Problem solving in children is a critical survival skill. Problem solving skills are necessary to resolve conflicts that arise on almost every day. Problem solving skills are necessary to solve children's own problems which eventually will assist them to build self composure as well as self esteem and self confidence. Problem solving skills assist children solve their own problem, big or small, with a sense of immense confidence. Whether your children is already attending his or her school today or whether he or she is still at home, teaching problem solving skills will help develop a dynamic personality and smart mind. When your children know to how to solve problems, they can flourish very well in their classroom by scoring better grades and marks. Furthermore, problem solving skills also help your children confront any type of problems or obstacles that they come across in the society.
Problems are the real facts of life. Everyone in this world has them. It really does not matter whether someone is stinking rich or very poor. Problems haunt people every day and night. Likewise, even children are not immune to it; children have their own problems that they face in the classroom and in home. Children can deal with any type of problem in their own way. Some of the methods they use could be very methodic while others are very inferior. In many cases, the methods that children use to solve their problems are at best rudimentary. For children, this can mean a lot of things. If your children fail to solve their problems, they may feel dejected and disappointed. On the other hand, children who can solve problems can feel very confident and bold.
For children, learning how to effectively solve common, day-to-day problem can mean the big difference between success and failure. For all of us, solving problems is a necessary part of life. Lacking the ability to solve problems could become a great source of panic and anxiety in children. Problem solving is not a tough act of science but it is an art of enduring any given situation with alacrity and quick mind.
As per definition provided by Wikipedia "a problem is an obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose. It refers to a situation, condition, or issue that is yet unresolved. In a broad sense, a problem exists when an individual becomes aware of a significant difference between what actually is and what is desired between one or more individual."
In a child's life, problems can be any unresolved and unsolved dilemmas, riddles and mental conflicts for which answers are yet to be designed and executed. Many problems in a child's life can be very simple and easily solvable. However, there may be some situation when the problems faced by children could be more serious and acute. If there are such problems, it is the right time for your children to ask for someone's help or assistance. However, children may not have been trained in the process of problem solving. Many parents might not have trained their children to learn how to solve problems. In life, problems can be unique, elusive and special depending on different situations. It may not be possible for a parent to teach all problem solving skills that exist in the world. However, they may still use some simple methods to train their children in the domain of problem solving.
According to Wikipedia, "problem solving is a mental process and is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping. Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills."
Today's children may not possess good problem solving skills. When faced with unique challenges, they may lack an ability to analyze different options to solve problems. In fact, many children may wait for their parents to lead them the correct direction to solve their problems. However, every child has a unique ability to solve problem on their own. What they need is a number of solid inputs in the form of intelligent problem solving methods and techniques. Parents can help their children solve problem skills by using many universally accepted methods of problem solving.
Learning how to solve problems will provide a number of unique benefits to your children. Some of these benefits are:
A child who can solve problems can be a child you can succeed in any spheres of life be it a classroom or society around us. Parents can help their children develop an innate ability to solve any type of problems.
Methods and Techniques for Problem Solving in Children
Training your children towards solving problems is an intelligent task. It is a painstaking process that takes some time to make your children adept at the skills of problem solving. However, it is a worthwhile task that provides your children an opportunity to develop a wholesome personality. Teaching the basic aspects of problem solving is an exciting event that provides both you and your children some thrilling moments. While there are no specially designed methods that you can use to teach your children problem solving skills, there are a number o useful techniques and methods that are simple and effective. Using such methods will make your children learn about basics of problem solving.
One of the most important techniques that you can teach your children is to let them know what a problem is and how they can understand it. For an adult, this may look like common sense but for a child understanding a problem itself could be a big problem. Your children may make lot of mistakes while they are learning problem solving skills. In fact, there is nothing wrong in making mistakes. We have all done it in our life. The first thing that you should is to teach your children how to handle mistakes and most common blunders. When your children keep trying, they will eventually find solutions to any dicey problems. Children who are good at solving problems are not afraid of making any mistakes. They may make a number of mistakes until they find solutions to problems. Mistakes and blunders are the foundation stones that will allow your children solve problems that they encounter in their life.
Teaching problem solving skills to your children depends largely on your child's behavior and temperament. Not all methods are suitable for your children. Some methods work very well for your child while others may not be suitable. However, your child can easily learn any technique you prescribe and suggest because their young mind is ready to learn new things and fresh techniques.
