My husband and I were taking a walk with our 21 month old grandson. For a short distance we needed to walk in the road. I said,
“Hold my hand Sam. You have to hold my hand in the road.”
At first he did and then he had a different idea and pulled his hand away. I said,
“Sam you have to hold my hand.”
He did not want to comply. So I picked him up as he was working hard to wriggle away from me and said,
“Sam you have to hold a hand in the road. You can hold Poppy’s hand or my hand, which do you choose?”
He stopped wriggling. I could see him thinking. He then reached for Poppy and happily took his hand. Then he reached up for mine. For the rest of our walk he wanted to hold both our hands.
This is problem solving. Quite simple when you understand the principle. But impossible when you are stuck in the old reward and punishment mindset.
It worked because Sam wasn’t being forced to do something he didn’t want to do—and I got what I wanted. In other words, it worked for both of us—the #1 rule of problem solving.