Introduction | Modules: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Module 5: Improving Problem Solving Skills

Lesson a: Listening and Responding with Empathy
Objectives and Suggested Timeline

Lesson b: Accepting Responsibility for Problems
Objectives and Suggested Timeline

Vocabulary | Instructional Aids | Handouts | Slide Show


The review from the last module should only take approximately 5 minutes. The vocabulary for lessons a and b in Module 5 are the same. All the vocabulary words are important in the discussion of accepting responsibility.


An understanding so intimate that the feelings, thoughts, and motives of one are readily comprehended by another


A situation that presents uncertainty, perplexity, or difficulty


The answer to or disposition of a problem




To be concerned about another, to attend to


The state of having the same capability, quantity, or effect as another

Social justice

A state of time and being in which people live in equitable conditions


A rigid adherence to a code of behavior and ethics


Truthfulness or sincerity, the capacity of condition of being trustworthy


A duty, obligation, or burden.


The act of holding back

Interpersonal ability

The capability of expressing empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills


Training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior


How one understands what is around them

Parental guidance

The direction or advise given by a parent

The teacher should become familiar with the words and definitions prior to each session.

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Instructional Aids

Discussing empathy will increase sensitivity and friendship skills. Empathy is a quality or characteristic that is hard to teach. To role model empathy is the only true way to teach your children and young adults. Caring for other family members and people in general is a big part of empathy. Participants should be encouraged to relate or share stories of experiences with their best friends. This will provide examples for the class to discuss. People need to be sensitive to the feelings of others, and teaching this sensitivity in the family is important for a successful family relationship.

Problems arise in any family. Problem solving skills are necessary to improve any family group. The handout provided will encourage participation from the class in solving problems. Brainstorming, as a group, will help participants determine what works. Every parent needs help in improving problem solving skills. The instructor is encouraged to have some techniques printed out to help the flow of the discussion.

How we handle a family situation is important. The way a parent responds to a child’s problems or infractions will determine the relationship of the parent and child. If the parent yells and screams, or if the parent doesn’t listen, or if the parent isn’t sensitive to the child’s needs, the child will stop coming to talk to the parent. The child will turn to someone else to listen. The most difficult thing to do is to sit quietly and listen to someone explain something without adding to the story. We as parents and human beings, need to be listened to or heard. Our children need the same thing, only more. Their self-image and self-confidence is very fragile. What a young adult sees as a problem, parents may view as a simple mistake. A parent’s perception of a situation is sometimes totally different than that of a teen. We as parents need to be more sensitive to our children’s emotional psyche. Acceptable responses will enhance dialogue and communication skills between parent and youth.

Parents need to help their children accept responsibility. Most teens are capable of being responsible for their rooms, their personal hygiene, their personal belongings and sometimes, if they are older, for their younger siblings. Teens can also be responsible for their actions. School rules, traffic laws, family limits and boundaries are all responsibilities a teen is capable of handling. Parents sometimes take the responsibility from the child. For example, a child decides to skip a class in school. The parent calls and says she picked up the child and forgot to call in. In reality, she didn’t even know the child wasn’t in school. Parents need to know when to "let go." The child needs to know the consequences (results) of their actions. The young adult needs to know if you do something wrong, there will be a punishment. Young adults need to known that they are important enough in the family to have limits. Imparting this knowledge of importance instead of "controlling" them is necessary.

At the end of the allotted time, the instructor should answer any questions and review the objectives of this class and present topics and objectives for the next class.

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This file is in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it here for free. Using Acrobat Reader, you can print out the handouts and photocopy them as much as you need to.

Module 5 Handouts

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Slide Show

Slide shows are not available for this lesson yet. Please check back soon.

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