We all encounter problems on a daily basis – sometimes small and sometimes big. From your child’s perspective, some problems we perceive as small feel like a big problem to your child. Even as small as getting a lid off a container or getting a puzzle piece to fit, encourage your child to generate a possible solution. It’s often our human nature to help them immediately (we may open the jar or turn puzzle so it fits), but your child will develop confidence in their decisions the more opportunities they have. If your child appears frustrated, you can say, “Your face is telling me you are frustrated. What is the problem?
A young child’s ability to think logically is still emerging. After they identify the problem, you could say, “Okay, let’s think of some solutions. What can we do?” As they generate solutions, ask which one they want to try. After they try it, encourage them to reflect by asking, “Did that solution help?” Regardless of the solution they choose, you want to be encouraging and accepting. Base your response on what your child says. If they indicate it was not successful, you can say, “That’s okay. What are some things you could try next time?” If they feel successful with their choice, you can say, “You had a problem and came up with a solution. It’s important that you kept trying.” Our Parent’s As Teacher’s Educator, Kristen, taught us just this week to say, “Every problem has a solution.” I love that and have already started implementing it. Try it too. It will definitely help to start creating problem solvers in our children. ~Marena Mitchell, Speech-Language Pathologist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist