Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NO Excuses!

There's this thing I always carped on to my kids: There are no excuses, only problem statements, and a problem statement is the first step in the problem solving process.
Let's take an example. I forgot my book at school so I can't do my homework. Is that the end of the issue? Do you want me to write you a note begging leniancy from your teacher? Do you want to have this thing to whine and complain about all evening? Do you want to use it as an excuse to play and not do homework? Well, not in my house. You don't have the textbook. Which of your friends might have brought theirs home such that you can go borrow it or look something up in it? Does the library have a copy? Is there an online copy? Can we drive to the school and get it? Even if the school is closed, it is worth a try. Once we went and the doors were all closed except a back door that was letting kids in and out for some track practice. So the kid went in that door, found his way to his locker, got the book, went home and did his homework. What excuses are YOU using and how can YOU turn them into problem statements and therefore, the first step of the problem solving process?
1) State the problem. Define and refine as needed.
2) List some solutions.
3) Evaluate and choose one.
4) Implement the solution.
5) Evaluate if the problem is solved.
6) If not, restate the problem and repeat.