While it is tempting to try to force children to behave in a certain way, these attempts often fail. Children realize that you are trying to control their behavior and may respond by doing just the opposite of what you'd like.
Plan A increases the chances that your child will react poorly instead of complying. Commanding a child to do something often backfires.
Plan C – Consciously Deciding to Ignore the Behavior for Now
This approach involves deciding to drop the problem for now. If your child has a number of challenging behaviors, you may decide to delay dealing with one behavior in order to focus on a more important one. Greene writes “Plan C involves modifying, adapting, or setting aside an unsolved problem completely, at least temporarily. It can also involve holding off on helping to see if your child can solve a given problem independently.”
For example, if your child is refusing to take a jacket to school even though it's cold out, you may decide to let this go for now because you want to focus on the bigger issue of getting to school on time.
Handling one issue at a time sets you up for success. Once one problem is solved, it's easier to solve the next one.
Plan B – Brainstorming Using Collaborative & Proactive Solutions
Plan B takes the most time but also has the highest probability of success. When you use Plan B, you work with your child to find a solution to the problem. You are typically the one approaching your child to discuss the problem. You want to open up the discussion at a time when you and your child both have enough energy and the problem is not occurring.
In Raising Human Beings, Greene describes the three steps in the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions process as: