Problem solving skills help kids to come up with different approaches towards the task at hand.
Children are able to understand the problem better and find effective solutions for them.
They know how to deal with a problem in a comprehensive manner by using “What, If” analysis instead of getting subsumed with the problem.
As kids are able to understand the context of the situation using multiple approaches , they are able to arrive at meaningful and effective solutions for the problem.
By using problem solving skills, kids learn to develop a strong mental attitude and can handle tough situations with ease as they grow up.
They grow up to becoming strong, mature and evolved adults who have a knack of solving things easily instead of complicating them.
Teachers play a very important role in developing problem solving skills among kids.
When teachers ask kids questions such as “ what do you think if ….?” or “what do you think can be a better method to ….?” ; kids are being pushed to use their own creativity and talent to find a solution to a problem.
What are the examples of problem solving skills?
The first key skill that help kids to find meaningful, multiple solutions to the problem is “Active listening”.
When a kid develops the trait of hearing out others completely, they become better problem solvers.
The kids are able to “analyse” the questions and comprehend them completely.
Kids use their own “creativity” and “research” techniques to understand how a better solution can be worked out for the issues at hand.
This improves their “dependability” and enhances their “communication skills”.
It also makes them a “team-player” and they are good “decision -makers” as they take a 360 degree approach to problem solving instead of a bird’s eye view.
Why is it important to develop problem solving skills?
When a child is leveraging his ability to solve problems, it adds to his/her confidence.
With increased confidence, kids are able to perform much better academically.
This prepares them for taking future roles with grit and creativity.
Kids are able to resolve conflicts and come out of a distressing situation with ease.
It builds their resilience and a lot of these skills are learnt from teachers at school as school provides a safe and controlled environment to the kids to identify issues, come up with varied solutions, see which route works best for them in a given situation.
They are thus, able to analyse different outcomes and able to choose the most feasible solution thereby strengthening their decision making ability from early childhood.
This will eventually transform them to becoming more mature, dependable and resilient kids with a knack of solving issues with multiple approaches.
They also become effective listeners and good communicators.
How to develop problem solving skills among kids?
Some of the approaches wherein parents can work towards building problem solving abilities among kids from early childhood itself are discussed below.
1. Allow kids the freedom to do things their way: Do not over-shadow them in every task they are doing. By giving them too many directives, a parent will curb the kid’s ability to think creatively.
2. Ask kids for feedback: When kids take part in the different activities at home , for example, ” what gift to buy for a birthday party” , “how the kid would like to celebrate his/her birthday”; kids would develop their decision making abilities.
3. Interact through stories: Tell them some good stories befitting their age and ask them questions such as “Do you think it was the right action on the part of …?”, ” What do you think the person should do in this situation” etc. This forces the kid to think creatively. Who knows he/she can become the best selling author in times to come!
4. Allow kids to fail: Parents have the tendency to be over-caring and over-protective which is extremely harmful for kid’s holistic development. Do not offer your help in every school assignment or DIY tasks. They can come up with more innovative solutions than yours so give them the space to learn by themselves.
5. Play with kids: Different kinds of games such as puzzles, memory games, board games, activity books, building blocks are designed to develop thinking ability and analysing the different possible outcomes. Therefore, encourage all family members to bond over these activities that also develops multiple cognitive skills.
Developing problem solving skills from early childhood helps kids to take decisions related to their studies, career and relationships with ease in the later stages of life.
So, just be a little more creative and encourage them to analyse, think and give their feedback and suggestions on different activities happening around you.
Let them work independently and do not try to solve every possible thing for them.
Allow them to seek help from friends, teachers and family members on their own.
This would help kids to grow into more balanced and happy adults.