Second Step Newsletter
Problem Solving using STEP
- S = Say the problem without blame
- T = Think of Solutions that are safe and respectful
- E = Explore Consequences, both positive and negative
- P = Pick the best solution
Remember, if there is an argument about whose turn it is to have the remote or a fight about who gets the game console first, remind your Second Step student to calm down first, then use STEP to solve the problem.
S - Say the Problem Without Blame
To successfully say the problem without blame, your student is learning to focus on "What do we both want or need in this situation?" For example, if siblings are fighting over the remote, after calming down they would say "We both want the remote right now." Or if friends are arguing over who gets to be the team captain at recess, they would say "We both want to be team captain, but there can only be one." Once a problem is stated without blame, it's much easier to come up with safe and respectful solutions to the problem.
The Problem Solving Song - K & 1st Grade Second Step Song
T - Think of Solutions That Are Safe and Respectful
Let's practice with the following example: "We both want the TV remote right now."
Safe & Respectful Solutions:
- You can have the remote for half an hour, then I get the remote for half and hour.
- I get the remote after school on Monday and Wednesday, you get the remote after school on Tuesday and Thursday.
- My favorite show isn't on until after dinner. You can have the remote after school and I can have the remote after dinner.
- We could play rock, paper, scissors to decide who gets the remote.
Can you think of some more safe and respectful solutions to add to the list?
Step Up - 2nd & 3rd Grade Second Step Song
E - Explore the Consequences, Both Positive & Negative
Let's practice with an example from our solutions to "We both want the TV remote right now."
Solution #1: You can have the remote for half and hour, then I get the remote for half an hour
- We both get a turn with the remote
- We both get to watch what we want
- It solves the problem
- The show I'm watching might be longer than half an hour
- We might have to go to Walmart when it's supposed to be my turn with the remote.
This should just be a quick discussion - no need to write it out like the example. After doing this for all of the possible solutions, it should be easy to move on to the next step!
The STEP Song - 4th & 5th Grade Second Step Song
P - Pick the Best Solution
Putting It All Together...
Give STEP A Try...
A Bad Case of Stripes by Dave Shannon
A fun story that focuses on feelings, emotion management, and problem solving!