April 11, 2023

Seven Ways to Support Problem Solving In Children

Learn how we empower their success in overcoming challenges from Joaquin, our Antelope Valley Program Manager.

As parents and caregivers, we all want our children to succeed. One of the most important skills for success is problem-solving. By teaching our children how to solve problems, we give them the tools to face challenges and overcome obstacles. This article will explore seven ways to support problem-solving in our children.

1. Encourage Creativity

Creativity is essential for problem-solving. When children are allowed to think outside the box, they develop innovative solutions. Encourage creativity by providing open-ended activities like art projects or building blocks. Let your child explore and experiment without worrying about making mistakes.

Sample tasks involve prompting them to create something from a particular material or developing a story from limited instructions. You can also incorporate creative problem-solving into everyday activities, such as planning after-school activities or creating a budget for their allowance.

2. Teach Decision-Making Skills

Good decision-making is crucial for problem-solving. Teach your child how to make decisions by giving them choices and discussing the pros and cons of each option. Encourage your child to weigh the consequences of their choices and make informed decisions.

You can do it by having them pick out their clothes for the day, decide on an activity for the weekend or choose a book to read. Show your child that making decisions is not about being right or wrong but considering all angles before concluding.

3. Promote Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate information. It's an essential skill for problem-solving. Promote critical thinking by asking open-ended questions and encouraging your child to think deeply about the answers. Engage in discussions and debates that require your child to defend their ideas.

Children can also practice critical thinking by playing educational games and solving puzzles. These activities help them identify patterns, recognize relationships between ideas, and think logically about solutions.

4. Foster Independence

Independence is key to problem-solving. Encourage your child to take ownership of their problems and find their solutions. Provide guidance and support but allow your child to take the lead. This will help them build confidence and develop their problem-solving skills.

To foster independence, provide opportunities for your child to make decisions independently. It can be as simple as deciding what they want to eat for lunch or how they want to spend their free time.

5. Allow for Mistakes

Mistakes are an inevitable part of problem-solving. Encourage your child to take risks and try new things, even if they might fail. Use mistakes as learning opportunities and help your child develop resilience and perseverance.

While many believe that mistakes are a sign of weakness, remind your child that it is a sign of strength. Mistakes provide valuable feedback and help us understand what works and what doesn't.

Always allow them to try again and find new solutions.

6. Practice Collaborative Problem-Solving

Collaborative problem-solving is an effective way to teach your child how to work with others to find solutions. Encourage your child to work with friends or siblings on projects that require problem-solving. This will help them develop teamwork and communication skills.

Being collaborative means finding solutions that work for everyone, so make sure you explain the importance of compromise and negotiation. You can also share stories about working with others to solve problems.

7. Model Problem-Solving Behaviors

Children learn by example - model problem-solving behaviors by approaching problems calmly and rationally. Show your child how to break down problems into manageable parts and brainstorm solutions. You're teaching your child a valuable life skill by modeling problem-solving behaviors.


By implementing these seven strategies, you can help your child develop the problem-solving skills they need to succeed. Encourage creativity, teach decision-making, promote critical thinking, foster independence, allow for mistakes, practice collaborative problem-solving, and model problem-solving behaviors. Your child can become a confident and effective problem-solver with your guidance and support.

Do you want to know how you can support other children needing help? Then, don't hesitate to get in touch with us for assistance.