TAKES THE ADULT OUT OF THE MIDDLE
Benefits to Children:
1. Problem Prevention
Specific complaints provide insights into what individuals can do to prevent or eliminate problems. When Johnny wanted to play with Ralph, Johnny would come to him and hit him. A fight would ensue. Through the Five-Step Process Ralph found out what the hitting was all about. His response was simply, “Just say, ‘Do you want to play?’” That was the end of the problem for the two boys. They went off arm in arm. Both boys were introduced to a peaceful satisfying way to resolve conflict. And Johnny gained insight into a more productive way to invite others to play with him.
2. Growth in Social Emotional Literacy
The Five-Step Process is a consistent, easy-to-learn formula for daily problem-solving. The children who come to adults to solve their problems throughout the day are given opportunities and guidance in using the process until these communication skills become a part of their repertoire.
3. Language Development
Children with limited speech and limited English are intrinsically motivated to talk because it is about their personal problems and upsets. The simple, consistent script assists them in speaking. As they witness or are apart of the Five-Step Process, they learn how safe and satisfying it is.
4. Lessening of Anger
As strong feelings are stated and heard, they dissipate. Being listened to says, “You matter.” As problems are resolved, anger is replaced by calmness, self-worth, pride, connection, and friendship.
5. Solution Rather than Blame
Because the goal is solving the problem rather than spending time and energy on who is to blame, the individuals involved accept their responsibility in the problem more readily. Compromise, cooperation, and growth are a direct result.
6. Positive Alternatives to Physical Force
Children experientially learn that talking about the problem is more satisfying and effective than hitting, kicking, pinching, and shoving.
7. Responsibility Development
When the Five-Step Process is the accepted problem-solving method, feelings and needs are expressed and heard. Tattling is virtually eliminated. The responsibility for solving the problem is on the children involved. The adult is no longer judge, jury, and chief problem-solver.