How to Encourage Children to Help Themselves & Learn to Problem Solve! by Renee

7 years ago

How to Encourage Children to Help Themselves & Learn to Problem Solve!

As parents, our first response to seeing our children struggle is to ask ourselves, “How can I make this easier?” While our intentions are good, this kind of thinking can actually be counterproductive. To prevent learned helplessness, children should be encouraged to push past their discomfort in order to solve problems. When they work through discomfort, they gain valuable skills, independence and confidence. Yes, even in failure! What can you say to encourage your problem solver?

  • Tell me what you are trying to solve.
  • Explain what you’ve done so far.
  • What is your thought process?

Most importantly, praise your child for working hard, persevering and growing as a learner!

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Kimberly Johnson
Awesome advice, Renee Herren ! It's hard as a parent to stop yourself from trying to "fix" things or attempt to make them easier for your kids, but often powering through is what's best for them.
It's especially hard if you are a "fixer" by nature!
Katie Sloan
Great advice! My son is in the "I'm not good at this" phase. These are great tips.
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thank you, Renee Herren! This is just the reminder I needed today. We've been having homework struggles with my 5th grader lately and this advice is just perfect!
Elisa Schmitz
Wonderful advice in the era of helicopter parenting! Thanks for the wise words, and welcome to our #30Seconds tribe, Renee Herren !
Jamie Martin
As a mom of a child with special needs, I love this tip and will use it. This will help kids lagging behind in executive function skills and typical kids too!
Lemi-Ola Erinkitola
Renee Herren This goes along with helping our children develop a process for problem solving so they can build critical thinking skills. Thanks
Bill James
There is a sizeable and growing push for this in our schools these days too, as I am sure you well know. As a result, this generation will be capable of solving problems we can't even imagine now. It's thrilling.

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