Problem solving is one of the 6 most important life skills that kids need to learn to grow into healthy individuals and live a full life. Problem solving is a skill that kids need to learn on their own and requires a lot of guidance from the parents and family as a whole. As a skill, it is something that can be taught from early on and polished as they proceed through the years. While our generation and the ones before where mostly on their own, the time today is for active parenting in all areas of your child’s life and development.
1. Identifying the problem: This is the first step in any kind of problem solving. Once the actual problem is identified and stated, it is a good ground to start from. Younger kids might have problems that they may not be able to describe to your sine they might not be equipped with the vocabulary to do so. Actively listen as to what your child is saying and why to try and figure out what the problem is. Games can come in very handy to help kids identify the problem and solve it.
2. Possible solutions: Once the problem is identified encourage the kids to brainstorm as to what the possible solutions to the problem may be. Once they reach this stage, step backhand let them do what they can on their own, fill in only where they lack in experience and or foresight of required. Once the possible solutions are noted down, discuss the pro’s and con’s in an age appropriate manner and let them have a go at it. Start with something easy and make your way to more challenging things. Not everything will always work out in the first go, so help them deal with the frustration and keep trying.
3. Check on them: Now that they have decided on how to go about it, let them have a go at it and then deal with the natural consequence of things. It is rather difficult and takes self-control to let your child go fall in the pit but it’s for their own good and better while they are still young. Check if what they tried worked, if not then what went wrong and how to correct it. Let them brain storm while you sit and observe and fill in when required.
4. Help them: Show your kids that even adults have problems and that it’s OK to ask for help. It’s important to develop help seeking behavior when required. Take simple instances like misplacing something and then talk it out loud how to intend to solve your problem. Instances like these help build positive self-esteem and confidence that it is OK to get things wrong and that they are capable of finding solutions on their own. Let them enlist the help of family members to solve their problems it’s great for team building.
Active parenting is required to imbibe these skills in kids and requires you to put in more efforts than you would have otherwise. But the hard work now will pay great dividends in your child’s life in the years to come.
By Prasad Gurav
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