MARCH / APRIL 2017
What should I do now?
Help Your Child Become a Problem Solver  
Children develop problem solving skills when they are given opportunities to try new things and see that it is okay to make mistakes, learn from them, and try again. 

It's never too early to start. Even infants can be problem solvers as they work to reach or crawl to a favorite toy. E arly problem solving opportunities help children develop confidence and a love of learning as they become preschoolers.  

Here are five ways you can help your child develop their problem-solving skills.
Take Five_1
Practice. Remind your child (and yourself) that it takes time to learn something new and that practicing tasks, like stacking blocks or riding a bike, takes practice. Sometimes it helps to break the problem down into parts and practice smaller challenges until they get the hang of it. Then have them put the parts together and give it another try
Take Five_2
Remind them of what they've learned. Problems and challenges give children the opportunity to grow their brain. Take time to remind them of what they've learned. "Remember when you didn't know the letters in your name? Now you can write all the letters of the alphabet in order!"
Take Five_3
Work Together. Have your child talk with you about the problem and different ways they might solve it. It's okay to offer little tips if they get stuck, but don't rush them. Creative thinking takes time.
Take Five_4
Let them know you believe in them. Show your child that you are confident in their abilities. Instead of jumping in to fix the problem, ask them leading questions like, "Do you think you can solve that problem on your own?" or "What do you think you should try first?"  Showing confidence in their ability helps your child become a skilled problem solver.
Take Five_5
Point out your own mistakes. When you point out your own shortcomings, your child will begin to understand that problems and mistakes happen to everyone and that it is okay when they do. "Uh-oh, I spilled my soup. I shouldn't have put it so close to the edge of the table.".
Q.  My child gets frustrated when he can't figure out a problem. What can I do ?
 
A. Take some time to sit down with your child and talk calmly about the problem. Ask your child questions to help them think through the process. If they are still frustrated, suggest ways they might "fix" their problem and let them give those a try.
 
Do you have a question or a topic you'd like us to explore? Contact Parent Services at PSstaff@ndchildcare.org or call 800-997-8515

More Resources to Explore
Visit the Child Care Aware┬«  website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to learn more ways to help children do problem solving and gain confidence.

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