Hibernating Problems

Unsolved problems tend to come and go. Adults may discuss one “hot” problem with a kid one hour or one week (for example, difficulty getting started on class assignments), and then turn to a completely different “hot” problem the next hour or week (for example, clowning around in the hallway). But if the discussions don’t include the three ingredients of Plan B, then the problem probably isn’t durably solved…it’s just “cooled down” a little, or gone into “hibernation”.

The second problem hasn’t been solved either; it’s gone into hibernation, too. Because the adults are busy and pressed for time, they lose track of the different problems…until one problem or the other pops up again (in other words, comes out of hibernation). This cycle can continue endlessly, causing great frustration in the kids and adults who are doing a lot of discussing but not a lot of problem-solving. Each challenging kid has a pile of problems that have gone unsolved for a long time, whether those problems are at home or at school, or both. Each school has a bunch of kids who have large piles of unsolved problems. That can feel a little overwhelming. So it helps to have a way to keep track of the two or three unsolved problems that are presently being worked on to ensure that they don’t end up in hibernation, to remember who’s doing Plan B with a kid on specific problems, and to have a record of where you’re at in the sequence of getting each problem solved. That’s why there's the Plan B Flowchart. It’s a way to keep track of the two or three unsolved problems you’re working on at any given point in time and where you’re at on the road to getting each problem solved. Plan B reduces challenging behavior one kid and one problem at a time. Naturally, I hope you’ll download the Plan B Flowchart, copy it, distribute it, and use it frequently. It’s available in The Paperwork section of this website. Thanks for reading.

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