I’m not one for cancel culture…
But I am one for reflection, being open to re-learn and un-learn certain things, especially when it’s centered around the neurodivergent community.
Today I want to share why I stopped using the social thinking curriculum’s “size of the problem” lesson and what I do instead.
If you don’t know what it is, this is a very popular curriculum often taught in social emotional learning classes including Speech and Occupational Therapy groups. Even I used this lesson often in the groups that I led at the clinic.
We taught it so much that I came up with so many games to teach this concept and the language.
I even wrote a blog post that to this day is always in my top 3 visits on my website, which is what prompted me to create this new and updated post.
What is size of the problem?
The size of a problem is a concept created by the same creators of the social thinking curriculum.
Here’s how the creators describe this lesson:
“We all experience problems; they’re a part of life.
We can’t avoid them even if we use our best social thinking.
There is an assumption that when we’re sharing space with others, our reaction size (what we show on the outside) should somewhat match the size of our problem.
But sometimes we all have feelings about a problem that are much bigger than the problem itself!
The Social Thinking Methodology teaches that problems happen, people have feelings and reactions and that is all okay unless…another problem is created.
People are expected to have problems, feelings and reactions but how do we teach our students to allow this process without making bigger problems for themselves in the long run.
The Social Thinking Methodology teaches that problems and reactions come in different sizes.
Big problems are really serious ones and are those that need others to help solve.
It is expected to have a big reaction to a big problem. Medium problems can’t be quickly fixed and tend to make us and/or people around us upset.
Sometimes we need help with medium size problems and sometimes we don’t.
Adults usually expect that kids will either solve the medium sized problem or ask for help.
Small problems, or glitches, are ones we most of us can quickly fix on our own.
Small problems are “no big deal.”
Whether the problem is big, medium, or small, we all have feelings associated with our problems.
The problem is when our reactions are larger than the size of the problem and create a whole new problem.”– Socialthinking.com
What I like about the Size of the Problem lesson:
I DO like that they are attempting to offer parents therapists and teachers a way to open the discussion and to teach kids about emotional reactions to everyday problems.
I like that they are making an effort to do things like.
We can all have feelings about problems.
I like that they’re trying to make it systematic, like a manual, something that can be very easily replicated that all teachers and therapists and parents can pick up and start teaching.
We do want to have discussions and teach lessons about emotional regulation, which is something that’s really hard to teach to anyone, let alone tiny humans.
I like their intent behind categorizing small, medium and big problems because it seems straight forward and objective.
I do like that they emphasize the idea that some problems require adults’ help and talk about how some problems truly are BIG problems, like emergencies.
It’s important for a child to differentiate between something they can solve themselves and something that requires help from an adult.
What I don’t like about the Size of the Problem lesson
I have a problem with:
- the language they use
- the way they identify how big or small a problem is, and
- the way they frame the whole idea behind emotional regulation.
Let me break it down.
Forcing objective language onto a subjective experience
The lesson breaks down problems into small, medium, and big problems.
They identify small problems as ones you can solve yourself, like breaking a crayon.
Medium problems are ones you need help from an adult, like maybe you left your homework at home.
Big problems are ones you need help from many adults or professional helpers like a doctor or police officer, like breaking your bone or a car accident.
Then we’re supposed to teach kids that for every size problem, we are “expected” to have an equal size reaction.
Small problems warrant small reactions.
Medium problems warrant medium reactions and so on.
Are you already sensing the problem with this?
I don’t know why I never questioned this before but now as a parent who practices respectful, conscious parenting…
This screams red flag!
OK let’s separate the big problem because again, I think it is important for kids to understand when something is an emergency.
Let’s just call it that: an emergency.
But for the other ones, deciphering between small and medium problems feels like arguing over whether the dress was blue or gold.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about let me put it this way:
How can someone outside of myself define how much I should care about a problem that I’m experiencing?
I will never forget teaching this whole lesson to a very intelligent 5-year-old who at the time was having such huge explosive reactions at school and at home.
He had been kicked out of multiple school programs and harmed his sister at home.
He was so so so verbal, he could basically regurgitate every lesson I taught him using the social thinking curriculum.
He knew it so well he was teaching his peers what it means to have a small, medium or big problem.
Yet when I’d “quiz” him about the size of the problem.
“Ok let’s say you lose a game of chutes and ladders. You were so close to winning but your sister won. What size problem is that?”
He said “BIG problem.”
I laughed at first and then I would try to convince him out of it.
I remember him being adamant, nope – that is a big problem!
Now looking back…
I get it!
Who am I to minimize his problem and say “it’s a small problem, so shrug it off?”
As adults, we do this all the time, in subtle ways… like when we complain and someone says “ugh, sounds like first world problems”. Or when you complain to your partner about your annoying coworker and they say “Oh forget it about, it’s not a big deal.” But sometimes… it feels like a big deal!
How big a problem is should be defined by the person experiencing it.
What’s a small problem to me might be a medium or bigger problem to someone else.
The hidden layer to this is considering our audience.
When we’re working as therapists teaching kids these lessons, there’s a good chance these kids are neurodivergent.
The kids who need the size of the problem lessons taught to them, usually have emotional regulation challenges, which means they experience feelings more intensely than we “neurotypical” people do.
Free: Sensory Profiles 101
Download this free guide to learn more about the 3 main sensory profiles
There is a big change all these problems feel very big for them, and having a small reaction is not possible for them in the moment.
If you don’t agree on the size of the problem, how will you agree on the appropriate reaction to the size of the problem?
Calling someone’s reactions “out of proportion” or “unexpected” incites shame
Another thing I dislike about this lesson is how they emphasize that your reactions are supposed to make other people feel comfortable, and when they feel uncomfortable around you, then it’s a problem that you created.
This screams ableist to me, honestly.
Because what I hear is: your neurodivergent behaviors don’t match up with what the rest of the world expects out of you and we’re feeling uncomfortable, so you need to change it. I mean… am I wrong?
Many social thinking lessons, stories and concepts end with some form of how others will feel comfortable only when I react a certain way.
For example, many social stories end with, “If I can calm my body during the rug time, my classmates will feel comfortable around me.”
Of course we don’t want to intentionally make other people feel uncomfortable.
But, as long as I’m not actually physically harming them or doing anything to them specifically, it really shouldn’t be my problem to solve.
We shouldn’t teach our kids that they need to hold their emotions in order to appease other people.
Yes we’d like them to have a safer, maybe less intense reaction but not for the primary reason of making others feel comfortable.
For me this feels like it adds an extra element of shame, as if our kids enjoy having huge reactions and calling attention to themselves in public.
I do understand.
I don’t want my child to have these big, out of proportion reactions to the point where it makes other kids notice it and then she won’t have friends.
I never want my daughter to feel like no one likes her or doesn’t want to play with her.
I think she can learn that and realize that as a natural consequence to her behaviors, on her own.
I don’t think she needs me to categorize the behavior or tell her that her behavior is making people uncomfortable around her.
I don’t need to tell her how she should act instead to make others feel comfortable. Full transparency here, I’m not saying I’m a saint… I absolutely jump to “Calm down, stop crying- they’re looking!” every once in a while. I’m not perfect. I need these reminders myself.
It is not your problem to make other people feel comfortable around your neurodivergent child.
What we should do instead?
First let me start out by pointing out elements of this lesson that I think we should keep around.
Let’s still brainstorm different reactions and solutions to common problems that each child faces.
Let’s still educate our kids on what is considered an emergency and when they should obtain help from an adult.
We should still have conversations that help them reflect on the ways they reacted, in a non judgmental, concrete way.
We should still spend time brainstorming with your child about how they can resolve the problems that may come up without talking about the reaction.
Do it in a way that honors your child and what they are saying without changing their mind.
I like acknowledging that “this feels really important to you” or “You feel big mad because your crayon broke, I see that”.
Whatever their emotion is, or the size of their emotion…
Don’t try to diminish it.
If you ask them what size their problem is and they respond with it being a BIG problem, then go with it.