Here are some simple methods and techniques to help you train your children problem solving techniques:
Observe and accumulate detailed information about a situation: When you reserve some time to look at the existing problem, you can easily learn a lot about your children present problem solving abilities. The main goal of this step is to check whether your children have the ability to solve problems on their own. With this step, you can also get clues about methods to train your children find a solution to the existing problem.
You can ask a series of questions to your children to cull additional details about the problem. For example, you can ask the following sensitive questions to your children when they are facing a problematic situation.
Mom to her daughter: What is happening? Why do you look so tense?
Daughter to mom: I don't know. I do not know what to do!
Mom to daughter: Why do you think so? Why do you say this?
Now, the daughter will start complaining about the problem she is facing. The answer could be just a plain complaint or a simple "I don't know".
Outcome: With this simple exercise, you can learn how your children initially respond to an existing problem and to check if the situation demands your active involvement.
Assist your children know the problem and tell more about it to you: When you ask simple questions to your child, you can help them detect and identify the actual problem. It takes some time for your children to involve themselves in problem solving scenarios. However, your children can easily apply their mind to the problem solving exercise. They feel very confident that you are there to help them in the process.
Mom to daughter: Why do you think you say that? I am your mom! I can help you solve your problem.
Daughter to mom: I just can't draw this figure
Mom to daughter: Why do you feel so? Is it tough?
Daughter to mom: Yes1 I feel so angry!
Outcome: Now, you know why the girl is so anxious and angry. She cannot draw that figure and that is giving her some problem.
Discuss about solutions to the underlying problem: This is a critical step of teaching problem solving skills. You may wish to provide some simple solutions to solve the problems. Alternatively, you can suggest different ways of solving that problem. However, make sure that you are not doing your children's work on your own. Let them do it!
Mom to daughter: What do you think you should now?
Daughter to mom: I should draw it now. However, I do not know how!
Mom to daughter: Let me tell you how to draw it. Will you draw the figure now? Before I tell you, I want to know your own ideas. Please tell me how you can draw it.
Daughter to mom: Yes!
Outcome: In this scenario, you can see that the mom is reassuring her daughter that she is there to help her. At the same time, she is also urging her daughter to do the work on her own by seeking ideas from her daughter. At this time, the mom will listen to her daughter and her ideas and later try to suggest her some solutions. Children will try to develop their reasoning power apart from learning how to find solutions to problems.
Assist children to decide on a series of solutions to try and adapt: As far as possible, parents may wish to explore different solutions to a given problem. Reviewing solutions to a given problem will help children know and assess different solutions to different problems. Exploring problems and later finding a solution will help children streamline their brain to think about problem solving in a simple and judicious manner. The most important question that your children must ask their mind is very simple and straightforward: "What is the best and simple way to fix this problem?"
Your inputs are very precious for your children. With the right type of inputs, they will feel confident, bold and innovative while solving problems. When your children give some ideas, they may ask you which solutions they should try. More often, this is the time they would like their parents' active intervention. Focusing on problem solving skills will help your children learn the most judicious and simple ways of solving any problems.
Problem solving can be active as well as passive. In a passive model of solving problem, children will observe their elders and other seniors for learning problem solving skills. They try to find out some basic models after watching their elders and other siblings. On the other hand, active mode of solving problems will involve solving multiple problems at the same time. For example, your children may have a series of problems that need to be solved at the same time. Let us say that you have the following tasks in your hand.
Go to library to pick some books for your child
Fill up gas in your car and hence go to a gas station
Buy some groceries at a grocery shop
Note: Library is far away from your home while gas station and grocery shops are in between the library and home.
Now, you may wish to ask your child where they go first. Your child may give some answers which may be right or wrong. Do not bother about the quality of answers your child has just provided. Answer to yourself in a loud voice in the following manner:
"The library is farthest from our come. Next, is the grocery store, while gas station, is the nearest to our house. Hence, I will go to the library first, pick up some books, drive back and fill up gas in the gas station and finally buy groceries in the grocery store, which is nearest to our house."
This self talk will spur your child in to instant action because you have given him or her some clues to solve the underlying problem. With these simple methods, you are teaching your child how to solve simple problems that occur every day and every hour. Problem solving is a simple process. Every problem has a series of solutions. Your children should know how to evaluate a problem, scrutinize different solutions and use the one that is suitable for solving the problem. As a parent, you can help your children achieve these simple objectives.