Tips to weaken problematic interactions (3) via externalizing a problem-strengthening IDEA (#1)

Aim or sub-task           Guiding questions
Explore with curiosity the nature, history, effects, and tactics of the (potentially problematic) idea     What is it that worries you the most about the (e.g,.  ‘misbehavior’) issue? (e.g.,  “Kids should always comply with their parents”; “her disobedience”) How does the idea that your child should always comply with you interferes in your life? How has this idea affected your relationship with your child? Where is this idea more influential? How does this idea manage to convince you of its “truth”? When did you start “blindly obeying” this idea? It is unacceptable, for you, that your child seems not to comply with you, or not comply to certain principles or standards? What would those be? Respecting other’s rights? Caring about personal safety? Self-control? Other?
Explore unique outcomes Has there ever been a time when your child did not comply with what you were saying, but you thought it was nevertheless acceptable? What happened on this occasion? What was different? What did you do? What did s/he do? What did your partner say? What was the first thing you noticed? How did you know that his disobedience was not “bad”? What was the valuable principle s/he was “covertly obeying” in this “good disobedience”? What have you done that has helped your child to obey this important principle? What else?  
Explore future effects of unique outcome If your child believed that it is more important to you that s/he complies with certain principles, rather than complying with you, what do you think would happen to the problem? If your child believed that you worry more about mutually ignoring or distrusting one another, than how much s/he complies with your wishes, what do you think would happen to the problem? If could child was convinced about your good intentions, what would this mean to you? Who would be the most surprised if s/he did get convinced? Who would be the least surprised? Why? What would be different in your life? What would be different in your relationship with your child?

Tips to weaken problematic interactions (2) via externalization (#1)

Aim or sub-task           Guiding questions
Name the problem: negotiate an experience-near formulation for the problem How would you call this problem? Lack of control? Melting down? Misbehaviour? Restlessness? Blowing up?…something else? If we had a thermometer measuring temperature from 1 to 100 degrees, where 100 is the worst because you totally blow up, where would you be right now in the ‘blowing up’ scale?
Explore the negative effects of the problem Does the problem (e.g., ‘blowing up’) make you do things that you don’t like to do, or that you regret afterwards? What does the problem make you do? What else?
Is it a ‘strong’, powerful problem? What makes the problem bigger (or stronger)? If we asked your mom, how can she tell when the thermometer went from 20° to 50°? To 70°? To 90°? How does she do, or how does she respond when you are under the influence of this problem?
Explore unique outcomes (for more details check up on “tips via unique outcome”). Did you ever beat the problem (e.g., the ‘blowing up’)? Did the problem ever complied with you, instead of you complying with it? When was (bearer of problem) able to lower the intensity (or frequency) of the problem? When was (bearer of problem) able to do something with the problem? How did you notice? What was the first thing you noticed? What did you/her do? What did your mom notice? What did she do? What happened on that occasion? What did others say about this?
Fxplore unique outcomes in the future If (unique outcome) happened again in the next few days/weeks, what would happen to the problem? Do you think its influence in your life would increase or decrease? What difference would this make for you? What would be different in your life? What else?

Tips to weaken problematic interactions (1) via intention-effect (#1)

Aim or sub-task                               Guiding questions
Obtain a prototype of the problematic behavior or situation Can you tell me a typical situation in which this problem (e.g.,  “lack of self-control”; “blowing up”; “melting down”; “losing it”; etc)  takes place? How would you call it? Can you describe how it was the last time that this problem happened?
Obtain a typical response (TR) to problematic  behavior How did you respond in this situation? What did you do when X behaved in that (problematic) way? (e.g., I tried to stop her by…)
Search for positive intention behind TR What did you expect it would happen by doing that (TR)? What was the outcome you were looking for? What were you intending?
Separate intention from actual effect What would you say was the immediate effect of doing what you did (RT)? What has been the long-term consequences for your relationship? What has been the effect of doing that according to the other person participating in the situation? Would you say this is not the result that you were hoping for?
Formulate negative feelings or “stance” on actual effect How do you feel when you realize that you could have produced effects that you weren’t intending? What happens to you when you realize about what actually happened?
Separate agent from action If you had known in advance what the actual effect would be, would you have done something different? If you were convinced that in a situation like this there is something you could do to prevent this negative effect, would you do it?
Formular valor ausente pero implícito Why would you do something different? What values are at stake for you  here? What would be different for you if your intentions came across without distortion to the other?