“Okay, you feel like this is a big problem. Tell me why.”
“I get it. this is hard for you, etc.”
Don’t be the outside source that dictates how much your child should care about something that happened.
I think we can ALSO talk about having really big reactions and why that happens, from a neurological or sensory perspective.
Take this time to educate them on their neurological wiring, their interoception processing, things that are unsafe, and what we should aim to do instead.
This will take work as a parent, but it is not a step that should be skipped.
Teach your child how the brain works and that there are ways to calm the nervous system to avoid these things.
It is important to have this conversation with your child about behaviors that are unsafe.
“I understand that losing the game felt like a really big problem to you. I can see that really upset you AND it is not okay for you to throw the board across the room or yell mean things to your brother.”
I also think that you can use this time to talk about how sometimes problems don’t have a clear solution or that the solution is something that they don’t want.
Sometimes a solution to a problem might not be what they want.
This may be something that is happening in front of them and they may not be happy about it. This is fair to acknowledge to our children.
All of these things are really good foundational social emotional principles that we should be teaching our kids rather than focusing on pointing out how out of proportion their reactions were.
The “size of the problem” lesson & why I don’t use it anymore [00:00:00] Right. And now when I think about it, like I get it to him, a five year old playing a heated competitive head-to-head game with someone who he probably fights with all the time or whatever had, was high stakes for him, and it felt to him. as a big problem. So who am I? This person outside of him, an adult with many, many, many more years of practice. Who am I to say you’re wrong? That’s not a big problem. It’s a small problem, so just get over it. That’s essentially what we’re trying to teach our kids is that there are some problems in your life that don’t matter and you shouldn’t react, and instead you should solve them yourself. And I just don’t like the way that that feels. Welcome to the Sensory Wise Solutions podcast for parents where parents can get real actionable strategies to support kids with sensory processing disorder. I’m Laura, [00:01:00] OT and Mom to Liliana, a sensory sensitive kid who inherited my anxiety and my love for all things Disney. Consider me your new OT mom. Bestie. I know my stuff, but I also know what it’s really like in the trenches of parenting a child with sensory processing disorder. Okay, mom, enough about me. Let’s start the podcast. Hello everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I am excited to talk to you today about something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while, and I get reminded of it every time I get a report from my website of the most visited blog post that I have. Um, Because it reminds me like, Ooh, I really need to update that or share my new thoughts on this topic because it is so popular, but it doesn’t really reflect how I currently think or teach about this. So the post is [00:02:00] about, um, size of the problem, which is a. Curriculum a lesson that I’m gonna share with you in a second. But, um, the post is a pop. Uh, one of the ways that I liked, liked in the past tense that I liked to use to teach kids about the size of the problem lesson. So I want to start off this podcast very quickly by setting the tone. I personally am not one for the whole canceled culture thing, but I am very, very, very much for being reflective and taking a good look at certain strategies, phrases, concepts, um, approaches, mindsets that may not be, um, Progressive [00:03:00] or modern or correct or whatever it is. But I, I am one for reflection and being able to relearn and sometimes unlearn certain things, especially when it’s centered around the neuro divergent community. So I’m gonna share with you today the reason why I stopped using the social thinking curriculum, size of the problem lesson, and what I want to do. I. But here’s a little background for you to understand, and for some context, this, the size of the problem is a very popular curriculum that’s often taught in social emotional learning classes, in speech therapy, in ot, in social groups, all of that. So I used to co-lead, um, some social groups in the OT clinic that, um, that I was at before. And this was like a staple of our curriculum. We always included lessons on size of the problem. Um, we taught it so much that I came up with a lot of different games and fun ways [00:04:00] to visualize and to learn this concept and the language. And I created blog posts about it and it got very popular. So, um, I want you to know that if you’re a therapist right now, who still uses. , I have different ways of thinking about it, so you don’t have to completely throw this out, but I was truly teaching this lesson very, very, um, closely to how it was intended, which I believe needs to be looked at differently. So what is size of the problem? This lesson and concept was created by the same creators of the social thinking