Teach Your Kids to Look for Solutions

Norma LaFonteProblem Solving111 Comments

Teach Kids Problem Solving

When my boys were little they would get into normal kid disputes and then run to me to solve the problem. Around the age of 5, I started to tell them, they needed to do their best to solve problems on their own, and if they couldn’t they needed to bring me 3 solutions to chose from.

I suggested 3 solutions, because each boy would have their own idea, clearly skewed to get the outcome they wanted, but having to think of a 3rd solution before running to Mom, often resulted in them settling things themselves.

One of my favorite memories is when they were around 9 years old. They were cutting up the last of a dessert square and one was whining and complaining that one slice was slightly larger and fighting about who should get it. I told them if they couldn’t find a way to stop bickering there would be no treats to share, and I placed both plates on a higher shelf and told them they couldn’t have any, until they could find a solution to this constant fighting on the same subject.

They both retreated to their room, now madder at me than they were with each other. Behind the closed bedroom door, I could hear them discussing solutions that might work. Eventually they emerged looking rather triumphant.

They had decided that going forward, they would each take a turn on cutting on the cookie, cake, or brownie. The person cutting would do their best to make them equal in size, and the other brother – who could only watch, would then make the first choice of which piece to enjoy.

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself – as I immediately knew that the kid doing the cutting was going to do their very best to ensure that both pieces were equal – for fear of losing out on the bigger slice. To this day, that memory brings a smile to my face.

Have you Considered your Children’s Future YET?

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