Helping Kids Learn to Solve Their Own Problems

Helping Kids Learn to Solve Their Own Problems

It’s natural for parents to want to shield their kids from struggles. However, it is through daily struggles, such as solving problems with their teachers, completing their chores, coping with boredom, or dealing with peer conflicts, that children learn how to survive and thrive in this complex world. Facing these struggles is critical for developing strength of character.

When parents use Love and Logic and allow their kids to solve as many problems as possible, they will help them become responsible and resilient as they grow up. Love and Logic parents are empathetic mentors, providing support and guidance as their kids navigate the challenges in their lives.

The following Love and Logic process is designed to get kids to think more about their problems than we do.

Step 1: Provide a strong and sincere dose of empathy.

Genuine and consistent empathy allows the child to stay calm enough to solve a problem and learn from it. We believe that nothing will work with empathy. Experiment with saying something like:

Oh no. This is a problem. I bet that’s really upsetting.

Step 2: Hand the problem back.

After you have proven that you care, ask:

What do you think you might do to solve this problem?

Don’t be shocked if the child mumbles something like, “I don’t know.”

Step 3: Ask permission to share what “some kids” have tried.

Avoid giving suggestions until you have asked:

Would you like to hear what some other kids have tried?

Step 4: Provide two or three alternatives for solving the problem.

Remember to avoid resistance by saying:

Some kids decide to _________________.

How would that work for you?

Step 5: Allow the child to solve or not to solve the problem.

Resist the urge to tell the child which alternative to pick.

End the session by showing your faith in the child:

Good luck! Let me know how this turns out.

Love and Logic’s techniques have worked for thousands of parents through the years as they have raised their kids into responsible, resilient, and successful adults. Our audio, Shaping Self-Concept: Encouraging Kids to Take Risks and Learn ,is an excellent resource for helping parents guide their kids to solve their own problems and develop a healthy self-concept as a result.


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay


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