Self-assured kids tackle life’s problems in stride. Infuse confidence to last a lifetime with these practical ways to encourage your child to problem solve.
As a parent, you want to raise confident, well-rounded, happy kids who know how to make good decisions. When you create an environment for kids to solve their problems, you foster the skills necessary for confidence. Try these four ways to encourage your child to problem-solve and watch their self-assurance soar.
Allow Them To Struggle
When your child struggles or becomes frustrated while playing with toys, arguing with a friend, or trying to tie a shoe, resist the temptation to jump in and rescue. Understand that problems lead toward solutions, and when you intervene, you remove the opportunity for your child to solve the problem on their own.
Children are wildly imaginative and need time to figure out a solution. Take advantage of ways to spark creativity in your child and exercise their imagination. Let them tap into their creativity to discover answers on their own when problems arise.
Give Them Wings
To help kids rely on themselves to find solutions to problems, you want to offer opportunities for your little one to fly on their own. Extended playdates, childcare, and overnights with family or friends present safe opportunities to practice without you.
Begin offering this freedom when your child is a baby and incorporating ways to encourage independent play. As your child grows, the confidence to solve problems grows with them.
Lead by Example
One of the ways to encourage your child to problem solve involves leading by example. Kids mirror what they see, so it’s important to show your problem-solving skills in action. Your child learns by watching how you tackle difficult things and work toward a solution.
When you have to make a minor decision, such as deciding what outfit to wear to work the next day, invite your child to watch you solve the problem. Tell them the problem you face, present at least three possible solutions, and discuss each. Once you select an answer, let your child know your reasoning. Watching your problem-solving example helps your child see the process from a logical start to an effective finish.
Use Mistakes As Teachable Moments
Kids sometimes criticize themselves when they make a mistake, which can lead to a perfectionistic attitude and mindset. When your child feels they chose the wrong solution to a problem, ask how they approached resolving the issue. Use the opportunity to help them understand their thought process and decide if it needs to change in the future. Instead of telling them what they might do differently next time, gently prod them with open-ended questions to lead them to their solution.
Over time, your child might surprise you when a problem occurs, and they approach it with optimistic confidence. At that point, you realize that your child’s self-assured thoughts and actions align with the future habits of a highly effective adult.