Problem-solve with your child.

When you engage your child and allow them to participate in solving problems between the two of you, you are letting them know that you are on their side. It is no longer about who wins and who loses; instead, the two of you can focus your energy on finding a solution that respects both your needs.


  1. Talk about the child’s feelings and needs.
    Put yourself in your child’s shoes—how are they feeling right now? What need of theirs is not being fulfilled? Let your child know that you are looking out for them too by communicating that you care. Be accepting of what they say, even if you don’t agree with it.

  2. *Talk about your feelings and needs.*
    What are you feeling? What need of yours is not being fulfilled? Help your child understand the motivations behind your actions.

  3. *Brainstorm together to find a mutually agreeable solution.*
    Sit down with your child and agree to come up with an idea that will be equally beneficial for both of you.

  4. *Write down all ideas—without evaluating.*
    Any and all ideas that come to mind should be written down. Don’t cross any off as a “bad idea;” that step comes later.

  5. *Decide which suggestions you like, which you don’t like, and which you plan to follow through on.*
    Look at your list of ideas. Begin crossing off the ones you are not comfortable with, and allow your child to do the same. Do not try to persuade or convince your child to accept an idea that they are not comfortable with.
    Look at the remaining ideas. Which ones do you plan on putting into action? If there are no remaining ideas, continue brainstorming. Dig deeper into your feelings and needs, and urge your child to do the same. Keep working at it until you find a solution for the both of you!


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