curriculum, and I’m just gonna read directly from their website how they describe it so you can already hear. Maybe by hearing this description, you’ll already be thinking, okay, there, there’s kind of the issue, but here I’m quoting directly their. It says, we all experience problems. They’re a part of life. We can’t avoid them. Even if we use our best social thinking. There is an assumption that when we sh then when we’re sharing [00:05:00] space with others, our reaction sh our reaction size or what we show on the outside should somewhat match the size of our problem. But sometimes we all have feelings about a problem that are much bigger than the problem itself. . The social thinking methodology teaches that problems happen. People have feelings and reactions, and that is all okay unless another problem is created. People are expected to have problems, feelings, and reactions, but how do we teach our students to allow this process without making bigger problems for themselves in the long run? The social thinking methodology teaches that problems and reactions come in different size. Big problems are really serious ones, and are those that need others to help solve? It is expected to have a big reaction to a big problem. Medium problems can’t be quickly fixed and tend to make us and or people around us upset. Sometimes we [00:06:00] need help with medium sized problems and sometimes we don’t. Adults usually expect that kids will either solve the medium sized problem or ask for. Small problems or glitches are ones we most of us can quickly fix on our own. Small problems are no big deal. Whether the problem is big, medium, or small, we all have feelings associated with our problems. The problem is when our reactions are larger than the size of the problem and create a whole new problem. Okay, so let me break that down. In an effort to not. Throw the baby out with the bath water . Oh my God. If Mark would be hearing me right now, he’d be very proud of me for using that phrase correctly, because I never know how to use those little sayings. But anyway, there’s not a, um, a huge thing, like the whole thing is wrong. Like this is terrible. It’s not that. There are [00:07:00] some things in there that I agree with. The ultimate way of what we’re trying to teach our kid. The goal of it is what I have a hard time with, so I’m gonna break it. I do like that they are making an effort to say things like, we can all have feelings about problems. We all experience problems, and it’s okay to have those feelings. Like I like that they mention that. I also like that they are attempting to offer parents, therapists and teachers a universal way to open the discussion and to teach kids about emotional reactions to everyday problems. Like they’re trying to make it systematic, um, like a manual, something very easily replicated that all teachers and therapists and parents can use the same language and teach the same lessons. I like that attempt because it makes it easy for anybody to pick this up and just do it right. And we do want emotional regulation is something that’s really hard to teach, period. So these quick, easy like [00:08:00] analogies and. Small, medium, big categorization feels like it’s easy and I, and I like their intent behind that because kids do need to learn emotional regulation skills. And it is something that’s hard to do because I think it is necessary to have conversations and discussions about reactions that we have or that our child has that may have been out of proportion. And I’m putting that in quotes because I’m gonna talk about that in a bit. But we do need to. These reflection moments on situations in which we blew up or were there were out of, um, our body was out of control. That’s important so that we can think clearly at a neutral time about that issue and what to do next time when a similar problem arises. And this lesson gets to the root of that and is trying to offer parents a way of talking about it. So I, I like that and I agree that that is very important. I also do like that they emphasize the idea [00:09:00] that some problems do require adults help to solve, and how they talk about some problems truly are like emergency problems. Like that is very much important for kids to differentiate between something they can solve themselves and something that really, really needs adults help. It’s, it’s important for all kids to know that. My biggest gripe with this, the things that I don’t like or I’m not a fan of, the way that it’s executed is some of the language that they use, um, around the size of the problem and the way that they frame the whole idea behind, like how you should react to something. So I’m gonna break that down to you. The first thing is the categorization. , um, of problems. So small, medium, big, which is subjective, right? The lesson breaks down the problems. Um, Into different size problems. So they say this is a [00:10:00] small problem, this is a medium problem. This is a big problem. They talk about how small problems are ones that you can solve yourself, like breaking a crayon. And medium problems are ones you need help from an adult, like maybe you left your homework at home. And big problems are ones you need help from. Many adults or professional helpers like a doctor