Whether or not they know it, children use problem-solving skills on a constant basis. Teaching kids to be problem-solvers at a young age will take an active role in their world as they get older and ultimately help them value all kinds of thinking.
Since problem-solving is a learned behavior, parents can give their children the tools they need to become great problem-solvers. Scholastic.com breaks down three appropriate roles for parents when guiding their children in gaining the skills to becoming decision makers:
- As an observer. A lot of parents want to step in and fix the problem when their kids are struggling, but it’s important to take a step back and let your kids solve an issue on their own. Give your children the opportunity to take the lead by providing activities based on their interest level. Free-play situations create endless opportunities for children to identify and solve problems.
- As a supporter. Encouragement is key when promoting problem-solving. When children know they have support they will be more comfortable expressing their ideas without fear or thinking that something they’re doing is wrong.
- As a facilitator. As important as it is not to interject too early when helping your kids solve problems, it’s equally important to guide them in the right direction. You might start with open-ended questions to help propel them into new ways of thinking.This will encourage them to think both creatively and critically, which are essential components of problem-solving.
- As a model. We’ve said it time and time again, but children are alwayswatching their parents.Talk to your kids about how you would solve a problem and what your thought process is. Be willing to show your mistakes and reassure your little ones that blunders make for new learning opportunities.
Problem-solving is one of the many traits children learn at Kiddie Academy.