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4 minute read

Problem solving skills are not only useful for subjects such as math, they are something that a child can use throughout their adult life too. From working out math problems at school to coming up with novel solutions for difficulties in the workplace, problem solving comes in very handy in all areas of our lives. Teaching a child problem solving skills is therefore high on the list of many parents’ priorities but how do you go about it? For answers to this question, read on!

Teaching Problem Solving for Children of All Ages

There are 3 ways in which you can teach problem solving for children and help them to get a good grasp of the basics. You may use all 3 ways, as different stages of the same learning process, or favour one way over another. The most successful method can be repeated as often as necessary to make sure that your child really understands the art of problem solving.

Teaching the Theory of Problem Solving – For older children, approaching the topic from a theoretical perspective can work best. Set your children a hypothetical problem or choose one from a local news story and talk them through the process of how to go about finding a workable solution. The best way to start this process is to familiarise your child or children with the nature of the problem you have chosen and ask them to explain it back to you. Then, you can work together to come up with a variety of possible solutions to the problem and end by choosing the best one. This is a good approach if problem solving for children of 11 and older is your main focus.

Help Your Child to Practice Solving Problems – If you are interested in problem solving for preschoolers and younger schoolchildren, you may find that taking a more practical approach yields better results. Rather than picking a theoretical problem or finding one in a local news story, we recommend tackling a real problem in your home and if you can wait until your child encounters a problem of their own, so much the better. When they do, sit them down and ask them for suggestions as to how they can solve the problem by themselves. If they can’t think of any, you can try to steer them in the right direction at this stage but the aim is to try to encourage them to think for themselves.

Allow Your Child to Tackle Problems at Home and Make Mistakes – It goes without saying that you should never allow your child to put themselves in any danger but assuming the problem is a safe one for them to tackle, letting them try to solve it and learn by their own mistakes can be a very effective learning process. For a youngster, problem solving that involves real issues they would like to overcome presents a great opportunity for them to learn how to approach more complex problems in the future. If you have any safety concerns about a particular problem, solve it for them and choose an easier one for them to start their learning process with.

If you think your child needs more practice at solving problems that won’t get them into trouble, our online tutoring programmes are just what you need. Teach your youngster problem solving the easy way!