"So the ants can't get to my toothbrush."
So clever. Don't need mommy to teach you. Fantastic thinking. That's called using your head. (And whatever other praises I can think of).
I've always tried to drill into my children's head that complaining, crying and whining about a problem does not do us any good. More important is to find a solution.
I admit that I am quite a lazy mother. I don't like to do everything for my children. My reaction to their problems is usually "figure it out yourself first." If they can' t figure it out, I will suggest a solution. If they still can't solve it, then only I step in.
My son needs to turn on the bathroom light but he is too short to reach the switch. Mommy and jie-jie are fed up of playing errand girls. So KokoD has figure out his problem. He climbs up his stack of little chairs but still cannot reach. Mommy says use a ruler or stick or something. He gets a ruler and whala, the light is turned on. Problem solved!
Even when my children bombard me with 101 curiosity questions, my first answer is "what do you think is the answer?" Sometimes they don't like my answer but it gets the message through that I want them to think about it first. Usually, their answers are more imaginative than mine. It may not be correct, but that doesn't matter. Eventually we get to the correct answers. In the meantime, I let their brain do some exercise first.
Cultivating problem solving skills are crucial to a child's education. If we want our children to be independant, I believe this is the key. Plus, when children see they can overcome problems on their own, their confidence increases.
Mamas Bag Of Tricks:
- Don't be too quick to jump in and fix things for your children. Tell them to think about it first and give you a solution.
- Tell your children that you have confidence in their abilities.
- Work through problems together, whether it be yours or theirs. Show that you value their input. You could say "what do you think we should do?"