Start your journey here – Solution focused parenting eWorkshop

Research by Family Graffiti | Published on 20th January 2017

Enabling, Stimulating and Revolutionary.

Family Graffiti is parenting, but smarter. Our aim is to make child psychology accessible to all parents.

We believe knowledge is power, you’ll get real results once you understand what causes your child’s behaviours in the first place.

Through a series of online workshops and an on-demand searchable library of parenting guides, we will teach you the psychology behind your child’s behaviours and empower you with the parenting know-how to make a real difference to your child behaviours right from day 1.

Welcome to Family Graffiti your journey to happier, calmer and simpler parenting starts right here.

The cognition process

All of Family Graffiti’s parental teaching will work using what the child already has; a cognition process. By using the natural phenomenon that is the developing child’s mind, we should work our way systematically through every stage of the mind process to create an advantage that is proven to:

  • enable deeper learning and higher achievement
  • create better recall of learning
  • develop high order reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • prove to the child that learning can be fun.

What is Cognition?

Cognition is what our mind recalls from when we last faced a situation. This thought automatically believes that ‘this’ will happen again, this is how it makes me feel and how I should react. Basically, Cognitive means the mental processes involved in our thinking. Whatever our mind includes in its logical working process, including dreams, memories, images, thoughts and attention. It is a ‘process’, it happens one step after another.

 

The cognitive process:

  1. Receive information (learning: hearing, seeing, touching, sensing, tasting)
  2. Retain information (stored, indexed to previous events and ready for recall)
  3. Recall information (how we think, when an event re-occurs)
  4. Reacting to this information (how we behave, because of this thinking)

A practical definition of cognition would be the process by which we learn, think, feel & understand. This process determines how we should react (behave) in a given situation.

 

What is Behaviour? 

Behaviour, therefore, is a reaction. We combine our thoughts and feelings about a current action or an upcoming event then we act on them. Adults can weigh up and consider the outcome or consequence of behaviour, but children have limited ability to do this.

Cognitive Behaviour refers to everything that we do, and can be both ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (although we prefer wanted or unwanted. This includes what we say, how we try to solve problems, how we react and also how we avoid certain situations. Behaviour refers to both action and inaction, when referring to a given situation. It is fashioned by our thinking process, rather than by an inherent need to be naughty or shy or unhappy.

Weighing up the consequence and outcome of our behaviours is called cognitive reasoning, and this is a skill that children learn from watching and interpreting the world around them (especially you – their parent).

What is malfunctioning cognition?

If one of the cognitive functions in this process is disrupted, broken, or given the wrong message, then learning and understanding will not be completed and it won’t work properly. Of course, we are also influenced by what is going on around us (the environment in which we are living and learning), and this will contribute to the way we think, feel and react. But we can still change the way that we think about situations, even if we cannot effect change to our environment.

The “meaning” that we attach to any sort of event, influences our emotional responses to that event. With a child, they will have very few experiences of an event, and will not have the capacity to give a considered re-think to how they react. What they have learned, is all that they know, there are no alternatives. So if the wrong information has gone to any one of the four elements in the cognitive process, or if repeated poor reactions or behaviours have created a pattern of thinking (bad habits), then learning will be dysfunctional. This dysfunctional cognition can be repaired, given time spent on new learning.

“Inside every behaviour is a child struggling to behave”

How can we repair this?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a powerful treatment because it combines scientific, philosophical and behavioural aspects into one comprehensive approach to understanding and overcoming these common psychological problems.

Family Graffiti have taken this therapeutic approach, removed the psychology ‘babble’ and written ‘repair’ papers that are formed from this therapeutic approach, and put the practices into words that Parents can understand and created repairing strategies that parents can easily follow, that positively affect the thinking process of the Child. 

Given that ‘bad’ reactions are ‘bad habit forming’. We introduce the Child to ‘new’ thinking patterns, which then become their ‘new habits’ of behaviour. We don’t fight against the science of the mind (there is no point), we do not shout and argue or punish a child into accepting that they are wrong (because they are not), it is their thinking that has been processed wrongly. So we correct that thinking process. We write this into papers, that parents can adopt, that will truly help their children.

Read more Children and their feelings – the perfect cognitive repair

 

How to recruit the inner child

It is this inner child that we have to reach to, and need to engage to be able to achieve positive behaviour outcomes and enables us to make changes that can be meaningful to them.

No child is born bad, it is nurture that creates all behaviour. But they all must learn how to manage unwanted behaviours. They must also learn how their own feelings can impact on their own thinking, and about how their behaviour can impact others.

Poor behaviour reflects your child’s dysfunctional thinking process and how it affects their reaction to certain situations, not of them being naughty. So instead of blaming and punishing the child for poor behaviour, let them learn new skills for expressing their frustrations, anxieties and anger; this method is less distressing for the child and enables a long-term outcome. How? Solution-focused parenting…

“Search for the asset strengths that lie inside your child, not at the behaviour that troubles them”

 

Solution-focused parenting

Solution Focused Parenting is about having the ability to look at “things that happen in the every day: and see them in a more useful way”. Possessing a simple understanding that creates a calm, consistent, constant, continuum of creative thinking and intervention that develops a mindset for every childhood occasion. Always striving to see what can be improved, rather than what needs to be stopped. How can I create a solution rather than addressing fault?

  • How can I use this incident to make things better in the future?
  • How can I use this incident to make them realise better goals?
  • How can I help them to recognise and build on their key assets?
  • How can I best use this opportunity to get my message across?
  • How can I keep them safe in this situation?
  • How can I turn this difficult behaviour, into a positive conclusion?
  • How can I use this situation to teach advantage to my child?
  • How can I divert them onto a more positive cognitive path?

Always looking forward towards a solution, never backwards to the faults.

