How to prepare children to become great problem solvers

Problem solving is part of our everyday life, settling of arguments, coming up with solutions to everyday problems and just figuring out how to make things work.

Wouldn’t it be nice if children could learn how to solve their own problems successfully?

CapeTalk/702’s Redi Tlhabi speaks to creative parenting expert and author, Nikki Bush about why children need to become good problem solvers to navigate a fast-changing world successfully.

It is very important that children learn how to think on their feet. Life doesn’t unfold in a straight line.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

According to Bush, children should be taught that meeting a curve or a bend on their lives journey doesn’t mean it’s the end.

We want children who can persevere and who have to look at things from all sites and ask important questions that will lead to the next discovery.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

Bush says parents tend to quickly jump into helping their children when they are experiencing a little frustration. If the child is not in danger, do not rush to offer assistant let them solve the problem on their own, she says.

If you teach your children to pick themselves up they will take that into adulthood and to their world of work

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

Here is how you can help your child become a good problem solver:

  • Give children an opportunity to make their own thinking visible
  • Ask questions to further their thinking such as “Why do you think it didn’t work?” or “How could we make it work?”
  • Encourage children to come up with many alternatives that can help to solve problems - have multiple solutions
  • Give children a chance to work out their own issues with you as a mediator
  • Talk children through problem solving processes step by step and don’t take control of the situation but do it together
  • Encourage children to ask important questions and be curious
  • Teach them problem solving strategies at an early age

Curiosity is the route of all learning

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

Listen to the full conversation on The Redi Tlhabi Show:


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