Whether it’s all about solving a problem with their friends, putting together the pieces of a puzzle, or else being a mathematical problem they want to deal with, having the right problem solving skills is always important and as a parent, you should always try to help develop such skills in your child. Problem solving skills are believed to be the key for the kids with which they could handle and manage their life and even improve their mental health. Read the article to know more about developing your child’s problem solving skills.
There are different problems which the kids face every day in their lives; in school, with their friends, in the sports field, while doing their homework, or even while playing some educational games. Having some problem solving skills will not just let the kids know how to handle the problem, but will even give them the chance to take the initial steps instead of just stepping back.
According to different studies made on the topic, it was found that the kids who don’t have problem solving skills may spend their time trying to avoid an issue instead of solving it, that’s why such kids end up falling behind in school or failing to maintain friendships, which is another reason why kids who lack problem solving skills might be at higher risk of depression and suicidality, according to a study done in 2010 published in Behavior Research and Therapy.
On the other hand, kids who have problem solving skills might actually improve their mental health, because by solving their own problems, they are building their personalities and becoming more confident, independent, and eventually successful in their life.
Instead of going after your child trying to solve all the problems that he/she might face, it is better to invest your time and energy in teaching them how to approach the different problems they face on a daily basis and solve them. Even kids as young as 3 years old could solve problems, they will not be critical ones because they don’t yet go to school or deal with life on their own, but they will at least learn to solve problems while playing around with their toys at home or in the kindergarten.
Here are some tips that would help you to develop your child’s problem solving skills:
They always say that actions speak louder than words, and that’s exactly what you need to do especially when you are teaching a child something. Kids tend to imitate and follow what their parents, friends, family members do, so in order to teach them something, you should be first doing it. When you face a problem, try to talk it out loud with your child; what can they do? What they can’t? And even think with them about the outcomes that might occur later on. While you are doing so, try to use the problem solving models which you might have been teaching them lately, so they could link it and know how to use it, and not just that, but also try to bring real life situations from their own experiences (but that will also depend on their age).
There is one important thing that parents sometimes overlook which is the trial and error, that not all the solutions the kids might have in mind will work, and not just that, but they might try one and find it ineffective before jumping on to the next, and so on. At this point, it is always important to teach your child that people make mistakes, so it is acceptable to face some problems even if they were the ones behind it, and also teach them to choose the solution they believe is the best for the problem and if it didn’t work, try another one, and so on until they handle their problem and manage to solve it.
All kids learn mostly through playing, so try to invest in the different educational games that they have such as the building blocks, Lego, etc. and give them the chance to do things on their own and see where their imagination will take them. Games that give kids the chance to be more creative, help them to solve problems and give their minds the chance to take the lead in trying to reach a destination with what they have in hand. Another important thing to consider when you are giving your kids the chance to learn through playing is to make sure that the games you offer will involve enough challenge for them.
One of the interesting ways to follow while you are trying to develop your child’s problem solving skills is to read some problem solving stories with them. Such stories will not just give your kids ideas about how to deal with the situations which they might face in their daily lives, but they will also be interested and inspired by the story itself. It is important to be creative when you are trying to teach your child something because every time you do so through something they love, you will make the process of learning much easier.
As we have mentioned above, kids should understand that trial and error might happen with them, they could choose a solution that turns out to be not the suitable one, and they could also fail and thus will need to try once again. Allowing for natural consequences might also complete this tip, kids should also be given the chance to take decisions and make choices, and not just that, but also know that some of the choices they will make might bring along negative consequences and that is when they will need to solve the problem in order to make better choices for the coming times.
To solve a problem means to understand the situation, know the causes of the problem, think about options, weigh these options in order to choose the one considered most suitable, and eventually come to the point of making a decision to solve this problem. There are different games and activities that could develop your child’s problem solving skills, such as learning to code, which will also help them enhance other skills like decision making, critical thinking, mathematics, and more.
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