Children need these critical thinking skills to make better choices and responsible decisions. • When they have these skills they have fewer problems. • They understand other people's points of view and they stop and think before they act. • Without them, children have no impulse control and lack the fundamental social skills to function easily with their peers.
Emotions are powerful and children who are unaware of this power can fail to see the consequences of their actions. • They are unable to communicate their feelings appropriately or handle themselves in difficult situations. • When this occurs, they can make decisions that can ruin their lives.
STOP AND THINK
Wise Ways 1 • Wizard Brain vs. Lizard Brain In order to stop and think, thinking skills must be learned to engage the section of the brain where problems are assessed and analyzed before responding. Otherwise, the reptilian or "lizard" part of the brain – the section housing emotions and the fight or flight response – takes over, triggering impulsive, non-thinking responses.
Wise Ways 2 • Constellation of Support Awareness of people and what resources to go to for help involves knowing how to evaluate the type of help you need and identifying the best place to get it. This includes learning how to recognize people who will help you succeed, and understanding why people close to you may not be able to give you the support you need.
Who is your constellation of support? Mom Anya Joanna Dad Friend 1 Friend 2
Wise Ways 3 • Red Flag Warnings Thinking skills involve recognizing internal (what you feel inside) and external (what you see or do) red flags. The red flags warn of something about to happen, and awareness of these warning signals gives you time to stop and think.
RED FLAG WARNING • INTERNAL (what you physically feel INSIDE) when something is going to happen): • EXTERNAL (things you do or see, or things you see other people do, signaling that something is going to happen):
Wise Ways 4 Think of emotions as an elevator in a ten-story elevator – the higher up the elevator rises, the more intense the emotion and the probability of Lizard Brain responses. A number of strategies help keep emotions low or off the elevator, including control self-talk, stop talking, leave the situation, redirect the emotions, deep breathing and relaxation methods, and recognizing and changing Lizard Brain response patterns. • Exit the Emotional Elevator
10 ecstatic 9 overjoyed 8 jubilant 7 thrilled 6 satisfied 5 playful 4 cheerful 3 excited 2 joyful 1 happy
Exit the Emotional Elevator • The way you express yourself is your choice • There are many ways to get your point across and get others to listen • You must decide if the way you express your emotions gets you what you want without creating problems
Skills you can use to Exit the Emotions Elevator • Control Self-talk • Involves learning to talk to yourself in such a way that you are able to calm yourself down and think clearly • “I need to handle this” • “I can’t let this bother me” • “I don’t want to get in trouble” • Negative Self – talk • thoughts that are likely to increase your frustration and anger and cause you to be out of control
Stop Talking and Leave the Situation • Sometimes you need to leave a situation and the conversation in order to maintain control of your emotions and lower your emotional elevator • Shows that you are in control of your actions • You are able to recognize that you may say or do something that can cause bigger problems This does not mean that you do not go back later to solve the problem or address the situation
Redirect your Emotions • Redirecting negative energy into something physical • Doing something for others • Helps you transfer negative energy to something else until you regain control • Still need to address the problem • Relaxation Techniques • Mediation • Self - talk
ALWAYS BE LOWER ON THE EMOTIONS ELEVATOR THAN THE PERSON OR PERSONS YOU ARE DEALING WITH • DO NOT TRY TO SOLVE A PROBLEM WITH A PERSON WHO IS VERY ANGRY, VERY FRIGHTENED OR VERY EXCITED
Wise Ways 5 • Separate Fact from Opinion The root of many problems is the inability to separate fact from opinion. A fact is what you know to be true, an opinion is what you think is true. Used in conjunction with Wise Ways 1-4, the process of separating fact from opinion is easier to understand and do.
Fact vs. Opinion • Fact – something you can prove is true • Opinion – something you think is true but can’t prove • Confusing fact & opinion is also the foundation for gossip • Opinion words: everything, never, always, all, nothing
Wise Ways 6 • Ask Questions Having access to the right information requires the ability to recognize what questions to ask, and knowing how to ask them. This involves integrating Wise Ways 1-5 into the question asking process.
Wise Ways 7 • Identify Your Choices (IDC) People who use their Lizard Brain respond one way, believing they only have no choices. This creates a feeling that their lives are controlled by fate, luck, chance or powerful others. Wizard Brain thinkers recognize that they have more than one choice, and use thinking skills to assess and analyze all their choices so they make the best choice possible.
Identify All Choices (IDC) • Lizard Brain – one choice • Wizard Brain – additional choices are considered
When you jump to conclusions, you cause problems for yourself and others because you don’t Stop and Think that there may be other ways to deal with the problem • The more choices you come up with, the more likely you are to think of a solution that helps resolve the problem
Wise Ways 8 • Consider Consequences Consequences Now and Later (CNL), Consequences Affecting Others (CAO). Wizard Brain thinkers are aware of the consequences of their choices. They use thinking skills 1-7 to help them assess and analyze the consequences of their choices now, the consequence later (CNL), and the consequence affecting others (CAO).
Consequences Now & Later (CNL) • Teens need to think about the consequences of a choice BEFORE they make their decision • They need to learn to think about the future as well as the present • Consequences Affecting Others (CAO) • Looks at the need for rules and the consequences of not following them IDC, CNL and CAO are thinking skills that buffer the Lizard Brain’s impulsive response to a problem
Wise Ways 9 • Set Goals and Form an Action Plan Wise Ways 1-8 help build a foundation to understand the importance of setting goals and making plans to reach them. Within this framework, it is easy to build connections among and between the Wise Ways, creating awareness of the importance of goals, and why successful achievement must be accompanied by a plan to reach them.
What’s My Goal? • Uses the skills for Separating Fact from Opinion, Asking Question, Gathering Information, Identifying your Choices and setting a Goal to form an Action Plan • All action plans start with two words: HOW TO.. • This skill does not solve the problem, but it does make what you want and what you need to do more clear
Wise Ways 10 • Using "I" Messages, taking other people's Point of View (POV), using Positive Body Messages, and using Assertive Statements. • Communication involves using all the 10 Wise Ways, not at the same time, or in the order learned, but integrated throughout conversations and different methods used to send and share information.
Effective communication involves understanding other people's points of view recognizing how using thinking skills helps to deliver information and messages clearly. • In order to communicate effectively use: • Non Verbal Communication • Sending positive body messages • Verbal Communication • Using “I” Messages • Recognizing differences without making judgements • Sending double messages (mixed messages)
Summary Activity It is important to practice your 10 Wise Ways in order to strengthen your thinking skills. The connection between the thalamus and the prefrontal cortex will disappear if not used, unlike the stronger bonds between the thalamus and the limbic system. WW1 WW2 WW3 WW4 Thalamus (Relay Center) Prefrontal Cortex (Wizard Brain) WW5 WW6 WW7 Limbic System (Lizard Brain) WW8 WW9 WW10
(Poor Choices) (Good Choices) Act Without Thinking Stop and Think CHOICE Lizard Brain Wizard Brain Weak or no Support Constellation Strong Support Constellation Ignore Internal Warnings Know Internal Red Flags Ignore External Warnings See External Red Flags “10” on Emotions Elevator Exit Emotions Elevator Impulsive Control Self- Talk React to Opinions Stop Talking and Leave the Situation Ruled by Emotions Relaxation Control No Information Get the Facts Don’t Question Ask Questions Don’t Examine Your Choices Identify Choices No CAO/CNL Consider CAO/CNL No Clear Goals Set Goals Display Negative Body Language Display Positive Body Language Use “You” messages Use “I” messages Behave Aggressively/Passively Behave Assertively PROBLEMS LIFE SUCCESS