If you’re new to Dr. Greene's model, there’s some chance your initial attempts at Plan B were of the emergent variety. In other words, you may have waited until you were smack dab in the middle of a highly predictable problem before you began trying to collaborate on solving it. As you may know, that’s called Emergency Plan B, and it’s the hardest way to solve problems collaboratively.
It could also be a sign that you haven’t yet formally identified the unsolved problems that are reliably and predictably precipitating the kid’s challenging episodes using the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) (you’ll find it in The Paperwork section of this website). If that’s the case, you have some work to do before you return to Plan B. But even if you’ve already completed the ALSUP and you already know what unsolved problems you want to work on, Plan B – the proactive variety of Plan B – requires planning. You’re probably going to want to make an appointment with the kid to do Proactive Plan B at optimal times. Now, there are kids who don’t like the whole appointment idea, but most are fine with it, especially once they know that their concerns are going to be heard, clarified, understood, and validated in these discussions. And there are kids who do well with spur-of-the-moment Plan B...but probably many more who don’t like to be surprised by Plan B. It can take a whole lot of Emergency Plan B to accomplish what one Proactive Plan B can get done. So now comes the hard part: when are you going to do Proactive Plan B? If you’re a parent, you have a variety of options, all of which are great for some kids and parents and lousy for others: bedtime, while riding in the car, during a meal, or at some set time each day or week. At school, Proactive Plan B can take place before school, after school, during recess, during lunch, during teacher prep time, or while the other students are busy working. And I’ve yet to meet the school administrator who wasn’t willing to provide coverage so a classroom teacher could do Proactive Plan B with a challenging kid. So I have a deal for you. I’ll trade you those 20 Emergency Plan Bs for one or two Proactive Plan Bs. That’s a lot less Plan B with a lot more to show for it. And if you started reading this Hot Topic because you thought Plan B was about “making a deal,” then this content probably wasn’t what you expected. That’s because Plan B isn’t about making deals...it’s really not about compromising either. It’s about working toward solutions that address the concerns of both parties. Thanks for reading. If this content didn’t make as much sense to you as you might have wished, you may want to explore some of the content in the Why Solve Problems Collaboratively? section of this website. If the content was just right, feel free to read some of the other Hot Topics or to explore the other resources available to you on this website.