One of the most important steps in problem solving is purifying the problem Many problems go unsolved because of the problem solvers inability to clarify what the problem is You say you have a difficult child in your classroom What does that really mean Everybody is somebody’s difficult person! The word difficult needs to be dissected and analyzed if were ever going to begin to understand and comprehend what were faced with. I have found over the years The use of synectics enables one to more fully comprehend as well assist in the problem solving process . For purposes of illustration I’m going to use plants in defining difficult children. You’ll observe on the chart four plant categories Cactus-Oak Tree-Artichoke- Weeds proceed to describe under each category how Difficult Children are like each of these plants
Cactus- A difficult Child is like a cactus because they may prick you They can hurt they are like a cactus because they grow up receiving limited nourishment even harsh environments! The proximal / distal
Distance you maintain in their presence is critical
Oak Tree- difficult children are like oak trees because they are slow growing because of their size they cast a large shadow around them The only thing that grows near them is Poison Oak
Artichoke- difficult children are like artichokes because they have many layers surrounding them you have to peel away the layers to get to their heart The heart of their problem are the problems of the heart.
Weeds- weeds are like difficult children because they grow in unwanted places They are not wanted. They perpetuate other weeds.
Hey wait a minute isn’t a Poinsettia a weed? You’ve got that right A Poinsettia is a wanted weed that’s been cultivated into one of the most beautiful flowers known to mankind. Somebody saw in the Poinsettia something that no other person saw!
Do any of these character traits define difficult child for you? If not you may want to use another category like movie titles or sing titles.