This is our family Problem-Solving Notebook. It lives in a basket near our dining table with some other items we need for meals and clean up. I wanted it to be handy and in a place that was easy to grab from the dining room table. Dinner is the time when we get a chance to really talk about our day and decompress.
On the inside cover, I added a list of the parts of Method III and the goal of each step. This helps remind me of the steps and helps teach the kids what we are doing. I am intentional about looking at the list when we complete each step. I hope that my kids problem-solve this way when they go off into the world. I hope that as we go through problems together, they will become unconsciously skilled at working with others to solve all kinds of problems. As a family, you will work to figure out how to divide chores, take vacations, navigate education, discuss curfew, and tackle screen usage. You will be able to have these hard conversations and walk away with your relationship intact and a solution that you feel good about.
Taking notes ensures that your work continues. Taking notes ensures that all people involved in the conversation have a chance to see their contribution recorded and considered. Each person matters. Each idea matters. Each issue matters. None is forgotten or ignored.
My family started our notebook by making a list of issues we had. We all put something down on the page and we stopped. During our next dinner, we talked about it again and added a few more issues to our list. We know that the list is never done. We can always come back and add something to it.
Our next step was to discuss when we wanted to meet. We decided we liked dinner time. The kids were eager each night to keep working on the book. They wanted to solve some of the problems on the list. We decided what would be the first thing to tackle and then we got to work solving problems in our home.
Method III should not be a marathon, but more looked at as a small burst of work with time for rest. Time for thinking and reflecting. We are looking to solve problems for good and without having to enforce or convince anyone to do anything. Soon, I know my kids will be the ones to lead the discussions. They will be the ones taking notes, brainstorm, evaluate, decide and work out the details.
They will be problem solvers.