The foundations for a child’s success at school, in their relationships, and in life are laid down in the early years of their life. At each stage, from infancy through to the teenage years, parents have an important role in encouraging children to acquire the skills they need to develop confidence and reach their potential.

It is up to each individual parent to choose the values, skills and behaviours they want to encourage in their own child, however there are some skills that are important for everyone. These core skills support children in becoming confident, to succeed at school and to get along well with others. One of these core skills and a building block for success is learning to become a good problem solver.

Developing problem-solving skills can help your child both academically and socially.

Triple P—the Positive Parenting Program provides the following tips for helping your child become a good problem solver:

Set a Good Example
Children learn a lot about problem solving through watching. Let your child see how you deal with problems. Talk about how you can break a problem down into smaller parts that can be worked out, one step at a time.

Teach your Child Problem Solving Steps
Rather than solving all problems as a parent, encourage your child to work at solving their own problems. Congratulate them when they solve a problem on their own.

You can teach your child the steps in problems solving:
• State the problem clearly
• Come up with some possible solutions
• Think about the good points and bad points of the possible solutions
• Decide on the best solution or plan
• Try it out by putting the plan into action
• Review how the solution worked and make any necessary changes

Helping your child to develop good problem solving skills is one way of building confidence and competence.

For more Triple P tips and ideas for all ages and stages of development or to find Triple P services in your community, visit: triplepvip.ca or on Facebook at facebook.com/TriplepVIP.

Cindy Knott has worked for 30 years supporting children and families in Manitoba and British Columbia. She is currently the Vancouver Island Triple P Coordinator and an adoption social worker.