Chapter 2: Lost At School by Dr Ross W. Greene…

“Plan A greatly heightens the likelihood of challenging behavior in challenging kids….Plan A doesn’t help us figure out why the kid isn’t meeting our expectations in the first place…Plan A doesn’t teach lagging skills or durably resolve problems giving rise to challenging behavior….Even in ‘ordinary’ kids, Plan A is just an application of ‘might makes right’. Isn’t ‘might makes right’ the wrong turn that society took a long time ago? If there’s another way to help kids meet adult expectations without teaching them that might makes right, shouldn’t we be interested?” .

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Plan C involves dropping a given expectation completely, at least temporarily. When you’re using Plan C, you’re not solving any problems or teaching any lacking thinking skills. But Plan C can help adults remove low-priority expectations, thereby helping a kid to be more ‘available’ to work on higher-priority problems or skills and reducing the likelihood of challenging behavior.” .

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Plan B involves Collaborative Problem Solving. Plan B helps adults clarify and understand a child’s concerns about or perspective on a particular unsolved problem…Plan B also helps the kid understand the adult’s concerns about the problem. And Plan B helps adults and kids work together toward mutually satisfactory solutions so that both parties’ concerns are addressed, the problem gets solved, and,…lagging skills get taught.” .

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”Question: Doesn’t helping kids with behavioral challenges take a lot of time?” .

Answer: Yes, helping, especially the kind that involves teaching skills and solving problems durably, takes time. But perpetually dealing with kids’ challenges in ways that aren’t working takes much more time. And don’t forget, Proactive Plan B is taking place at opportune moments, not under emergent conditions.” .

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I’ve used Dr Greene’s Plan B suggestions from his other book ‘The Explosive Child’ with great success with one of my boys. I am really excited to see this extended to all challenging behaviors that children exhibit as symptoms of lacking skills. I know this is a far cry, but I would love to see this adapted by all schools, most of which seem to default to Plan A now.

Current Read: Lost At School by Dr Ross W. Greene…

“When the ‘kids do well if they want to’ philosophy is applied to a child who’s not doing well, then we believe that the reason he’s not doing well is because he doesn’t want to. This very common assumption is usually wrong and causes adults to believe that their primary role in the life of a challenging kid (and the goal of intervention) is to make the kid want to do well. This is typically accomplished by motivating the kid, by giving him the incentive to do well, by rewarding him when he behaves in an adaptive fashion and punishing him when he behaves in a maladaptive fashion. By contrast, the ‘kids do well if they can’ philosophy carries the assumption that if a kid could do well he would do well. Doing well is always preferable to not doing well, but only if a kid has the skills to do well in the first place. If a kid isn’t doing well, he must be lacking the skills. What’s the most important role an adult can play in the life of such kid? First, assume he’s already motivated, already knows right from wrong, and has already been punished enough. Then, figure out what skills he’s lacking so you have the clearest possible understanding of what’s getting in his way. Understanding why a kid is challenging is the first and most important part of helping him. This can be a radical philosophical shift for a lot of people.” .

“When the ‘kids do well if they want to’ philosophy is applied to a child who’s not doing well, then we believe that the reason he’s not doing well is because he doesn’t want to. This very common assumption is usually wrong and causes adults to believe that their primary role in the life of a challenging kid (and the goal of intervention) is to make the kid want to do well. This is typically accomplished by motivating the kid, by giving him the incentive to do well, by rewarding him when he behaves in an adaptive fashion and punishing him when he behaves in a maladaptive fashion. By contrast, the ‘kids do well if they can’ philosophy carries the assumption that if a kid could do well he would do well. Doing well is always preferable to not doing well, but only if a kid has the skills to do well in the first place. If a kid isn’t doing well, he must be lacking the skills. What’s the most important role an adult can play in the life of such kid? First, assume he’s already motivated, already knows right from wrong, and has already been punished enough. Then, figure out what skills he’s lacking so you have the clearest possible understanding of what’s getting in his way. Understanding why a kid is challenging is the first and most important part of helping him. This can be a radical philosophical shift for a lot of people.”

“Consequences are wonderful when they work. They are less wonderful when they don’t work. And they often don’t work for the kids to whom they are most frequently applied. That’s because there are really only two goals imposed consequences help us achieve: (1) teaching kids basic lessons about right and wrong ways to behave, and (2) giving kids incentive to behave the right way. But—and this is important—the vast majority of challenging kids already know how we want them to behave…most challenging kids already want to behave the right way. They don’t need us to continue giving them stickers, depriving them of recess, or suspending them from school; they’re already motivated.”

Words of wisdom from my #currentread : Lost at School by one of my favorite parenting book authors: Ross W. Greene 🙌🏼