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Old 05-24-2007, 08:55 PM   #46
GrowingInGrace
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Thank you so so much for taking the time to summarize. I am crying here knowing how ineffective we've been to handle my very emotional 3.5 year olds upsets, with very little to go on for providing us and her with tools she can use to help herself as she grows. She and I have talked about her feelings very briefly - only to the point that we are both in agreement that we don't know why she gets so upset, she just does.

At first, when I saw this book recommended to me, I thought, "great, another book I have to get/read and not know how to implement". But I love the summarizing you are doing, because it lays out the important parts so I really understand that I DO NEED this book. Probably more than any other at this point, because it's the only one with the specific tools to help her learn to manage her emotions. This is our biggest obstacle between us. It's not enough to be just reflecting and sympathetic to her, but also to be able to provide her with the skills to manage them. And honestly, it probably will teach me to manage my own.

Thank you so so so much again....I've felt so helpless with regards to her. And now I see there are real tools to help her.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:26 PM   #47
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

(((Casey))) It really is so practical. The tough part is practicing the examples at a neutral time, and that's when it matters most. And you're absolutely right, it's a helpful book for *anyone* - most of us have inadequate skills for dealing with disappointment.
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:06 PM   #48
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Chapter Five: Problem Solving Tools

The author has developed a "problem solving summary" known as STAR. There are a variety of things that upset children and many ways to solve problems...the STAR method is a general summary of the problem-solving method.

Stop and focus.
Think of ideas.
Act effectively.
Review and revise.

Stop and focus - there are two parts to this. The first is looking at yourself (calming yourself, perhaps using the self-calming tools from the previous chapters) and the next is defining the problem (what is really the issue here? How do you feel? etc.)

Think of ideas - brainstorm many ideas (this is not the time for evaluating the ideas, so just write them all down). Aim for one idea per year until age 12. If having difficulties, think of what a wise person you know might suggest, or what you'd do if you were a magician or had a million dollars.

Act effectively - evaluate the ideas. Select the best one or two and plan to implement it/them. Is it realistic and respectful? Work immediately and long term? Adapt and change as needed. When can you implement the idea? Who will be involved? When will you review how it worked? Think of potential road-blocks you might need to overcome.

Review and revise - how did it go? Was it successful? Consider why. If not, why did it fail? Sometimes it takes more than one approach to solve a long-standing problem.

You can help introduce this tool by modelling it yourself. The example the author gave was a repairman calling that a dryer part wouldn't be availble and how the mom brainstormed ideas (hang dry, go through clothes and see if they are clean enough to wear, laundromat, etc).

This process can be used for problems with "people" and with "things," the main difference would be the type of solutions you come up with. I will summarize the differences between this methods and the rest of the chapter soon.
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Old 05-29-2007, 02:38 PM   #49
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

This is looking like a great book for my oldest ds and I to work through together - in a team effort. We both react similarly when we are frustrated and feeling on the verge of exploding.
So, now, I can HALT and/or STAR.
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Old 05-29-2007, 02:54 PM   #50
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Quote:
Originally Posted by phermion
So, now, I can HALT and/or STAR.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:31 PM   #51
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

That book isn't available in our library system, so I'll be reading the summaries here
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:19 AM   #52
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

I just got my copy from the bookstore yesterday. I've only read 2 pages, but so far I'm loving this book.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:43 AM   #53
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Thanks for reviving this! I can't believe it's been since May that I've updated. Life keeps getting in the way, I guess. But I need the tools and reminders more than ever!

Chapter 5 continued....Strategies to Deal With Things (dealing with people is the next section)

Younger and older children both can be frustrated by learning how the physical world works (untangling something, pouring into a glass, kicking a soccer ball, etc). The frustration can come from either a) lack of understanding of how the world works, or b) a lack of skill or ability to do the activity.

