Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Children and Problem Solving

I don't know about you but I loved reading Monicka's blog yesterday about helping her son with his homework.

It's often easy to solve children's' problems FOR THEM instead of helping them to learn to solve problems (and boosting their self esteem into the bargain).

An amusing way to think of this is an image that I got from a self-help business book. It was to do with how some managers tend to get busier and busier as their staff get less and less busy. The book called a problem a "monkey" and the image that really got to me was of me walking down the corridor at work and bumping into a colleague who had a big hairy monkey clinging onto his back. The colleague says to me "We've got a problem... xyz, what should we do??" and I say "Hmm, I'll have to have a think about that and get back to you." Immediately I say that, the monkey jumps onto MY back and my colleague waltzes off happily and free of monkeys!

Instead, I have learned to handle this situation better at work. Now I might say something like "That's tricky, why don't YOU have a think about some possible solutions we could consider and then come back to me to tell me about them and we can talk them over." Then I'm the one that walks off monkey free, and my colleague OWNS his problem and learns to be more self-sufficient in the process - while still getting my support and assistance.

How could you use this idea to help your KIDS learn problem solving, while still giving them the love, attention and support that all children need?

Happy parenting


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