It’s safe to assume that all parents want their children to be excellent problem solvers, but many don’t know that problem solving is more than simply asking “why” − it’s about asking, “what if?”
Problem solving – the ability to work through the details of a problem to reach a solution – requires the ability to gather new information and put it into context with what we already know. In our complex and rapidly-changing world, this skill is more important than ever. In fact, a recent national survey revealed that one in four HR professionals says entry-level employees are becoming less proficient in executive function skills, like problem solving, over time.
What can parents do to solve this problem-solving problem? Experts say nurturing executive function skills early in life can help children become more successful adults.
Here are some ways to encourage problem solving at home:
- Prioritize perseverance: Encourage your child to stick with a problem in order to solve it. Praise her for her hard work and attention to the task.
- Slow down: Reinforce that problem solving takes effort and time and be sure not to rush your child through his problem-solving experience.
- Practice with puzzles: Puzzles encourage intrinsic motivation since the only reward is the satisfaction of solving the puzzle. Feel free to experiment with many types of puzzles, from traditional jigsaw to educational apps (use our mobile apps guide to help choose the right ones for your child).
Learn more about other executive function skills and how you can help your child succeed in the future!