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A problem-solving technique for clear-eyed, well-organized parents--who probably don't need it. Ozer, a Washington D.C. physician and professor of child health and development at George Washington U., has used this five-step method in his practice and in parenting workshops (where it is probably the most effective). Parents are instructed to answer--in order, and in some detail--the following questions: What's Bothering Me? When Have Things Gone Well? What Worked For Me? What Do I Want to See Happen? What's My Plan? The method is unusual in that it ignores causes of problems (""chances are you have already tried to figure out the cause,"" and may even have tried, unsuccessfully, to eliminate it); instead, Ozer suggests working solely from things that have gone well. Since all must not have been going well (or there wouldn't be a problem), the positive things tend to be brief, slight episodes: ""Amy parked her bike properly in the garage on Wednesday"" or ""Martin brought home food for subs on Sunday night."" Planning, similarly, calls for a What-How-When scheme. What: Christopher picks out his own clothes for our vacation. How: Tell him how important he is to me in making things go well, and that I really need his help. When: by Friday night. There's recycling, of course, to build on each minor success--with record-keeping in notes or journals. For most: too methodical.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1982
Publisher: Morrow