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)

Mindful Parenting

Positive Disscipline Connection_blog

Really this whole blog is about how I’m trying to be more mindful in my life and particularly as a parent…..it’s an incredibly challenging thing to do….especially as the chaos of family life escalates in that pre-dinner craziness!   Still I like with mindfulness that there is no right or wrong, you just keep coming back to it, pulling your attention back to the present moment. 
I’ve been practising mindfulness daily now since 2011 and slowly I can see that I am more able to think before I speak, more able to make good choices when really angry, more able to laugh and see the funny side….yet at times, almost every day it seems that I am yet again mindless and unaware and caught up in my thoughts and feelings, what a life long challenge!

What I am really excited about is that since 2012 I have been facilitating parenting programs (In Alice Springs and now on the Mid North Coast of NSW).    These programs teach parents how to be mindful, particularly in stressful situations and explain the importance of being able to stop, pause, reflect on what the present moment needs and regulate our own emotions before we launch into responding to our children or to the stressful situation

I have found that all parents from all backgrounds like learning about this and come back the next week with stories about how they put it into place! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all access these skills and prevent harm from happening to children the world over!
One of those programs is Positive Discipline http://www.positivedsicipline.com and another is Bringing Up Great Kids (Check out their great FREE Mindful Parenting booklet on http://www.childhood.org.au/training/bringing-up-great-kids-resources-parenting-program )

I love that saying that we teach what we most need to learn and that certainly is the case for me! Each time I teach a workshop or write this blog it helps me to stay more mindful with my children! I am facilitating some Introduction to Positive Discipline Workshops in August, with the emphasis being on mindfulness. More information is at http://www.saraphillipsnsw.com. Hope to see some of you there!