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Nov 25, 2022

7 Tricks To Develop Problem - Solving Skills In Kids

It can be difficult for children to manage school, relationships, extra-curricular activities, and social life. To ensure your child can reach their full potential and thrive, they need to have well developed problem-solving skills. These skills need to be actively worked on and, for many children, don’t come naturally. Fortunately, here are some simple tips to help you quickly improve your child’s problem-solving skills!

1. Let Your Child Try Their Own Problem-Solving Strategies

The worst thing you can do as a parent is to try and solve all of your child’s problems for them. This not only makes them incredibly dependent on you; it also prevents them from growing as a person. In addition, you can’t always be there to help them, which can lead to your child making poor decisions if they aren’t used to problem-solving on their own.
To help your child become resilient and capable of making good decisions under pressure, you need to let them problem-solve by themselves. Just take a step back and observe. It doesn’t matter if they make a poor decision or can’t find a solution — that is part of the development phase. Slowly they will improve and, before you know it, they will become master problem solvers!
It can be challenging to take a step back, especially if your child is young, but this is the most effective way to develop problem-solving skills in kids. So the next time your child looks to you for help, encourage them to find the solution on their own!

2. Lead From The Front and Show Your Own Problem-Solving Techniques

What’s one of the best ways to teach children problem-solving skills? Just set a good example. Children are incredibly receptive to their environment — their minds are like sponges, and they quickly pick up good or bad habits based on their environmental inputs.
To turn your child into a confident and good decision maker, you need to show them how you solve issues yourself. For example, you could tell them stories about how you solved problems at work. You could also tell them about times you had conflicts with friends or family members and how you resolved those problems.
By showing your child your own problem-solving techniques, they are quickly going to start mimicking your behaviour. By setting an example, you can fast-track your child’s problem-solving development. Make sure you highlight to your child how you came up with a solution every time you ran into a problem. Seeing you constantly solve problems without stress makes your child confident in their decision-making abilities.

3. Play Games Together

Teaching young children problem-solving skills doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. For example, playing games is a fantastic way to turn your child into a master decision maker.
One of the best games for improving problem-solving is chess. Studies have shown that even a few months of chess can significantly enhance children’s problem-solving. During a game of chess your child will have to make quick decisions and while carefully considering the consequences of their actions. In addition, they will learn about the power of strategy and planning. Finally, as chess is a two-player game, it is an excellent way for you to bond with your child.
Other amazing games for developing problem-solving capabilities include jigsaw puzzles, math quizzes, sudoku, and logic problems; you can even play video games together. Your options are endless! As long as there is some thinking involved, and it is something you can do together, it will be beneficial for your child.

4. Support Your Child

The last thing you want to do when teaching young children problem-solving skills is to harshly criticize them or get angry when they make a poor decision. This type of negative reaction can seriously damage your child’s confidence and can lead them to shy away from problem-solving.
If your child makes a poor decision or can’t solve a problem, you need to give them proper encouragement. Firstly, you should praise them for making an effort and inform them that trying is the most important thing. Then you need to calmly explain how they could have made alternative decisions that would have produced better outcomes.
Your child should not associate problem-solving with anything negative. They should feel free to make decisions without fearing harsh criticism. If you create this positive environment, your child will develop a growth mindset and quickly learn how to solve problems independently!

5. Let Your Children Express Themselves

Your child needs to feel comfortable forging their own identity! So why not give them the freedom to explore and embrace the world? This process should ideally start at an early age and does not have to be a complicated process.
Expose your child to different environments and encourage them to embrace their inner explorer. For example, one day you might take them to a museum, then the next you might take them on a hiking trail. Encourage your child to ask different questions, and indulge their natural curiosity by answering all of their questions, no matter how novel they may be!
Problem-solving with children should be fun and exciting. It shouldn’t be all about solving math puzzles all day! Get out there and explore the world with your child and guide them as they problem-solve their way through life.

6. Review Past Decisions and provide constructive criticism

After letting your child make decisions for themselves, you need to periodically sit down with them and discuss the different problems they faced and how they overcame them. You should include examples when they successfully solved problems as well as those when they didn’t.
Don’t be afraid to go into detail and explain why they weren’t able to find an optimum solution to a problem. Ideally you should also highlight what the best decision would have been and why this was the case. In addition, make sure you provide them with a problem-solving framework that they can use to guide their future decisions.
It’s never too late to move to another level of communication when problem-solving with children. Remember to provide helpful feedback in a positively and kind manner! After just a few review sessions, you should see a significant improvement in your child’s problem-solving skills!

7. Get Your Child Involved In Sports

Sport is an amazing way to develop problem-solving skills for children. Sign them up for basketball, football, golf, badminton, or any organized physical activity. Sport has long been considered a metaphor for life. It will do far more for your child than just get them fit and healthy.
Sports will teach your child how to make good decisions under pressure. For example, if a football teammate has just passed to your child, they will have just a fraction of a second to figure out whether their next move should be to dribble, shoot or pass. If they make the wrong decision they could lose the game so rapid problem solving is key. Sport can even change your child’s brain and allow them to achieve greater levels of focus and quicker mental processing capabilities.
Active participation in sports can offer some of the best opportunities for kids to enhance their problem-solving techniques. After a few years of taking part in organized sports, your child should never shy away from a tough decision and should have no issues solving problems under time constraints.

Wrapping Up

Problem-solving is one of the most important skills a child can learn. It will help your child to thrive in their career, family, and social interactions. The best way to teach children problem-solving skills is to let them make decisions independently and provide constructive criticism. You should also get them involved in sport and make sure you always set a good example!
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