What happens when kids don’t have proper problem solving skills?
In last week’s post, we learned they become at risk for depression or suicide in their teens, after a experiencing a stressor.
Therefore – and I’ll sound like a professor here – it’s imperative that parents teach children this skill.
So what do we have today?
A previous post showed us the problem solving process.
I’ll give you a recap in a second, but I’d like to stress that going through the steps below with your kids requires patience and consistency. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.
- Identifying the problem
- Seeking possible solutions
- Testing the solutions
- Evaluating solutions
Once you have this down, the best thing to do is practice the skill more… the FUN way.
You didn’t really think I’d let you do this without jazzing it up, did you?
Quick note: the activities below can be adjusted depending on your child’s age and skill level.
Flickr via rutty
Fun, fun, fun ways to improve problem solving skills for the kiddos:
Pull it apart!
One of the best ways to hone problem solving skills is to take a thing apart then put it back together.
Use toys designed to be taken apart such as planes and trucks, or toys that aren’t like dolls. Home items are good candidates too – remote controls, unplugged lamps, tissue holders, etc. - but remember to supervise younger kids.
Select an activity like teeth brushing and ask your child to provide all necessary steps to complete the action.
If your child can’t write, take on the task; however, if she can, let her write.
Read each step aloud, do what it says and remember to follow everything down to a T even if the sequence is wrong.
Horray if your child got it right. If not, praise her for trying and then go back to the drawing board.
Add and add until you succeed
Have your child figure out how many plus signs this string of numbers requires to total 99: 9876543321
FREE online games
Why pay for learning and fun when you can get it at no cost?
Here are a few brain benders your child will enjoy and benefit from:
Kids Math Games Online has classic games such as the wolf and sheep crossing the river, the frog that needs to hop on all the stones and more.
Net Rover has games like rush hour – where a single red car, blocked by other vehicles has to exit – sudoku (Japanese numbers puzzle game) and tic tac toe.
That should keep you and your kiddo busy for now.
Whether it’s an on- or off-screen challenge, be patient when your child doesn’t get it or becomes frustrated. Depending on your kiddos personality, you’ll know how much (or little) to push her to complete the activity.
In my experience, when kids solve something on their own time and will, the effects are more positive.
Challenge: Choose one activity from the list today to start sharpening your child’s problem solving skills.
Should you run into a problem or have questions, feel free to reach me. I trust you know how.
Do you know any other mom who can benefit from this information? If so, please share it with her by hitting one of the social buttons.