Lack of Understanding: Crary says we're often tempted to tell the child why what they're doing isn't working. She gives the example of a child building a block tower on a wrinkled carpet and it keeps falling down. It would be easy for us to say, "It's falling down b/c it's on a wrinkle. Build it over there." She says, "While that is the quickest way to give information, it may not be the most effective way for the child to learn the information. Usually children learn best discovering things themselves" (46).
Our job in these sorts of situations is to ask questions, make observations, help them try things out (e.g., building a tower on a stable part and asking what the difference is) until they discover the solution. This teaches the child to think about the problem: defining the problem, creating alternatives, testing the ideas, etc. This is a skill they can then use to reduce frustration in the future.

Lack of Skill: Many children get frustrated b/c they want to do something (e.g., play piano, play basketball, read a book) but they simply lack the skill. Learning the skill takes time and practice and sometimes the progress is not easily seen so they become upset. (This is the *biggest* thing in my dd1's life right now..."giving up" b/c she can't do it right away and getting overly frustrated if I suggest something). Following are seven ways we can help the child stay focused on their goal.

1) Get a teacher or a mentor. Find a person who knows the skill or one who also has experience teaching the skill; this will make it easier to learn and they can help you/the child avoid common problems encountered while mastering the skill.

2) Divide the task into small pieces. This is pretty self-explanatory but something I often forget. I find for myself if I do this the task becomes more manageable almost immediately. We help our children think of the small steps, not just tell them what they are.

3) Make practice fun. She suggests using rewards after several times of trying the skill.

4) Chart your progress. Find some way to record effort and success, keeping track on a calendar, in a notebook, etc.

5) Take breaks. Whenever you find yourself getting upset, take a break. Plan for that, say, taking a water break. You can also use the self-calming tools from the previous chapters.

6) Make a committment. It could be in terms of "effort" or "results." For example, effort could be in terms of x-am't of time or x-am't of tries, whereas results would be x-am't of right tries no matter how long it takes.

7) Imagine yourself as successful. Put lots of detail into the imagination...what you hear, see, feel, etc.

The strategies can be used for any skill a child wants to learn. You can also incorporate them when you're learning a new skill and talk about what you're doing, ask the child for another idea to help you learn your new skill, etc.

Next will be "Strategies to deal with people."
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:23 AM   #54
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Thank you. I really need it. It will be what I give dh while I'm reading the book. We need help fast.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:18 PM   #55
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Bummpity bump-bump.
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Old 10-04-2007, 04:42 AM   #56
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

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Old 10-24-2007, 11:24 AM   #57
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Chapter Five continued....Strategies to Deal With People

Conflicts are the inevitable result of clashing individual needs or the result of teasing or malicious intent. These strategies help children deal with other people. Bullying, however, is a problem in need of grown-up help - it only happens in settings where the adults ignore it or accept it as normal behaviour. (There's an appendix I'll summarize later that has resources for dealing with bullying). Each of the following ten strategies are useful for some situations and not others, so we need to help our children brainstorm ideas for the pertinent situation.

1. Clarify the situation. The child can use a clear, firm tone to clarifying the situation and state expectations. E.g., "That is my hat. Please give it to me." This tool can also be used to collect information, in a friendly, curious way. "You have snatched my hat every day this week. What is so compelling about my hat?"

2. Negotiate differences. Find out what the other person wants and talk about how both peoples' needs can be met. (This will be discussed further in the next segment).

3. Ignore the problem. This can be a difficult tool to use, especially if the other child wants bystanders' attention at well, but it is the classic "ignore them" advice.

4. Reframe the situation. The child tries to find a positive element in the problem or finds a way to discount the negative element to the problem no longer upsets him/her. "Paul's my friend...he'll return the hat, so I'll let him play with it now if he wants."

5. Change or move. The child moves to a safe or protected place.

6. Distract or divert. Draw the other child's attention to something else...in the hat situation the child could distract the other and grab her hat back while he's not looking. We could also use this step for teaching our children the "bean-dip method."

7. Use humour. Exaggerating the situation to the point of ridiculous in your mine can help you to maintain control of the situation and deal with your feelings.

8. Do something unexpected. This can be used for a situation that often comes up, so the child can try something unexpected, either giving the child exactly what he wants (but maybe having a whole bunch of hats to toss at him one at a time) or prevent it in an unusual way (strapping the hat to her coat).

