Tips for Parents and Teachers

The following tips relate to using the Ask Ed App.

Starting Out
1. Sit next to the child so you can both see the screen clearly.
2. Be prepared to spend between 5 and 10 minutes working through the Ask Ed process with the child. If the child is angry, Ask Ed helps calm everyone down.
3. Read the instructions – you become ‘Ed’s voice.’ The child needs ‘think time’ as they work through the process.
4. Offer to type the problem and the ideas. This allows the child to concentrate on getting their thoughts sorted and to verbalise their thinking. Some older children may like to type.
5. Allow the child to be involved in the Ask Ed process by entering their name, using the buttons to move through the program, rate the problem, select their feelings and ideas and finally send the email.
6. BE PREPARED for a wide variety of problems. Sometimes problems you would never expect a child to have will come from ‘left field’.
7. Whatever problem the child reveals, keep working calmly though the Ask Ed process.

Working Through
1. Allow the child to decide on the Catastrophe Scale rating. You may not agree with them but remember it is their problem they are dealing with. If you feel ‘a fair rating’ for the problem has not been given because the child is overreacting it is worth having a discussion. You can say, ‘I am going to challenge your thinking about the rating you have chosen. Is your problem as bad as…? (provide an example) Children quickly understand what a fair rating is.
2. You can use the ‘Give a Quick Rating’ feature when a child is overreacting to a small problem. Use the Catastrophe Scale as a reference for discussion. After the Quick Rating the child may want to work through the full Ask Ed process or just ‘ move on and get going’.
3. If a child nominates to enter their own feelings in the ‘I am feeling’ section, this will often reveal further information about their problem. Allow them to add in the extra information. This may be useful for further discussions during the ideas section. Sometimes children will talk more about the problem as they decide how they are feeling.
4. Allow wait time. When a child is using the Ask Ed process give them time to think of ideas. It is easy to jump in and put forward possible suggestions but if you wait quietly the child will generally come up with an idea. If they don’t have any they will tell you.
5. Accept all ideas suggested by the child and add them to the list. All ideas listed may not necessarily be chosen or used by the child. Allow them to make the decisions and decide what will work best for them.
6. If the child has no ideas, start a discussion. You can put forward some suggestions. Ask the child if they would like to use the suggestion. They have the final choice. Remember, it is important they feel ownership of the ideas.
7. Allow the child to choose ideas if they are available on the ideas page. They need to have ownership of the selection.
8. When Ask Ed has been completed with the child ask them how they are feeling.
9. After the report has been printed and given to the child ask them what they will do with the report and where they will keep it. This places value on the child’s thinking and responses.

Finishing Off
1. After using Ask Ed ‘check in’ with the child to see how they are getting on with their ideas. This could be the same day or later in the week. (See Follow Up Ideas)
2. All problems discussed by children need to remain confidential. Follow up may be required due to the nature of the problem disclosed by the child.