Some ideas that could foster “Exercising inner control” (#1)

  • “My child rejects outer control (maybe he wants to learn how to self-control)”
  • “Her misconduct is a form of protest against maltreatment”
  • “Controlling oneself is not easy: it requires a lot of practice and support”
  • “Children have a natural need/desire for autonomy”
  • “Her protest is a call for help”

Some “truths” linked to “losing control” (#1)

  • “Kids should always comply with their parents”
  • “Kids are unable to self-control”
  • “My daughter wants to manipulate (or control) me”
  • “My child is bad”
  • “My child is defiant”
  • “My child has ODD (oppositional defiant disorder)”
  • “He is just like his father; it’s genetic”
  • “I was the same as a kid”
  • “I must intervene; If I let them alone, they will kill each other”

Tips for co-building “cooperation” (via extraordinary event)

Objective Guide questions
Explore extraordinary events Was there ever a cooperating child? Have you ever decided Cooperate? What did you do right after, when you noticed that she was self-control? How did she respond when you did that? What did you do that time, that allowed her to exercise self-control? If by exploring this episode in depth, we could learn something about your ability to foster cooperation, would you be interested?
Internalize personal agency You said you did something different that time, how did you do it? How you were able to stop the autopilot (p. for example, refrain from shouting that were going to do what you asked), and try a more communication mode effective, for her to take initiative or be a cooperator? Was there anything distinguishing that you thought or observed or felt that made you stronger, as to do something different than usual?
Connect with the person’s skills Where Learned? What does it say of you this skill, and been able to respond differently? What kind of the person are you?
Recruit a support team Who could help you facilitate cooperation/be more cooperative? Who could help you help? If you is gaining the out of control What can your dad do? Who more could help you? Who more could help them? Who could I help your dad help you?
Inquire of the event extraordinary to the future If your dad wanted to train patience, how would you notice he’s making an effort? How would you respond to his effort? If you had your mom, I’d have a better chance of ask you for some things calmly, what do you think would happen to the problem? How much would your presence and influence decrease in the relationship with your dad? What would this mean for you? And for you?

Tips for co-constructing cooperation (via thickening preferences)

Objective Guide questions
Identify a practice as a favorite (e.g., connoting it as preferred in relation to a “problematic” one) Note: “practice” can be a behavior, emotion, ability, attitude, intent, idea, identity, or any other “reality” signified as very important in a person’s relational life) Do you think there is a difference between giving orders/commanding/forcing and asking calmly? How can you tell when you are giving an order/commanding/forcing and when you are asking things calmly? You said that your son was very angry and that he was “wrong”; Is that so? According to you, What’s wrong with getting angry in situations like that? Not taking an initiative to collaborate? Not taking others into consideration? Demanding rights without any Obligations? Something else? Do you like anger because it gives you “strength”? does it help you express that you don’t like being bossed around? Do you like being autonomous, being able to show that if you weren’t commanded you would do things by yourself? There’s parents who want to help their children learn to take responsibilities (or to control themselves; or to respect others; or Is that something important to you? When have you noticed glimpses of these learnings?
Characterize preference How would you call that? Does your daughter know that you’re interested in promoting your “capacity to cooperate”? How would you know that she’s being more cooperative? Do you know someone who is cooperative? When Have you seen her exercise any degree of cooperation? Who is the best in the house to cooperate? Second best? The third one?…
Discover inspirations or reasons (e.g., utility, kindness, beauty). Why do you find it “ugly” not to cooperate? Why do you find it admirable to cooperate? How does it serve you? What has life taught you about the importance of being cooperative? Where Did you learn that? What would happen immediately in your relationship with your daughter if she decided to value and accept your willingness for her to develop cooperation skills? What would happen after a year? after 10 years?
Notice (changes in) preference status Who has made any improvement in “cooperation” in the house? Have you noticed any difference in your daughter’s cooperation in the last year? in the last month? How did you find out? How long do out-of-control episode last in response to requests? from 1 to 10, how much would you say…? What does patience do to the yelling impulse when dealing with non-cooperative behaviors? Does reprimands help you to cooperate? What else helps you?
Plan act and consolidate What (else) will you do to support/exercise cooperation? Do you have a plan? How Will you practice your cooperation muscles? What do these changes say about your relationship? What/Who are you becoming?