Problem Solving & Decision Making

Posted in Parenting Corner

How do your children handle problems and decisions? Some children whine, complain, and have bad attitudes. However, problems and decisions make great opportunities to teach children how to face life's challenges.

Families make decisions and solve problems on a daily basis. Parents must make some decisions, and in those cases children need to learn to follow. At other times parents can involve children and teach them to make wise choices.

Developing good decision-making skills gives children the ability to define a problem, imagine consequences of various alternatives, and then choose the best solution among the options. Allowing children to solve some problems for themselves communicates honor to them. It says, "I believe in you. You have what it takes."

Sometimes parents solve problems for children to help them avoid frustration. Be careful that you don't rob your children of learning experiences. Frustration can be a great teacher and can motivate children into new areas. You then can be the counselor or coach as life teaches a valuable lesson.

Don't be too quick to solve a problem or make a decision for your kids. Involve children in the process, not just in the final product. Much of the day-to-day problem-solving and decision-making in family life can demonstrate cooperation and teamwork as parents and children work together. Cooperative decision-making teaches children valuable skills of negotiation, compromise, communication, and creating alternatives. Mutual honor is demonstrated in the midst of cooperation.