Raising problem-solvers

If your child is struggling with a problem, you could step in and solve it for them but it is so much better if you coach them through so that they solve their own problem. After giving some initial comfort, concentrate on asking questions that will edge them towards a good solution.

You might hear your child saying, “I’m dumb. Everyone says I’m dumb and so I must be!” Now you could just come out and say, “Of course you’re not dumb! They’re just silly boys trying to tease you.” But that won’t be as potent as if your child works it out for himself. Try asking questions that will help your child see the situation from another perspective, and solve their own problems – phrases like, “I wonder what you could have done differently?”, “Can you think of a better way?”, “What words would have helped?”, “Is there anything that could be done to make this better?”

By viewing these instances as ‘teachable moments’ we are allowing our kids to develop self-discipline and self-confidence. They are able to think through their experiences and their dignity remains intact.