beautiful even if it’s not what we’re striving for!
4) just when your patience has run out and you are about to give up, a whale leaps out of the water and all the pain of waiting has gone, you sit in awe and wonder, 100% in the moment, all worthwhile!
5) no matter how heavy the swell and the storm, the extreme gale force winds, it’s peaceful where the dolphins and whales swim!
Any other whale lessons?