Sometimes, when faced with challenges, even the most experienced of adults need some support and advice from another person. Children need an even bigger helping hand when it comes to teaching them how to overcome obstacles. I have teamed up with a junior school in London to offer some advice on how you can teach your child to solve problems independently.
Allow for Trial and Error
Children need to learn about cause and effect; how a certain decision can lead to a certain outcome. That means they need to be given the freedom to experiment and figure out what works and what doesn’t. With that said, try and fight the urge to swoop in and prevent certain accidents from happening (as long as it doesn’t put their safety at risk), because doing so won’t help them learn how to solve problems on their own.
Provide Constructive Feedback
After your child has made a mistake, rather than punishing them, try and explain how their actions have led to this particular outcome. This should help them understand where they went wrong and how they can avoid it again in the future.
You should also aim to praise your child when you see that they have solved a problem without you, or even if they have simply attempted to do so in a positive way. This will promote independent problem solving going forward. Alternatively, if you can see that your child is becoming increasingly more frustrated at their inability to solve a problem, try and give them some pointers to help guide them, rather than giving them the answers.
Give Them Time
Children don’t think like adults and don’t always make the smartest decisions. It will take a while for them to get used to navigating around different problems, and they won’t always get it right. Be patient and give them the chance to learn.