or police officers. Um, then we’re supposed to teach kids that for every size. For every size problem we and you, the child who we’re teaching this to, are expected to have an equal size reaction. They use the word expected like you should. It is expected to have this size reaction, small problems, warrant, small reactions, medium problems, warrant, medium reactions, and so on. So I don’t know if you’re already catching my vibe here and what I have the problem with. It’s. And I truly don’t know why I didn’t question this before. Um, but now as a parent who practices respectful conscious parenting, this just [00:11:00] screams red flag all over it for me. Um, but I wanna separate the big problems one, because again, I think it’s really important for kids to understand when something is an emergency, but can we just call it an emergency ? Um, because those are things that they need to know. Need outside help, right? But the other ones, like when you’re deciphering and delineating between a small and a medium problem, it feels like arguing over something so subjective. Like, is the dress blue or silver? I don’t know if you guys remember that one, that viral photo of the dress from like, I think it was on Facebook from like 2011. Um, anyway, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m gonna put it this way. How can someone outside of myself, Define how much I should care about a problem that I am experiencing. Like how do you get to say that a problem is small for me if it means so much more to me? [00:12:00] I, I will never forget the one time I was teaching this lesson to a very intelligent five year old boy who at the time was having huge explosive reactions at school and at home. Like it was a real problem. He had been kicked out of school programs and was harming his sister and parents at home, but he was so, so, so verbal and intellectual. He. Regurgitate, regurgitate and teach this lesson to everybody. Like in fact, he was part of the social, the social skills group that we were leading. And he was like teaching his peers what it means to have a small, medium, big problem. Like he knew it. Um, but then when I would talk to him and we would have these conversations about something that happened at school, I would like quiz him about the size of the problem and be like, okay, so. You threw the chair at this kid after losing a game. What size of the problem is it? If you lose a game? And he would be like, big problem, [00:13:00] huge problem, . And I would laugh and I’m like, no, that’s not a big problem. You don’t need an adult to solve that. You’re supposed to just be flexible. Right? And now when I think about it, I get it to him. A five year old playing a heated competitive head-to-head game with someone who he probably fights with all the time or whatever had, was high stakes for him, and it felt to him as a big problem. So who am I? This person outside of him, an adult with many, many, many more years of practice. Who am I? to say you’re wrong. That’s not a big problem. It’s a small problem, so just get over it. That’s essentially what we’re trying to teach our kids, is that there are some problems in your life that don’t matter and you shouldn’t react, and instead you should solve them yourself. And I just don’t like the way that that feels. It’s the same way of thinking about food. So [00:14:00] when I, when my daughter says she’s full, I can’t say, no, you’re not. You didn’t eat enough. You can’t be full. I’m not in her body. I’m not the one experiencing her fullness cues in her body. So I believe her. I say, okay, you’re full. You could be done eating. I never would force her. And it’s, it’s, it’s something that we do even as adults to each other when we’re complaining about something in our life. And then we’ll, Diminish it by saying like, oh, these are first world problems. Or like, I shouldn’t care about this because other people in the world are having a harder time than me. But the size of the problem really changes and is different for every person. What is a small problem, maybe to me, might be a medium or bigger problem to someone else. So the hidden layer to this is really just considering our audience and who we’re talking to when we as therapists, or parents to neuro divergent kids. But when [00:15:00] we as therapists is what I have in my head when we’re teaching kids these specific lessons. , it’s because these kids are neuro divergent. Like the kids who need these size of the problem lessons taught to them, usually have emotional regulation challenges, which means that they experience feelings more intensely than neurotypical people do. So there’s a big chance that all of these problems feel really big for them, and having a small reaction is just not in the cards for them at that moment. So if we can just agree. That the definition and categorization of problem size is subjective and fluid between people, then that sets us up. It makes sense that the next part would be hard, which is matching the reaction to the size of the problem. Because if you already disagree on the size of the problem, then how are you gonna agree on the actual. reaction to the problem. So another part that I dislike about this [00:16:00] lesson, uh, which is actually a pretty common thread and theme