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5 Ways to Change Your Lens Around Kids Behavior and Collaboration (P2)


At ThinkCERCA’s 2023 Leadership Institute, we had the pleasure of having Dr.Ross Greene, child psychologist and New York Times bestseller author of Raising Human Beings, address the shortcomings of traditional approaches to understanding the root causes of behavioral challenges in students. In part one of our blog, we broke down the 5 key paradigms Dr. Greene recommended to changing your lens on behavioral challenges and his one simple solution: “Ask the kid.” Part 2 will dissect Dr. Greene's suggested options for handling unsolved problems.

Watch the full video of Dr. Greene’s advocacy for a collaborative and proactive approach here

Options for handling unsolved problems

Plan A- Solve the problem unilaterally

This plan is for emergent surprising safety issues. Therefore, only this circumstance warrants you to decide what is getting in the child’s way and what to do. 

Plan B-Solve the problem collaboratively

1. Empathy Step

Here is where you gather information on what is making it difficult for the child to reach their expectations. Do not decide for them. 

2. Define Adult Concerns Step

The adults should consider their concerns and ask why those expectations are important. If you do not know why it is important, then do not have that expectation. 

3. Invitation Step

Invite the child to collaborate on a solution that meets two important criteria: realistic and mutually satisfactory. Both parties need to be able to do what they agree to do for the problem to be resolved. 

Plan C-Put the expectation on hold for now 

Expectation management is not about giving in or giving up, but rather prioritizing what expectations are important to you. If you are proactive, do not bring up the issue. If it is too late, a simple “ok” will do. Meet the children where they are and ensure that they are getting what they need. 


Be sure to check out the full video and you can find the video slides here. Be sure to check out the other blogs in our Agency for All, a thought leadership community focused on literacy as a means to empowerment and self-advocacy.