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Problem Solving

TRANSCRIPT

ALAN
So there’s one other thing I want to talk about that can help reduce stress and anxiety, and that’s problem solving. I know it sounds simple or like something you already know how to do well, but sometimes it can be hard to see all of the options when you’re feeling overwhelmed. So I want us to do a little problem-solving exercise together. Are you okay with that? And I’ll need your help too, Addie.

KARA
Okay.

ADDIE
Yeah.

ALAN
Okay, so the first step is to identify the problem. If the problem has many parts, break it down into one problem at a time. So… is there a problem that you’re facing right now that you want to tackle together?

KARA
Yeah. How to get more sleep.

ALAN
That’s a good one. Is that a single problem, or does it have more than one part?

KARA
Well, I guess there are sort of two parts. One, being how to get more sleep, and two, how to get better sleep.

ALAN
Sure, sure, okay. Now we’ve identified the problem and its parts. Which part do you want to address first?

KARA
Well I guess you’ve already given me some tips on how to get better sleep so let’s tackle how to get more sleep.

ALAN
Okay, so the next step is to brainstorm solutions. Think of as many possibilities as you guys can.

Kara takes a moment to think. Addie’s hand shoots up.

ADDIE
I know. She could start with taking naps.

ALAN
Okay, good, good. Okay. What else?

KARA
I could ask Brock’s sisters to help out with some shifts with him. And maybe they can help with some of the paperwork as well.

ADDIE
Aunt Debbie could take me to school so you can sleep in more.

ALAN
Great. Okay, the next step is to evaluate the options, weigh the pros and cons of each. So the first step Addie said was to take naps. Pros and cons, go.

KARA
Okay, pro: would mean more sleep overall. Con: I just don’t know that I could nap long enough for it to really make a difference. Our daytime schedule doesn’t really accommodate naptime very well.

ALAN
Okay, next option: asking Brock’s sisters to help.

KARA
All right well pro: it would reduce my burden substantially just to know that someone else is there to help, if it’s doing shifts with Brock or helping out with some of the paperwork or even bringing Addie to school. Just to know that someone’s there that has my back. I really can’t think of any cons, honestly.

ALAN
That’s great. Now the next step is to choose the solution that seems best to you, and it sounds like you already know what that is.

KARA
Would you like your Aunt Debbie to take you to school?