Shared Thinking - Jedd Hafer
What does the Love and Logic concept of 'shared thinking' actually mean?
Do you know kids who like to keep adults doing all the thinking? Do you know kids who are good at handing their problems to adults? Do we serve kids by taking over situations and solving problems for them?
At the Love and Logic Institute, we believe in sharing the thinking with our kids. How do we do this? Are we sharing thinking right now?
You got it. Questions! Do questions make us think? Do they cause our brain to seek answers? So, we can share thinking (and healthy control) by giving kids OPTIONS and by asking lots of thinking questions. Love and Logic teachers also take advantage of the brain's built-in need for closure by teaching with lots of open questions and incomplete ______. Did your brain just fill in that blank? We let kids fill in the ______s (did it happen again?) and get them thinking. And the results are fantastic.
Most of all, we avoid 'taking over' and doing all the thinking or coming up with all the solutions. Except, of course when great harm could come to someone if we don't override and use our veto power.
Some grown-ups experiment with phrases like these:
"I don't know. What do you think?"
"Are you sure that's the best idea?"
"How do you think that's going to work?"
"Would you like to hear what some other kids have tried?"
"It'll be interesting to see how this turns out..."
and "What do you think you are going to do?"
These are often useful replacements for phrases like:
"Oh, NOW you've done it!"
"Here's what you need to do..."
"That's a terrible idea!"
"That will never work!"
"If you do that, _______ [filled in] is going to happen."
It can be fun to see what happens when we are intentional about sharing more of the thinking and spend less time telling our kids "how it is". Some parents see a delightful shift in the ownership of important issues.
One dad heard his teenage son say, "Stop making me think so much!"
Dad smiled and wondered if this was a good thing. He decided he liked having a thinking kid.
Have a _______ day!
And thanks for sharing our ideas with you friends!
Check out this fun and helpful audio: Raising the Odds for Responsible Behavior.