Parenting in Such a Way That You Teach, Not Preach
Your parenting style should be one where you teach your children, not preach to them. This is especially true when it comes to problem solving. According to child behavior specialists, kids are natural problem solvers. There are many settings where your child may interact with others and actively participate in the decision-making process. These settings transform into experiences that will assist your child in being introduced to different types of thinking, will allow them to think in a creative and logical fashion, and take an active role in allowing them to become aware of the world that they are surrounded. Life is full of teachable moments. By helping your child recognize these moments and encouraging them to solve their problems all on their own, your parenting techniques will allow them to grow into emotionally-stable, mature, responsible, and independent adults.
Why Problem Solving Skills are Important
As people, we transition from childhood into adulthood. This process is not only physical. It is a process in which each of us learns many skills and concepts. We also make numerous mistakes throughout our early years and are faced with many challenges. The mistakes and the challenges that are thrown upon us as children allow us to engage in problem solving. When we work through problems as children and teenagers, we acquire the skills that are necessary to succeed in our adult lives. While, as parents, we often want to rescue our children when they experience setbacks, it is best to allow them to work through and solve their own problems. By doing this, they will be better equipped to deal with life as it is handed to them.
Problem Solving Aids in Thought Development and Understanding
As a child develops the ability to deal with various problems, they learn to navigate through the various stages of their lives. Thought development and understanding is developed as they gain perspective. Children will start to learn how their world operates, about others, and will learn the basic mechanics to developing solid relationships. While it is advised to provide guidance, you should never preach at your child or tell them exactly how to handle the problems that they are faced with. Instead, you should simply encourage them to develop their own insights. Even if you KNOW that the way in which they are handling a problem will not work, you should allow them to proceed so that they are able to learn.
Steps for Helping a Child Solve Their Problems
Now that you understand the importance of teaching and not preaching when it comes to your child’s life and understand the importance of allowing them to solve their own problems, it is time to learn a few steps for helping a child in developing their problem-solving skills:
- First, you should have defined limits for your child. It is essential that you are consistent when it comes to implementing those limits. By doing this, your child will know what is or is not allowed and will be able to successfully identify problems, evaluate their issues, and develop solutions.
- Next, you should teach children about their emotions, not preach at them for experiencing those emotions. When a child starts to learn about how they feel, they will be able to separate their feelings from their problems and will be better able to come up with workable solutions.
- The third step to helping children develop their problem solving skills is to ask a lot of questions. By asking questions, you will encourage the development of the thought process.
- Your child should know and understand that you have total confidence in them. This is especially true when your child is coping and attempting to deal with some sort of problem in their life. Not only does this make them more motivated to solve their own problems, their self-confidence will increase, too.
- While you may be attempted to help your struggling child with a problem, you should step back and allow them the time to solve their own issues. Many parents will take charge and do a task for a child or show them how the task is done. Unfortunately, the child who experiences this will suffer. They need to learn how to be persistent and how to think in a logical fashion. If you rush in to solve everything, they will never get the opportunity to develop these very important skills.
- The next step is encouraging your child to think in a highly creative fashion. It is a known fact that the solutions to problems stem from ideas. By encouraging them to think creatively, they are sure to develop several ideas on how to cope and/or work through the problems that they are experiencing.
- The next step that you may take in order to help your child with the problem solving process is to teach your child all about empathy. You should explain what empathy is, how we all should use it in our day to day lives, and how important empathy is to other individuals that they come in contact with. Not only does this allow your child to understand their emotions, but, it will also allow them to understand the emotions of others.
- You should always encourage your kid to express themselves. Of course, they should be taught to express themselves in a kind, caring, and respectful manner. You may do this through talking openly with them, asking them questions, and/or encouraging their input. The child that is able to express themselves is the child that will have the self-confidence to solve their own problems.
- The next step to helping a child solve their problems is to inform them that we ALL make mistakes. They should view mistakes as part of the learning process, and not as a failure. If a child makes a mistake through the process of solving a problem, they should face it with enthusiasm and know that they are growing and learning. Mistakes should be celebrated, not condemned.
- The tenth and final step to teaching your child and not preaching at them is to ensure that you love them, support them, and encourage them at all times. A child that is loved, supported, and encouraged is a child that is sure to achieve higher levels of success in their ability to solve problems, and in their lives, in general.
By trying these tips, you may find that your child develops a high comfort level in facing challenges. Your child will face obstacles with a high level of enthusiasm and will explore numerous methods of dealing with their problems. A child that is taught and not preached at is a child that will grow into a mature, responsible, and independent adult. By knowing this and instilling in your child a sense of urgency as it pertains to creatively approaching and solving their problems, you will quickly find that your child’s thought processes become more creative and logical, all at once. You will find that your child is able to successfully approach, cope with, and handle absolutely any obstacle in which they are faced!