Raising your child to be a problem solver
“There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who run away from problems and those who solve them.” Which kind do you want your kids to be?
I am assuming that it’s the latter. Let’s look at what to do achieve this goal.
1. The first step to ensure that your kids approach problems with an attitude to solve them is to set the right example for them. Yes, you need to be a problem solver as well. “House help on leave today? No problem, we will all eat out once in the day and cook together in the night! No money this month to go out for movies? No problem, we will make some popcorn at home and watch a movie on the TV or go to the park! Grandma is seriously ill? No point panicking. We will take care of her, get her medical help and envelope her in oodles of love!”
When your kids see that you do not indulge in blaming, complaining, or coming up with excuses when you face problems, they will emulate you. If you break at the smallest of issues, like yell at your kids after your boss calls you up and yells at you for an error at work, or lose your mind when you lose the car keys or house keys, or worry yourself endlessly and lose sleep when a loved one falls ill, your kids will pick up on that behavior.After all, you are their superheroes and super woman!
When kids watch their parents coming up with solutions for everyday challenges, they watch you, learn from you, and believe that they can do it as well.
2. Do not solve the problems on behalf of your kids. Your kids would not benefit in the long run, if you go and solve all their problems today. You need to be a facilitator of course. Ask the right questions and lead them to solve their own problems:
If your son tells you about a bully at home, don’t go and speak to the bully’s parents. Instead, tell your child to have an honest heart to heart with the kid and try to sort it on his.her own. Or just ask him how would he/she have been liked to be approached if he/she had been the one bullying the classmates. Or, ask him if he needs any guidance to face the bully.
Of course we can let our kids share their worries and anxieties with us, but after that we need to get them to think, “What now?”
“My friend hurt me real bad by talking rude to me and breaking my handmade craft toy,” says your child. Instead of saying “It’s okay, let it go,” you could say “Oh, that’s hard. That must hurt. Let me give you a hug? Did you perhaps speak to your friend and ask why he/she did that? Is she hurt by something you did? Now that you are yet to submit the craft for the school project, have you thought about how and when you will make another one?”
Initially, your number of guiding questions would be more. Once your kids get used to this problem solving attitude and thought pattern, they will do the thinking on their own. You will just have to be there and have their back.
3. Start small. Begin by helping your kids solve small problems. Like fixing a broken toy, helping an ailing dog, working on school projects on their own, these are small problems.
Once your kids gain confidence, you can let them take on problems of bigger magnitude. Like thinking of ways to save up money to fix their malfunctioning phone, thinking of how to get out of a trouble that they they got into, deciding on how to mend their habits, figuring out how to find enjoy their summer , get the forms and apply on their own just keeping you in the loop.
Once your kids master this “I can” attitude and learn to solve problems, there is no stopping them from soaring high in their lives.
What happens when our kids become problem solvers:
1. They develop confidence.
2. They do not get unnecessarily anxious
3. They are success and solution-driven. Exactly the kind of people that everyone wants on their team.
4. They are happier and kinder individuals.
5. They become emotionally strong
6. They do not get stuck in a negative thought rut
7. They will always find their way out and lead a joyful life
What do you think? Do you want your kids to be problem solvers? If yes, why not explore our parenting program with videos on topics like building 8 critical abilities in kids, one of which is problem solving?
If our content helps you, do be a kind parent and refer fellow parents to opt for our parenting program.