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Tip sheet 1 - Problem Solving


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Tip sheet 1 - Problem Solving

  1. 1. “As kids learn to solve problems, they gain confidence in their own abilities” Key Points: - They are never too young - Step back - Expression of emotions is okay - Let kids explore - Have confidence - Guide before intervening - Don’t expect perfection - Appreciate efforts - Give encouragement! 1) Let kids explore. The more time kids spend exploring, the more they will run into opportunities for problem solving. Children should be given plenty of time to explore interesting and varies materials. For example, a child might find a cardboard box and a bowl. Let them use these materials in their play. While they are thinking of ways they can incorporate the materials into their play, they are problem solving. Ask the child prompting questions such as, “do you think I could live in that cardboard house?” This is especially beneficial if the child is struggling 2) Encourage expression of emotions. Children may start to argue with another child. It could be because they both want to use the same toy or because they both want to play with the same friend. Encourage the children to talk to each other. It’s tempting to want to control their emotions. We tend to want to avoid conflict. However, conflict can be good. Encourage the children to discuss how they feel. Let them share their emotions with other peers. If necessary, you should prompt with feeling words. For example, you could say, “does that make you feel frustrated?” 3) Only intervene when necessary. Although tempting, sometimes adults are too quick to jump into a situation where a child is figuring something out. For example, take tying a shoe lace. In a rush, we might be quick to tie a child’s shoelaces because they were taking too much time trying to tie it themselves. Take a step back. Instead of directly intervening, try to guide the child through the process. You could demonstrate tying a shoelace, undo it, and let the child have a turn. Or you could verbally direct the child. This way, the child can problem solve while also developing other skills; in this instance, fine motor skills. Teaching Socio- Emotional Skills Problem Solving Children start problem solving when they are younger than you think. When children attempt to tie their shoe, they are problem solving. When children share a toy with other children, they are problem solving. They are problem solving every day. As adults, it is up to us to know when to take a step back and when to intervene. We also need to know how to provide children with opportunities to problem solve. Adults should be actively encouraging children to explore and express their emotions while also proving constant and consistent encouragement. Confidence should be shown so the child knows someone has faith in their efforts. What may look or feel small to us, can be huge to a child. This tip sheet will discuss effective measures we can take to enhance children’s problem solving abilities. .