You’ve been there when your child gets frustrated because they’re facing a seemingly unsolvable problem. Their frustration can lead to tantrums or problematic behaviour if it’s not addressed. Your child needs to be reminded that they are capable of solving problems and encouraged to keep trying. When you act as your child’s problem solving coach you can do just that.
Help you child relax
It’s easy to get frustrated when you cannot solve a problem. Children feel the same way when they cannot solve their problem as well. They may be upset, crying, angry, or hurt when they cannot solve their problem.
Just like adults, children think clearly when they are calm. Help get your child to a calmer state. Suggest taking a break from problem solving and coming back once they feel better. Listen to your child’s frustrations, what they tell you, and how they feel. Oftentimes, listening is enough to help calm your child down.
Being a coach
Being a coach for your child means encouraging them to keep trying and cheering them on.
Help your child articulate their problem and come up with solutions for it. You can do this by asking questions while letting your child do the thinking. Prompting questions allow your child to think about the solution and apply new ideas to the problem they are facing. Sometimes you may need to step back and give them uninterrupted time to work out a solution.
Always be encouraging! Do not solve the problem for your child. Instead get them to think of as many solutions as possible – reasonable or silly – they should all be encouraged. Do not criticize your child’s ideas; instead listen to their ideas and concerns.
It’s okay to want to help your child! If your child is feeling stuck, you can offer suggestions and help your child think ahead about solutions by asking prompting questions. When you help your child, you show them that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is through teamwork! Doing this promotes the virtue of unity and allows a child to learn the skills for the next time they are faced with a similar task!
When you coach them and they are able to work out their problem on their own, children can feel truly proud of their accomplishments.