Always asking ‘How can we improve’? 

If a child has many challenging moments and difficult behaviour, our natural tendency is to focus on these unwanted behaviours. Eventually, the danger is that we will see only the problems. The only real connection that the Child has with adult messages is through their repeat behaviours and the constant labelling has to be ‘a naughty child’. Habit forming is the consequence of cognitive development, they will repeat the behaviour. That is their built-in process.

The parenting challenge is to look for, and encourage the strengths, and not lose sight of them. To see past the behaviour. To recognise, reward and encourage the repeated exercising of these strengths that are often hidden by the problems. Repeated good cognitive development, will encourage repeated good habits to be formed. This may sound confusing and crazy to the ‘untrained parent’, but it is less difficult than you imagine.

There are many ways to look at difficult behaviour and we cannot ignore the unsafe or the aggressive. But if we can determine that much poor behaviour comes from a child who cannot express their problems or their feelings, in any other way than what they know currently, then we can also recognise that there is a possibility for the Child to learn another way.

There are also many different variations that are possible, both in identifying behavioural changes for the Child and in the provision of parenting coping strategies. Every case is unique and many Children have multiple behavioural states, some present at the same time. This can make it very difficult to remain solution focused. But we only have to achieve it a few times, before we start to install new thinking processes. It will take strong parental resolve, but it can be done and will achieve a long-lasting effect.

The more solution focus that we introduce to the child’s early years, the more they will learn to manage their own solution as they grow.

 

Solution Focused Parenting is based on two very simple principles:

1. Nobody is perfect! This applies to handling our problems as well as everything else. But whatever the Child is doing in difficult behaviour times, may also hold the clues to what they can contribute to making things better. The seeds are there, they just need finding and then redirecting to become a contributor to the solution, rather than carrying the fault.

2. Focusing on the required achievement goal, is more productive than focusing on the fault. One of the common consequences of a serious problem is that it clouds our view of the future. We know that we don’t want the problem, but we have lost sight of what it is we do want.
Often referred to as having a “relentlessly positive outlook”, it makes the Parent sit back and think “what is it that the Child needs to achieve, and how do we get them to remain focused on this solution goal?

 

 

Test your understanding of cognition and solution focused parenting 

We hope you enjoyed our first eWorkshop. Why not take our short quiz on Cognition and Solution Focused parenting to see how much you’ve learnt?

 

Click the link below to start…

Take our quiz

 

You should now have a good understanding of the basics of child psychology and how Family Graffiti can help you on your journey to calmer happier and simpler parenting!

From here you can choose where suits you best to go next, you can browse our library, or why not take one of our online workshops?

  1. Behaviour eWorkshop
    Learn how to improve your child’s go-to behaviour reactions with our simple, step by step Behaviour Workshop course that will give you all the tools you need to practise our solution-focused parenting techniques.
  2. Communication eWorkshop
    Learn how to recruit the inner child with your words and actions – not only will we teach you how to speak so they will listen, you’ll also learn how to teach them to communicate, make friends and thrive.
  3. Family eWorkshop
    Life with more than one child can be a battleground at times! This workshop will empower you with parenting know-how to tackle sibling rivalry and balance sibling relationships.
  4. Divorce and separation: Dealing with change eWorkshop
    We strongly believe that a happy family is much more important to a child’s wellbeing than a nuclear family. Learn how to help both you and your child transition through family changes.
  5. Discipline and Boundaries eWorkshop
    Giving you all the tools you need to instil a solution-focused parenting approach. Boundaries and discipline needn’t be fraught with tension and raised voices, no longer will you have to go around in circles. This workshop is full to the brim with tips, solutions and guides to instilling successful boundaries and limitations without inhibiting your child’s learning.
  6. Sleep eWorkshop
    In need of a good nights sleep? This workshop is packed full of how-to tips and guides from bedtime routines to night terrors and anxious sleepers.
  7. Anxiety eWorkshop
    What is anxiety? What triggers anxiety? How to soothe your child’s anxiety? This workshop gives you all the parenting tools you need to cope with, manage and soothe your child’s anxious behaviours.
  8. Baby and Toddler eWorkshop
    How do babies learn? Should I discipline my toddler? Everything you need to know about child psychology in the early years and helping your toddler to understand their world, through their eyes.
  9. Food Phobia eWorkshop
    Why are kids picky eaters and how can we help them to have a better relationship with their food psychologically? This workshop will teach you everything you need to know about our psychological relationships with food.
  10. School eWorkshop
    Covering everything from how to help prepare your child for their first day at school, helping them to embrace and enjoy learning to making friends and coping with bullying. This workshop will empower you to help your child through their school years.
  11. Autism eWorkshop
    From daily routines, to communicating with a concrete thinker. Our Autism workshop will give you the tools you need to help you to understand how a child with Autism understand, learns, thinks and engages with their world.
  12. Gaming eWorkshop
    Understanding how gaming affects your child psychologically will give you to tools to help soothe those troublesome behaviours that often sit side by side with kids who love to game. Whether your child loves the Xbox, PC, PlayStation, mobile gaming or Handheld consoles, if they have having trouble regulating their moods and emotions after a gaming session, then this is the eWorkshop for you!

Parent Toolbox

You’ll find a Parent Toolbox at the bottom of each of our workshop pages. Here you’ll find supporting content, further reading from our online library of guides, and downloadable guides to help you on your parenting journey. 

Further reading:

Calm voices, calm choices, calm children

What is cognition?

How to recruit the inner child

Cognitive and constructivist parenting

Finding diamonds on the beach – a guide to solution-focused parenting

10 reasons why calmer is better

Step by step problem solving

Problems – it isn’t all about you

How to teach your child to manage their own behaviours 

 

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