Tips to weaken problematic interactions (3) via externalizing a problem-strengthening IDEA (#47)

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., ‘attacking’ ) issue? (e.g.,  “violence is totally unacceptable”)

Can you tell me more about this idea? (e.g., “well, I don’t want to collude with it, I must stop it at once; there’s nothing to talk about it…”)

In which situations has this idea been useful to you/your child/your relationship?

Where did this idea come from?

How has this idea affected your relationship with your child?

What does this idea make you do that you don’t feel very proud about doing?

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? Would you say that for you is “unacceptable”: that your child feels angry or frustrated, that he hasn’t learned how to manage these feelings in acceptable ways (yet); or that they behave in disrespectful ways to others?

Explore unique outcomes Has there ever been a time when your child expressed their needs (or stances; or anger) in a more acceptable way?

What happened on this occasion? What was different?

What did you do? What did they do? What did your partner say?

What was the first thing you noticed?

How did you know that his anger was not “too bad”? What was it “about”?

What have you done that has helped your child to manage such difficult feelings in more constructive/pro-social ways? What else?

Who in your network may have some more ideas about how to better cope with frustration and anger?

Explore future effects of unique outcome If your child was more willing to use your help to better manage their frustration, what do you think would happen to the problem?

If your child believed that you are against disrespect (rather than against them, or their needs, or their expectations), what do you think would happen to the problem?

If could child was convinced about your good intentions (e.g., about their own safety, or future), what would this mean to you?

Who would be the most surprised if they 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?

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