One of my counseling students is currently working on/learning how to be a flexible thinker, and to not always be so rigid, as he struggles when he is faced with any sort of change and/or he doesn’t get his own way. This is a great lesson for both him and for me to teach – since I have a propensity for struggling with any kind of change, or when I have to compromise!! I have been teaching this concept by using the descriptors of a “flexible thinker”, and a “rock brain” (which comes from the SuperFlex curriculm—I don’t have really any experience with it, but I love the various characters!) – I think it’s a pretty important concept for most of us Type A’s – I will admit there have been occasions when I’ve admonished myself for being a “rock brain!” So, I thought that I’d share some of the lesson with you all!!!
I started off the lesson with a canister of Play-Doh and a rock (I actually used a plastic rock from my dinosaur toys!) – my student and I talked about the characteristics of both objects – Play-Doh is flexible, you can move it around, make it in to many different objects, use it with Play-doh toys, can do lots of different things with it – a rock is hard, can’t really move around all that much, and isn’t really all that much fun! We also talked about how it’s much more fun to play with Play-Doh, and a rock could hurt you, or some else!
A Rock Brain:
- Gets really upset over any kind of change
- Get really upset when things are not what they expect
- Bosses other people around to get what they want
- Can only think of 1 way to solve a problem – gets “stuck”
- Is not much fun
Hurts other people’s feelings
A Flexible Thinker:
- Tries really hard to deal with change
- Tries to stay calm
- Let’s other people have their way too
- Is able to think about lots of ways to solve a particular problem – and is a good problem-solver
- Is able to compromise!
- Is someone you’d want as a friend
Here are some of our pictures from one of our lessons!
From here, my student and I worked on learning how to brainstorm, how to accept change, and how to be a good problem solver! I found that the brainstorming visual was really helpful, and my student and I thought of as many different solutions as possible – even if they were “not so good” options – once we had lots of different ideas, we were able to talk about the pros and cons and decide what the best, and the second best choice was (in case the first one didn’t work!). As an adult, I find myself just trying to pick the fastest, or easiest solution a lot, instead of really making myself stop and think about as many different solutions as possible – even if they sound ridiculous at first!
The steps to accepting change were really good reminders for myself too! Step # 5 is a big one for me – and I’ve been trying to remind myself to think about this when I am struggling!!
Now that the holiday season is officially here (yay!!!!!!!!!!!), it’s important for me to remember, that everyday life can quickly change – schedules, workouts, food, weekend activities, parties, holiday plans – I need to learn to cope with these changes, and “go with the flow” as best I can! Hopefully, you’ll find these reminders as helpful (and as cute) as I did!!
Answer me this: Are you a rock brain or a flexible thinker? How do you handle change?
~ Brittany xo