Problem Solving Skills for Kids

(August 16, 2021)

Problem Solving is an Important Skill

According to, when faced with a challenge, kids with problem solving skills manage their emotions, think creatively and persist until they find a solution.  Kids who are able to solve problems on their own tend to be happier, more confident and more independent.  All things we want for our kids.  

For some kids, problem solving comes naturally as they develop and parents give it little thought.  However, for other kids, it is something they need to be taught.  Almost all kids benefit from being taught such skills but kids diagnosed with ADHD and other developmental disorders especially benefit. has some great ideas for teaching problem solving skills by age but there are some general strategies you can teach at any age.

These include:

1). Model problem solving.  When you encounter a problem, think out loud in front of your kids.  Let them see you process challenges.  Talk through how you make a decision and why you chose that specific solution.

2). Ask your kids for advice.  This normalizes problems.  Everyone faces challenges and, at times, struggles with making decisions.  Inviting your kids to help you solve a problem shows them everyone struggles at times and that you value their opinion.  This will also build their confidence.  

3).  Don’t provide the “answer”.  Be curious.  Ask questions.  You can even provide advice when asked but don’t rescue them.  Allow kids to make their own mistakes, this is part of the learning process.  And mistakes are opportunities for learning and growing.  

4).  Play.  Play is a great opportunity for children to practice their problem solving skills in a low stress environment.  All types of play use these skills, but board games are especially good at helping kids learning how to strategize.  Play can also be used to take a break from thinking about a problem and approaching it later with fresh eyes.  

Problems are a part of everyday life.  The more kids practice their problem solving skills the better they will become at solving problems.   If you have tried these strategies but find your child continuing to struggle with problem solving, we can help.  You can contact us at (217) 203-2008 or by email.

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