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Advice On Teaching Your Children How To Problem Solve

How does that prepare them for the future? 


One of the biggest things that working with young clients has taught me is the real tools they are supposed to be provided and supported with. It’s not always about teaching young ones to stand up for themselves, specifically, “get back up when you get knocked down” or “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” All those things are great and important but the most important tool, the foundation, is that all problems can be solved, all problems have a solution, you just have to find it. 

Helping children to understand this and sometimes simply encouraging them to go and find the solution is the most powerful tool of all. To have a cry for five minutes or an hour if you have the time, but then you must get on with it and do something about it. 


Finding a solution


When I was younger, whenever I used to wake up late for school or fail at something, I used to go into a panic, sit on my bed and cry hysterically about it as if all hope was lost; that’s it, the world is ending! My mum would come in panicking inside but very calmly ask me what was wrong, and long story short, I learned a long time ago that if I sit crying about being late as if the world is ending, I’m just going to end up being even more late and instead of helplessly crying over my “failure,” I can go figure out how to solve it, start moving forward and working towards my objective. And this has been the most fundamental tool for me to this day and I strongly encourage you to pass this on to your children.


Anxiety in children


Anxiety can develop in children for a variety of causes, including situations in the home over which they have no control and may not even understand. However, as young people, they may view life as a huge mountain to climb, with so many things to come, decisions to make, what they want to be when they grow up, insecurities and comparing themselves to others, whether they are good enough, and whatever else is going on in their heads. It can all add up, and encouraging your child to take things one step at a time, one decision at a time, and one difficulty at a time, can provide the comfort and reassurance they require. 


New perspectives


Some children or teenagers, at least, love to block the advice that comes from parents, so try a different approach. Don’t give advice! Have conversations! Having random conversations with a non-judgemental tone and no apparent purpose might just make them feel as if they can share what’s on their mind with you. If you believe they are open to it, share a different perspective on the situation. If you’re unsure whether they are open to it, ask. It can be difficult for them to problem solve because their cluttered and overwhelmed mind might cause them to have tunnel vision that doesn’t allow them to figure out how to solve the problem. 


Problem-solving day vs relax day 


Teaching your young ones to have a moment or a day of relaxation is an important step towards problem solving. Having that moment to cry about it if necessary, or having that Sunday to soak pamper themselves and have a movie afternoon with popcorn and cuddles, might just be what they need to recharge their energy to sit, focus and figure out the problem on Monday. 


Asking for help! Knocking on doors! 


Finally, encourage your young ones to ask for help, knocking on different doors that might open up opportunities for them if they feel lost. Struggling on your own is like torturing yourself when you could find relief in the help you receive from someone else. Teach your children to look for resources that can help them to move forward and problem solve when they can’t find a way out on their own. Teachers, career advisers, counsellors, tutors, how can others help or which connections do they have that could help instead? You don’t ask, you don’t get. 

Growing up, I often heard the adults around me say toxic comments such as “You’re a child, what do you know?” or “You’re a child; what problems could you possibly have?” And maybe when your child is constantly complaining about their problems it might make you think the same. Just remember that life is hard for everyone regardless of age. 

A song that I love, ‘Same God by Elevation Worship’ puts it perfectly when it says “ I may not face Goliath, but I’ve got my own giants.” Just as your children have their own problems that feel big to them, they may simply need your help to learn to problem solve. If you feel like you are struggling with this, please give us a call or send us an email, and our team will connect your child with one of our counsellors at My Solution Wellbeing to assist with the problems they struggle with the most and figure out how that affects them.

You may also wish to read my other children’s counselling blogs

Written by Eva Domingos, a counsellor at My Solution Well-being. 



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By MSWB Team on 14/03/2024 in Wellbeing

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