throughout a lot of the social thinking curriculum, is how they emphasize that your reactions are supposed to make other people feel comfortable. And when they feel uncomfortable around you, then it’s a problem that you created. , which screams, um, Ableist to me if I’m being quite honest. And some of you might say that I’m being too sensitive and reading too much into it, but that’s what I feel like they’re saying. Your neuro divergent behaviors, um, don’t match up with what the rest of the world expects out of you and they’re feeling uncomfortable, so you need to change it. Like that’s the vibe that I get from this. This is my podcast, so I get to share my opinion and I’m sure some of you might disagree or thinking that I’m stretching this, but this is really where my mindset is when I think about. But like for example, at the end of the, their social stories and things that I read a lot in relation to size of the problem and and [00:17:00] reactions and stuff, the last page is usually something like, if I act this way, then other people will feel uncom will feel comfortable around me. Like if I am able to share my toys, then my brother will feel comfortable around me. If I listen to my parents, my parents will feel comfortable around me. If I. , um, can have a calm body during rug time. Um, my classmates will feel comfortable around me, and that’s supposed to be like a positive thing, like my goal. is to make other feel. People feel comfortable around me. Like of course, we don’t want to intentionally make people feel uncomfortable. That’s not a goal, and we don’t want our kids to make other people feel uncomfortable. Of course not. But if I’m not actually physically harming other people or doing anything to them specifically or personally, it really shouldn’t be my problem to solve for. We can’t teach our kids that they need to hold their emotions in to appease other people. [00:18:00] Sure. We’d like them to have safer, maybe less intense reactions. I get it. We just experienced this with a play date where I’m like, oof. I really wish she was able to like, you know, reign it in a little bit. Um, but not for the primary reason of making other feels. Others feel comfortable. Um, this just feels like an. Element of shame as if our kids like having huge reactions and calling attention to themselves in public. Pointing out that it makes other people feel uncomfortable, doesn’t give them the skills to stop it, it just gives them shame for not having the skills at all. And again, I I, I get it. I don’t want my child to have these behave, these. out of, out of proportion reactions to the point where it makes other kids notice it and then she won’t have friends. Cause I never want my daughter to feel like no one likes her or doesn’t wanna play with her. I think she can learn that and she can realize that as a [00:19:00] natural consequence to her behaviors. And I don’t think she needs me to, to explicitly categorize it and call her out and say, your behavior is making other people feel uncom. and this is how you should act instead so you can make other people feel comfortable. That’s where I have the problem of how this lesson is taught and why I said at the beginning, we don’t have to completely throw it out. I think the general. concept of explaining to kids that there are emergencies, that there are things that you might need help from adults with, that there are things that feel important to you. Um, I think all of that is fair. It’s, I, I just truly have a hard time with saying, with, with. People outside of you getting to define how large a problem is for you. And then also saying, if you don’t react appropriately, you’re gonna make me and other people feel uncomfortable again, unless it’s related to [00:20:00] safety and harm. Obviously we don’t want her to harm other people, but it’s just if it’s just that like, oh, I feel so uncomfortable cuz that kid’s having a meltdown. I’m like, that’s not, it’s not my problem to solve other people’s comfort around my neuro divergent child. Hopefully I’m making sense here, but feel free to disagree and I would love to have this conversation with people. But, so here’s what I would like to do instead. I don’t have a specific system or manual or like appropriate curriculum, but I just have some tweaks, um, and ways to think about it. Let’s still continue brainstorming with our kids different ways and different kinds of reactions and solutions. Two common problems that each child faces, but talk about them very, very, very concretely and specific to your child and brainstorm with them. Not telling them, you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that. This is [00:21:00] how you should react. Really brainstorm with them about how they could just objectively solve problems that come up. Without talking about the reaction. So, um, Hey, Liliana, I know that sometimes when you color your crayon, the tip of your, um, colored pencil breaks, what are, what are some things you can do if the colored pencil breaks? You could do this, you could do that. You could do that. Those are great ideas too. Yeah. How do you think you might feel about it? I might feel really frustrated. Okay. That makes sense. But I don’t need to say, It’s a small problem, so you should have a small