Teaching Children to Think
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to help them learn how to solve problems. Sometimes, in our effort to minimize our childrens’ struggles, we might tend to swoop in to help them more than is needed, or even do the task for them. However, if we allow them to struggle a little bit to solve problems on their own, helping them less, but teaching them strategies or just rehearsing with them what worked and what didn’t work, then we are truly teaching life skills. Then one day, we will see our children persisting in their efforts to solve problems on their own and recognizing when they need assistance.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in specific skill teaching like riding a bike or learning to say hello to a friend, that we may tend to forget that skills have limits unless they become part of a bigger purpose. If a child can solve problems then while riding a bike, they can figure out what to do if the path is obstructed or they can figure out what they might do after saying hello, to actually be a friend, sharing appropriate secrets, making plans, etc.
So being able to problem solve can open up worlds of opportunity and accomplishment. We can build childrens’ self esteem not through saying “good job” but by complimenting them on how they solved a problem or telling them what good thinkers they are. Remember, don’t come to the rescue to quickly and watch and be amazed at what they can really do and feel proud that you can allow this to happen.
Give your child the gift of becoming a good thinker and problem solver today and every day.