Kids face a variety of problems every day, ranging from academic difficulties to problems on the sports field. Yet few of them have a formula for solving those problems.
The 5 Steps of Problem-Solving:
Here are the steps to problem-solving:
- Identify the problem. Just stating the problem out loud can make a big difference for kids who are feeling stuck. Help your child state the problem, such as, “You don’t have anyone to play with at recess,” or “You aren’t sure if you should take the advanced math class.”
- Develop at least five possible solutions. Brainstorm possible ways to solve the problem. Emphasize that all the solutions don’t necessarily need to be good ideas (at least not at this point). Help your child develop solutions if they are struggling to come up with ideas. Even a silly answer or far-fetched idea is a possible solution. The key is to help them see that with a little creativity, they can find many different potential solutions.
- Identify the pros and cons of each solution. Help your child identify potential positive and negative consequences for each potential solution they identified.
- Pick a solution. Once your child has evaluated the possible positive and negative outcomes, encourage them to pick a solution.
- Test it out. Tell them to try a solution and see what happens. If it doesn’t work out, they can always try another solution from the list that they developed in step two.
Tip:You can begin teaching basic problem-solving skills during preschool and help your child sharpen their skills into high school and beyond.