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Problem solving

Identify problem

Collect info

Suggest cause

Select best

Run solution

Possible solutions

Plan solution


Applied to the "smelly room scenario"

The paint on the wall is a bit stained but can be hidden by throw cushions. You and the teenager agree that it must have been put there by someone else 🙂 and the room smells fantastic!

Get the teen to strip and change the bed while you scoop up the food and use some disinfectant products down the side of the bed.

This one doesn't take to much planning but you speak to the teen about some minimum standards and find some cleaning products together.

Select best solution - weigh up the purpose of the whole project. You decide that the best solution is to clean it up together!

Your possible solutions are:

  • Ask the teen to clean it up
  • Clean it up yourself
  • Ask the rest of the family to clean it up
  • You and the teen clean it up together

So, at this stage the teenager's room or the toilet might look like the most likely cause. The smell does seem to be coming from the teenager’s room. The smell is pepperoni pizza that has fallen between the bed and the wall and is going mouldy against the wall.

Speak to the family to collect info: Partner: Smell, what smell? Youngest: I think it’s the teenagers room. I know that because it’s not mine, as I’ve just spring cleaned it again. Teenager: It could be the toilet, the window is stuck. After considering their answers and with their permission go around the rooms sniffing until you have decided where the smell is coming from.

Identifying the problem: There is a bad smell coming from one of the rooms off the landing in your house. Wanting to approach the problem using critical thinking you plan to speak to each of the members of the family.