Problem Solving

6 year olds should be able to figure out solutions to simple problems.  For example, today we were working on calendar activities on the carpet and the children were expected to follow along in their own notebooks using their own pencils.  One child just sat there and when I asked why she wasn’t working she said she didn’t have a pencil.  So I said “What can you do to fix that problem?” and she couldn’t come up with an answer.  The answer I was looking for was “go back to my desk and get my pencil” but it took several children giving responses before someone came up with that solution.  Children are used to moms/dads/brothers/sisters/grandparents/babysitters/daycare providers/ or other adults doing the thinking for them.  The children just do what they are told. First graders should have been practicing simple problem solving skills for several years now but many have not been doing that.  So when they meet me, and I ask questions, like what should they do about a particular problem, they look at me with a blank stare.  If I am standing in the classroom talking to another child and it is obvious that a child cannot get by us, they will usually try to squeeze by or even push me to get out of the way.  When I say “Can you think of another way to go to where you need to be?”  I am again met with blank stares.  They don’t want to think about a solution to their problem, they just want you to fix it.  At school children will hand me their inside out art smock expecting me to fix it for them.  I won’t.  I will tell to think about how they could fix the shirt so it looks right and many children cannot do this.  What is going on?  Parents, I ask you to take notice for how often you jump in and ‘fix’ small problems for your child. Are adults doing everything for these young children? I am a firm believer in teaching a child to solve his/her own problems (within reason for his/her age) because it is a life skill that will be needed each and every day for the rest of their lives and mom and dad your child needs to learn how to fix small problems when you are not there to do it for them.


1 Comment

Filed under Problem Solving

One response to “Problem Solving

  1. Anonymous

    That is so true! I think parents are in a rush to get stuff done and don’t want to spend the extra time it takes, to let the children fix things on their own.

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