Teaching Kids to be problem solvers

One important area that is vital to help children become more resilient is to help them become ‘problem solvers’. If children can solve their own problems their confidence grows as they realise that they are able to cope with anything that comes their way.  If children don’t get the opportunity to solve their own problems, they can form a belief that they are not capable of coping with struggles.  Once children solve a problem independently they remember this for the rest of their lives and take this learning to new and more difficult situations.  Below is a list of suggestions to help your child solve problems.

How can we develop problem solving skills in our children? If your child is faced with a problem, sort through possibilities together by asking questions.

  • Ask “what could you do?” “What would happen if you did this?…”
  • Let them try out possibilities on their own first – give them the chance to try out their solutions even if you know they may not work!
  • Treat difficulties as though you are both trying to solve it together.
  • Discuss situations together by using reflective listening (“it sounds as though you had a tough day today”)
  • Let children discover life through trial and error – this is vital to develop resilience!
  • Let children make lots of MISTAKES! We don’t want to protect children from difficult emotions as they need to cope with them at some stage of their lives.
  • Step back when mistakes are made. (Only step in if you have to!)
  • Give children chances to develop independence by allowing them to make small decisions and larger ones as they grow.

Problem Solving Checklist for Kids !

  • I try to figure out how to solve problems
  • I keep going even when things are difficult
  • I try to resolve conflict with others
  • I have an attitude where I know that if I work at something I will reach my goals
  • I learn from my mistakes and plan for the future
  • I see past mistakes as learning opportunities
  • I use trial and error to find things out for myself
  • I treat difficulties as though I am trying to solve it rather than give up or get too upset