Like adults, children are faced with decisions and learning opportunities on a daily basis and at every stage of their life. But unlike adults, children do not have a wealth of experience to draw upon to help them to make decisions. One of the best things you can do as a parent is foster these learning opportunities and inspire your child to solve problems on their own.
Here are our 8 top tips on how you can help your child develop problem solving skills.
1. Encourage creativity and creative play.
Allow children to try new concepts and think outside the box. Encourage your child to play creatively with objects that they find. Ensure that their play involves enough challenge and requires imagination, a Kids Whiteboard is a fantastic tool to aid creative play.
2. Be Patient
Acknowledge and honour the moments when you have the time to allow your child to solve a problem on their own rather than quickly doing or solving it for them.
3. Allow them to fail
Allow your child to fail. Mistakes provide an opportunity for us to learn and by permitting your child to fail, you are giving them the message that it is okay to make mistakes.
4. Play problem solving games
You can practise problem solving by playing problem solving games with your child. These types of games will help your child to get into the habit of adhering to the following four basic steps when solving a problem:
- Define the problem
- Generate possible solutions
- Evaluate and select possible solutions
- Implement solutions
5. Ask for your child’s help
When you are making decisions, like what you think you should have for tea or what you should do on the weekend if it rains, ask your child for help making decisions or solving a problem. Listen carefully and fully discuss the possibilities that they come up with.
6. Propose multiple potential solutions.
By offering your child various possible ways in which to solve a problem you help to get the ball rolling and you will inspire them to reflect and consider several possibilities and project the potential outcomes.
Purposely think out loud and allow your children to listen to how you solve a problem. Show them clearly how you work to find a solution.
8. Praise their efforts over the result
Everybody makes mistakes and we do not solve every problem immediately. Neither is there ever only one solution to a problem. Make sure you praise your child for their efforts and when they do succeed, highlight the result.
Learning to resolve problems is an essential life skill. By strengthening these skills, your child will gain independence and self-confidence. In addition to this, it will prepare your child for success in academic learning, leadership, social relationships, finances, health and all other areas of life.
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