reaction or else other people are gonna feel uncomfortable, and a small reaction includes this. That’s where I feel like the language gets very, um, I don’t know, like just talking down to our kids almost, or just not giving them the benefit of having their own emotions. So let’s still clearly talk about the [00:22:00] difference between emergency problems and other problems. I also. I think it’s still fair to classify some problems as different sizes, however you wanna call them. Um, if you, if you find that helpful for your child. Cause I know when parents hear this language, like, actually I kind of like that language. I like helping my child think through things logically and it helps to categorize things a small, medium, big. Sure. If you can, if you can do that in a way that honors what your child is saying. um, without trying to change their mind, then I’m okay with that. I like acknowledging something like, this feels really important to you, or you feel big mad emotions because your crayon broke. I see that like whatever it is their emotion is, or the size of their emotion. Just don’t try to diminish it. Like they can’t. If you ask them what size of the problem this is, as long as [00:23:00] it’s not an emergency, but if you ask them what size of the problem is and they say it’s a big problem, I would go with that. Okay, you feel like this is a really big problem to you? Tell me why. I get it. This looks really hard for you. This must feel like a big problem. Like that’s fine for me. I just don’t want to be the outside source dictating how much our kids should care about something that happened to. I think we can also talk about. Having really big reactions and why that happens. So take this time to educate them on how emotional regulation works, on how their neurological wiring in their brain works. An interception processing like this takes work on your end as the parent to truly understand it before you can teach your child, but don’t skip that step. Teach your child that this is how the brain works, and that there are ways to calm the nervous system down to avoid these things. And I think it’s also important to have the conversations [00:24:00] when, um, behaviors are unsafe. Like I understand that losing the game felt like a really big problem to you, and I can see that really upset you. And I will, and it is not okay for you to throw the board across the room or yell mean things to your brother. Or whatever like that. I am not saying we shouldn’t have those conversations. We certainly should. I just, again, have a problem with trying to diminish and override what feels really strongly for our kids in their bodies, because at the end of the day, we’re trying to teach them that their emotions, their experiences are valid, are valid, and that they matter. I also think that you can use this time to talk about how sometimes problems don’t have a clear solution, or that the [00:25:00] solution is, is something that they don’t want. Right. Like, uh, you know, I know your solution to this, um, um, the marker being dried out is to use a different color. Like that’s one solution you can, instead of black, you can use gray or you can use crayon color black. But I was coloring with marker and I wanna use marker. I know our only options are this and this, right? So sometimes the solution to a problem might not always be what you want, and you have to kind of. A solution out of a bunch of options that, that, that you don’t really want. And I think that’s a fair thing to acknowledge for our kids. Again, acknowledging a boundary or something that’s happening, something very real happening in front of them and the fact that they might not be happy about that. And that’s okay. That’s where these, these conversations about problems and reactions and what to do. I think that’s how it should be centered as I don’t have that in a nice [00:26:00] package and curriculum, which is, I think, easily markets these kinds of lessons. Um, so, so do with this information what you will. Uh, I I’m not, I’m not canceling this. Again, I’m not saying you’re a terrible therapist or parent if you teach it this way, but these are just things that I have been reflecting on and how I now coach parents one on. with how to think about this stuff. So maybe you can take this and consider, um, integrating some of these thoughts into the, into your practice as a therapist or, um, as a parent and how you talk to your child about the size of the problem. All of these things that I’m mentioning are just are, they are good foundational, social emotional principles that we do need to teach our kids. Um, it’s just not so much pointing out that our kids don’t really. Get a say in how big a certain problem is for them. All right. I hope this episode was helpful.[00:27:00] If you are looking for more support in teaching and talking to your child about emotional regulation skills, I would be happy to support you in a one-on-one call. You can find more email@example.com slash parent consult, or scroll down below for the link in the show notes if you enjoyed this podcast. Please consider rating it and leaving a review, which helps other parents find me as well. Wanna learn more from me? I share tons more over on Instagram at the OT butterfly. See you next time.