We all face problems on a daily basis. You, me—our kids aren’t even exempted. Across all different age groups, there rarely is a day when we don’t experience them.
Teaching our kids to develop resilience can help as they face these challenges. Practical problem solving skills are just as necessary to teach our kids. The methods needed to resolve problems may require other skills such as creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, teamwork, decision making, etc.
Unlike with math problems, life doesn’t just come with one formula or guidebook that’s applicable to solve every little problem we face. Being adaptable to various situations is important. So is nurturing problem solving skills in your child.
Here we’ll take a look at the importance of problem solving skills and some ways to nurture them in your child.
Why do we need problem-solving skills?
One thing that always comes up when we speak of problem-solving skills are the benefits for one’s mental health.
Problems are often complex. This means that problem solving skills aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to all problems.
Strengthening and nurturing this set of skills helps children cope with challenges as they come. They can face and resolve a wider variety of problems with efficiency and without resulting in a breakdown.
This will help develop your child’s independence, allowing for them to grow into confident, responsible adults.
Another importance of problem-solving skills is its impact on relationships. Whether they be friendships, family, or business relationships, poor problem solving skills may result in relationships breaking apart.
Being able to get to the bottom of a problem and find solutions together, with all the parties involved, helps keep relationships intact and eliminate conflicts as they arise. Being adept at this skill may even help strengthen and deepen relationships.
What steps can you take to nurture your child’s problem-solving skills?
Nurturing problem-solving skills in your child requires more than just focusing on the big picture and laying out steps to resolve problems. It requires that you teach them to find and focus on a problem’s essential components.
This may challenge your child’s critical thinking and creativity, among other things.
This refers to the ability of breaking down a complex problem and analyzing its component parts.
The ability to do that will make it easier to come up with logical solutions to almost any problem. Being able to sort through and organize that pile of smaller chunks of information helps them face problems with ease. It also prevents your child from feeling overwhelmed when a huge barrier is laid out in front of them.
Help your child practice critical thinking by asking them questions. Open-ended questions specifically help them think outside the box and analyze the situation.
Teach them to look into possible reasons why something is the way it is. Why is the sky blue? Why are plants green? Encourage them to be curious and ask questions themselves.
Creative thinking is being able to look at different possible reasons and solutions in the context of problem-solving. It’s coming up with ideas and finding new ways of getting around a problem. Or being open to different ways of looking at an object or scenario.
Creative thinking is best nurtured with activities that involve reflection.
Try getting your child’s viewpoint on topics that may have different answers or reasons for taking place. Get them in the habit of brainstorming ideas, doing story-telling activities, and reading books. All of these help broaden a person’s thinking and flex their creative muscles.
It’s important to retain your role as an observer, supporter, or facilitator. Step back and let your kids try out their own solutions. Watch what happens while ensuring their safety and well-being.
As an observer, you encourage independence by stepping back and watching how your child resolves the problem in their own way. It may take longer than it would if you jumped in, but leaving them to their own devices can do a lot for nurturing their skills at problem solving.
Support your child by appreciating and acknowledging their efforts. Create a space where they can freely and effectively express their ideas without fear of judgement. Present them with opportunities to play and solve problems on their own. Encourage them to express themselves by brainstorming activities that they might want to do instead of telling them what to do.
These simple steps of overseeing your child can help them become more independent and be resilient enough to tackle problems on their own.
Here at Early Childhood University, we value the importance of enhancing problem solving skills, creativity and critical thinking. Send your little ones to a school that focuses on a child’s holistic development. Give us a call for more information.