Children from toddlers to teens face a variety of problems every day, ranging from
confusion to emotional crisis. Yet, few children have solid problem-solving skills. Children who lack problem-solving skills are more likely to avoid facing their problems. Rather than putting energy into trying to solve their problems they avoid the situation. That’s why many kids fall behind in school (or stop going all together) or struggle to maintain friendships. This leads to increased crises and decreased responsibility and independence.
Children who lack problem-solving skills often blame others for their problems and expect others to solve the problems for them. That’s why many kids struggle to take responsibility for their own behaviors. As your kids avoid dealing with problems it can lead to an increase in intense emotions and a poor ability to manage them.
Kids who are feeling overwhelmed or hopeless often won’t attempt to solve a problem. But if you give them tools to understand how to tackle their problems they are more likely to try.
Here are some ways to teach your children problem-solving skills:
- Don’t Be A Helicopter Parent.
Whatever age your kids are give them room to make mistakes and find their own way. Give them space and allow them to feel independent from you as they are growing up. This will create a sense of confidence and trust in their own decision making.
- Don’t Rescue Your Children
Allow them to experience natural consequences. If they didn’t study for a test, don’t call the school and ask that they be allowed to retake it. If they spend all their money on one shirt don’t give them extra money.
- Ask Solution Focused Questions
Whatever age your kids are asking questions that teach them to come up with solutions teaches problems solving. Try not to rush in and give them answers when they are faced with a problem. Instead try asking…”What are you going to do next?” “How are you going to handle that?” “How can you get that done?” “What will you need for that?” “What did you learn?” “What do you think will happen next?”
- Routinely Ask Your Children For Help
Make sure your children understand that you respect their problem-solving skills. Chances are with IT problems your kids know more than you do anyway.
Throughout your child’s life there will always be problems, challenges to face and decisions to make. For more parenting support email me to register for a space in my Parenting Workshop on June 30th or click here for more information.