How to solve problems with your children without threats, bribes or limits.

Creative Problem Solving : the way to find solutions that everyone in the family is happy with.

If you want a strong foundation of respect and clear communication in your family and a process that delivers solutions that last, you need what I call Creative Problem Solving.

  • battles over screen time and gaming,
  • ensuring your house is livable for everyone and not constantly engulfed in children’s mess,
  • worries over whether your children are learning the skills that they need,
  • concerns about children lashing out in anger at friends or family members,
  • avoiding meal-time dramas and food issues,

What is Creative Problem Solving?

Now that you know that Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is the key to finding peaceful solutions to your family problems, lets talk about what it is.

5 key principles

  1. Involve everyone. Make sure everyone who is affected by an issue gets to help find the solution. This means children too, even if they are young. I’ve done CPS with 2 and 4 year olds. Listen respectfully to what children want and how they feel.
  2. Everyone has to be happy. Keep looking for a solution until you’ve found one that everyone is happy with or can at least accept. Don’t say Yes when you actually mean No. Don’t agree to anything that you can’t genuinely accept. Otherwise you will just resent it.
  3. No force. In this process nobody gets forced to do anything they don’t want to do. That means no threats, no confiscating possessions, no emotional manipulation. Make requests rather than demands.
  4. No special treatment. Parents don’t get to pull rank and say “I get what I want because I’m the parent”.
  5. Question your thinking. For this process to work it helps enormously if you’re willing to question your judgements about your child, your rules for behaviour and your judgements about yourself. You can question any thought that triggers an intense emotional reaction. Ask yourself: “Can I be certain about that?” or “Can I absolutely know that is true?” This opens up new perspectives and helps you look outside the box.

But I can’t do that!

As you may expect, some people are resistant to this process at first. If that’s you, don’t worry. You’re not alone.



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Freya Dawson

Freya Dawson


I’m a parenting, unschooling and spiritual mentor and writer. I help parents live with their children without stress or struggle.