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Whether it’s to do with a lost toy, a difficult maths question or struggles in a relationship, children of all ages will face challenges and difficulties on a daily basis. As parents and teachers, there is only so much that can be done for children as it is physically impossible to solve all of their problems for them.

But that’s just the thing, it is a child’s job to solve the problem and the adult’s job to teach them how to do it. This way they can develop their problem-solving skills leading to a more confident, independent, and successful individual.

Below is a guide on how to teach your child to solve problems effectively, as advised by this independent Catholic school in Surrey.

children doing coding work

Model effective problem solving

Whenever you encounter a challenge, practice thinking out loud when it comes to solving your problem. Label the issue, mull over different solutions, and come to a conclusion.

Using the problem-solving skills that you teach your child in a real-life situation can help them implement them into their own life too. Be sure to show your little one if you come across a hurdle or make a mistake.

It is important that your child is aware that everyone encounters problems and that sometimes, the first solution doesn’t always work. Modelling the correct behaviour when faced with problems, will benefit your child immensely as they grow up.

Ask for help

One of the biggest misconceptions children grow up with, is it is embarrassing or wrong to ask for help. Whilst this mentality can root in pride or lack of help when initially requested, you should do your best to always let your child know that it is okay to ask for help, no matter the situation.

Remind your child that it is all a learning experience, and others may have answers that help lead to finding a solution. If your child comes to you, advise them, but try and let them figure it out. It will be much more satisfying on their part.

Practice problem solving

If your child is struggling to face their issue, sit them down and help them work their way through it. Help your child understand what they are feeling in the moment, this will lead to them being able to identify the problem too.

Brainstorm different solutions and ask them how they would feel about each outcome. Finally, come to a decision about which solution your child is comfortable trying. Don’t rush them, the idea is to help them gain the confidence to do it themselves next time.

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