9. Get help. When a child has tried unsuccessfully to handle a situation, it's appropriate for the child to get help from a friend or adult. The author recommends the book Telling Isn't Tattling to help the child differentiate between "telling" and "tattling."

10. Use force. Another option is to use force to get the hat back.

Next I'll summarize the section on helping children negotiate.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #58
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Wow, that was really helpful! Thank you!
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:02 PM   #59
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Yeah, I wrote this out yesterday afternoon and after school my kindergartner comes home to say someone bullied her on the school bus, so it was very pertinent. :/
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:57 AM   #60
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Default Re: Discussion of "Dealing With Disappointment" by Elizabeth Crary

Chapter Five continued...Help Children Negotiate

Negotiation is an excellent skill, and similar to the problem-solving process. Kids do need these skills before they are able to negotiate:

Prerequisite skills:

1. Ability to listen and pay attention. "It is impossible to negotiate if you do not understand what the other person wants" (50).
2. They needs some basic language concepts such as same-different, if-then, why-because, to be able to discuss ideas presented.
3. To understand feelings as presented in Chapter 3.

I love how once again she doesn't give an age for the above skills, but just that they should be present. Her focus on "skills" and not age is very encouraging to me.

Steps to facilitate negotiation:

It's important to remember our job as parents is not to tell them what to do or offer ideas or suggestions, but to help them find a solution.

Step 1: Gather data. Find out why they're upset by asking open-ended questions; don't be surprised if their explanations differ, you're just trying to get enough info to identify the problem.

Step 2: State the problem clearly. It's easier for children to negotiate if they know what the problem is. State the problem in terms of both children's needs. You can say something like, "We have two children who want the same toy. What can we do so they will both be happy?" She says it's important to include the "be happy" part so they will be feel satisfied that their need is met.

Step 3: Generate ideas. Encourage many ideas; write them down if you can't remember all of them b/c if you forget the child may feel like you didn't like it. Silly ideas should be encouraged. Aim for one suggestion per year of age until age 12. Separate generating ideas from evaluating them; if a child gets upset at the other's idea, remind that, "Right now we are thinking of ideas. Later we will choose an idea" (52).

Step 4: Evaluate the ideas. With older children you can go through the ideas and evaluate each of them to see if they're reasonable, respectful, or realistic. With youngers you can say, "Do you think any of the ideas will work for both of you?" Have them think of ideas the other kid would like, and then an idea that could work for both. They can negotiate with other toys, chores, timing of things, etc.

Step 5: Ask for a decision and help the children plan. If there are several ideas that are acceptable, have them choose one. If there's only one, ask if it will work for both. Then plan how to implement it and build in a time to review how it worked. Praise them when the problem is resolved.

Helping children negotiate is a time-consuming process in the short term, but it saves energy and the parent works him/herself out of a job as the children learn to resolve their own problems.

Supporting kids' problem solving

As children grow, parents' roles change.

Parent as comforter. When a baby or toddler wants something the parent often distracts the child with something else or asks the older child to let the baby play with the toy. In these examples the parent is comforting the child by solving the problem. During this stage you can describe what you're doing and different alternatives you're using (wait, trade, take turns, etc.) so the child can see different skills and tools in use.

Parent as teacher. As children grow, they need to take a more active part in their happiness (54). At this stage the parent offers choices and lets the child decide what to do. If the child has no ideas, ask questions about what they think they'd like. After suggesting two or three ideas, back out and let the child come up with some more.

Parent as coach. Children need to practice thinking of ideas themselves before they can be effective in solving their problems. As a coach you can provide structure to help them identify the problem and come up with ideas or recall skills they have, i.e., "You really want the fire engine Simon has. What are you going to do?" If they sayd, "I don't know," you can say, "I remember you wanted the police car he was using this morning...what did you do then?" This is reminding him of information he already has.

Parent of consultant. At this stage you are a sounding board for the child's ideas rather than offering ideas or structure. Let the child know you are listening by reflecting back what you hear him/her saying. Let him/her know you're available to help if they want it, then drop the subject completely unless s/he asks for your help.
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