Onion layers are a nice
analogy for problem solving. Like onions, problems may have multiple layers, and if you do not dig deeply enough, you can finish
up not solving the real problem.
A efficient way to indicate whether or not you have "peeled back" enough layers is to see how you "feel" during the problem solving process. At times it will seem like you have discovered the proper solution, but something just doesnt "feel right" about it. At that point, it is advisable to trust your instincts and discuss the problem with someone.
I have generally said myself, "You know, everything seems right, but it just doesnt feel right." You can not even be able to articulate why at the time. Usually, as you discuss it, while reviewing the available understanding; and running through the questions you asked to get to that point; something will trigger a new idea or thought. Then bingo, the light comes on and you may "feel" that you have the right solution.
Discuss this concept with your teenager. The point is, even if the current information seems to point to a correct solution, if it doesnt feel right, continue seeking the right solution until it does feels right. This is a sizeably efficient measure
to observe your teens body language.
What to do
Even if she cannot articulate that something is missing or not right, her body language will indicate it. They say, "The eyes are the window to the soul." Check your teenagers eyes, as they will be a strong indicator of where she is "emotionally" during your problem solving session. She could be
saying the right things but her eyes may be communicating a totally different communication
way to handle this is to say something like, "You know, I hear what you are saying, but there seems to be something else on your mind. Why do not
you tell me about it?" If she says she isnt sure, beginning asking her questions that will help her to visualize and evaluate her feelings. For example you might
ask, "Okay, what are you feeling? Try to describe it. Or, "What comes to mind when you are feeling this way?" "Does a particular person come to mind?" "Is there anything giving you cause for concern?"
Ensure that the questions are open-ended. They should allow your teenager to ponder issues that: 1. May not be at a conscious level or 2. Is something that she is not willing to face just yet.
"Peeling back the onion layers" will help you to get to the bottom of what is troubling your teenager. With your help, she will be able to talk about her thought process, visualize it, and then tie these pieces of acquired skill
together so things become clear. This approach will help you focus on helping your teens to evaluate their feeling and become better problem solvers.
discussing a better solution to her "real" problem.