Years ago I completed the Collaborative Problem Solving training and the focus of the approach and the language it provides really is such an important tool for anyone who works with children or teens that have been labeled as having ‘behavioral problems’. If you are unfamiliar, visit Thinkkids.org for more information. Right now, I am working through pieces of my own mental health. It has been a long journey to get to this point, and it comes at a time while I am dealing with a personal issue that is flaring and challenging those pieces. This quote, “Kids do well if they can” summarizes the focus of the CPS approach and suggests when there are lagging skills or abilities they behave accordingly.
There is so much conflict I see people experiencing with family, friends and at work. I hear so many people saying other people are inconsiderate assholes. This can be true because their behavior makes us feel they don’t care. I am wondering though, how much more at peace we would be if we experienced these people with the same understanding and compassion as CPS is asking us to for children. How much more self-aware could we be if we approached ourselves with the same understanding and compassion that everyone does well if they can.
When someone hurts us, I wonder if we can find some comfort in wondering what their lagging skills might be. What are they reacting to from their past? Talk to yourself and find out why you felt hurt. Did they say or do something harmful? Am I reacting to something from my past? Talk to them and let them know how you feel (“I” statements, Restorative Approaches and Impact Vs Intent coming soon).
We live complicated lives. I think boundaries are important. I worry about the amount of memes though that explicitly state dropping people who don’t serve you. Our relationships are complex. Family is complex. Friendships are complex. They are all complex because we are all working with what we have (or don’t have) and reacting based on our own experiences.
I like the saying, “When you know better, do better.” By allowing ourselves to approach people through the lens of CPS we slow down and see the complexities of the person. We can gain a better understanding and do better in calming challenging situations. We can better understand each other. It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of each other, do onto others right?