'Problem solving skills' written on a stack of post it notes on cork board

Problem-solving is a life skill to develop – not just in terms of solving a problem, but also in knowing when to offer help. Children often feel that they have something worthwhile to say and that they can offer great advice. This may happen when they have been asked for their opinion by a friend or others who have sought their help. In which case offering an opinion or assistance is often wanted and isn’t interfering.

However, some children give their opinions or get involved in other people’s business when no one asks them to. If so, it may be seen as interfering and will not be gratefully received. Others may wonder why they are poking their nose in? If it isn’t their friendship group, why do they feel that they have to be involved?

No one asked them to interfere but they think they should as they consider their input helpful or supportive. Maybe they don’t like conflict and think they are helping by solving the argument or the problem. Either way, their friend needs to learn problem-solving skills and won’t if they are always being told how to solve their problems.

Helping Children With Their Problem-Solving Skills

So, is interfering in other’s business or arguments the right thing to do? It depends!

Children should only be concerned about what is going on in their friendship group and not be too distracted about what else is going on in the playground. If they see something that they don’t like, they could report it, but they really should allow that group of friends to sort it out amongst themselves. They may use their own problem-solving or conflict-resolution skills. But if they feel they need help, they can choose where to seek it from.

It is great to be a superhero in the playground but teach your child that they are not responsible for keeping the peace and ironing out all the arguments and squabbles. Critical problem-solving skills are learned when they need to be and if your child tries to solve other’s problems, they are robbing others of the chance to learn how to assert themselves and deal with their own problems. Whilst the intention is good, interfering should be a last resort and only used when necessary.

Problem solving is a skill all children need to have to get through their daily life. To book a life coaching session to help your child learn how to problem-solve, call me on 07961312749.

Read more blogs on children & problems

[Published in January 2021 | Updated May 2024]