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Problem solving helps children

Natural for people to want to do well

An internationally renowned speaker and originator of Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is speaking in Powell River. Dr. Ross Greene will be in Powell River on Friday, February 18 at Dwight Hall.

CPS, a model of psychosocial treatment for challenging children, is described in Greene’s internationally acclaimed bestselling books The Explosive Child and Lost at School. He is associate clinical professor, department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and consults extensively and lectures throughout the world.

Greene will explain that it is natural for people of any age to want to do well in what they attempt. Children who do not do well may demonstrate this through challenging behaviour from crying or whining to extreme outbursts of screaming or swearing. This may be provoked because of skill delay in the development of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance and problem solving. “These kids have significant difficulty applying these skills where they are most needed because kids do well if they can–-if they can’t, we adults need to figure out what’s getting in the way, so we can help,” wrote Greene.

To understand why a challenging behaviour presents, it’s important for adults to focus on identifying with whom, over what, where and when the behaviour occurs.

Challenging behaviour, including but not limited to explosions, occurs when the cognitive demands placed upon a person outstrip the person’s capacity to respond adaptively. Challenging behaviour communicates that the child doesn’t have the skills to respond to problems more adaptively, so adult invention must be aimed at solving problems and teaching lagging cognitive skills. To do this, parents, teachers and other professionals must understand why a child’s challenging behaviour occurs. Adults need to identify the specific situation where the behaviour or unsolved problem occurs and help the child solve this by teaching them the skills to respond adaptively.

Greene will share essential information on his theory which he has employed successfully in his practice and through extensive consultation with general and special education schools, inpatient and residential facilities and systems of juvenile detention.

Collaborative problem solving: Understanding and helping kids with social, emotional, and behavioural challenges runs from 7:45 am through 4 pm and costs $175 to attend. Readers can visit for registration and more information.