Have you dealt with any problems today? Of course you have! Fact is we are continuously confronted with obstacles that stand between our wants and needs. Let’s face it; we overcome obstacles by using everyday problem solving skills.
Truth is, some people rise to challenges and see them as opportunities, and they often have a systematic way of solving problems giving them a greater sense of self-confidence. Others fear challenges, frequently fail to solve problems, and feel as if they are failures.
As parents, we routinely act as providers and protectors … and rightfully so! We hate to see our kids struggle, and quite frankly, it would be easier if we handled problems ourselves, not so?! Yes, it often takes a conscious effort to step back from the provider instinct and allow your child to find a solution to the problem at hand.
One of the most exciting moments we as parents have is witnessing our child solve a problem! Do you remember your 8 year old running up the stairs to fetch a jacket because he was cold, or maybe your 15 year old studied for his second math test after doing badly in the first? And, you were oh, so proud of your 18 year old when she decided not to ride in the car with a friend who did not have a licence … magic moments for us as parents!
Problem solving is one of the most vital life skills. Strengthening these skills not only allows kids to gain independence and self-confidence, it also primes them for success in all areas of life. Although our intentions are to protect and help our kids, when we solve problems for them, we deny them the opportunity to figure it out themselves.
So, how do we teach our kids problem solving skills?
- Have patience. Spend a few extra minutes allowing your child to solve a problem on his own rather than quickly solving it for him. Show him that you’re confident in his ability to make things work.
- Make home a non-judgemental zone. Make sure your family is a safe “laboratory” where your kids know they can experiment and solve problems without criticism and constant correction.
- Provide problem solving opportunities. Offer games, puzzles and books that inspire creative and critical thinking.
- Play problem solving games. Encourage creative play … remember building a fort out of boxes or pillows?
- Build the occasional road block into their experience, BUT make sure a solution is possible.
- Allow them to fail. Problem solving isn’t composed entirely out of victorious moments. Make sure that they know it’s OK to make mistakes.
- Model good problem solving skills. Handle difficulties calm and with kindness.
- Ask for their help. Make sure that your kids understand that you respect and value their opinion. Ask “What do you think?” often.
- Praise their efforts. Let them know that you are proud of their decisions; this will motivate and empower them
Teach your kids to be free-thinking problem solvers. Will it be time consuming and exhausting? It probably will, BUT investing in this process will pay huge dividends as your kids grow up and you see them work through problems in their young adult lives. Happy parenting!
Source: www.allprodad.com, therapychanges.com, www.lessthanperfectparents.com, www.verywell.com, www.noodle.com, www.kidsmatter.edu.au, lifeafterieps.com, www.beingtheparent.com, www.brainboxx.co.uk, www.brainy-child.com, www.scolastic.com, parent4success.com, www.magiccrate.in, haltonparentsblog.ca, sunshine-parenting.com, jmbthinks.com, www.lessthanperfectparents.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.