Hi everyone! It’s Mandy (mother of 2 – an almost 5-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl). I am blogging on Be the Difference, recapping some valuable tips from Empowering Kids With Character – The Show!

How to be a Problem Solver - mariadismondy.com

Maria shared, on August 9, a great way that we can empower our children to problem solve on their own. You can watch the full video here.

Maria’s son, Dex, wanted his water bottle, which was up on the kitchen counter. Now, he’s not able to reach the counter on his own – his two older sisters were busy doing different things and his mom was also busy. Dex came up to his mom and said that he had a problem. She followed him into the kitchen and Dex showed her that he couldn’t reach his water bottle.

Now, as moms, we know that the easiest (aka “fastest”) way to solve this problem is to just grab the water bottle and hand it to our child. BUT this doesn’t really teach them problem-solving, right? AND then we’re setting ourselves up for failure in the future when we’re trying to raise independent children and find that we’re battling them on even the smallest things (putting their own laundry away, cleaning up after themselves, solving problems in their own lives without our constant intervention, etc).

Maria asked Dex what a good solution would be for this problem (him being too short to reach his water bottle). This is a great tool for problem-solving – talking out loud possible solutions. Dex said that a stool would make him taller and he grabbed a nearby stool and was able to get his own water bottle (and filled it up as well!). Problem solved!

Maria brought up that maybe you think that this was such a small problem but teaching them to solve the small problems gives them courage, experience and knowledge so that when the big problems come along, they won’t be so intimidated. (It’s also helpful to encourage them when they’re not able to solve a problem – be open and honest and let them know that even adults can’t always solve problems! Maybe even offer a time of when you weren’t able to solve a problem.)

Be sure to check out our private Facebook group for more on the problem-solving theme!

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