Stop, Think, Go! Summer Problem-Solving
Learn the following simple steps of the traffic light model and practice problem-solving with your kids as a game this summer. And try out the rap that goes with it! Then, gently remind and use it each time siblings or friends get into a conflict. It can empower kids with the skills to work through their own relationship issues in constructive ways. “He messed with my stuff while I was gone. My Lego set is broken. Moooooooom!” cries Zachary about his brother. Sibling rivalry is a common family problem. Mom could fix it. “Go help your brother fix his Lego set.” Or she could help her children learn valuable skills in problem-solving. These opportunities for practicing critical life skills happen daily if you look for them. Collaborative problem solving is not one skill alone but requires a whole host of skills including self-control and stress management, self-awareness of both thoughts and feelings, perspective-taking and empathy, listening and effectively communicating, goal setting, anticipating consequences and evaluating actions.
Roger Weissberg, one of the top leaders in the field and Chief Knowledge Officer for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and my mentor, ongoing collaborator and friend agreed to share the Traffic Light model that he and his colleagues created at Yale University with the New Haven Public Schools. The Social Development Project affected the lives of countless children, a district drawing from one of the lowest-income communities in the country. Students learned, practiced and used these skills in role playing and real life settings over and again making the development of these social skills a part of the culture and expectations of that school system. Read full article.