Problem solving is the foundation of a young child’s learning. It must be valued, promoted, provided for and sustained in the early childhood environment. Opportunities for problem solving occur daily in a child’s life. By observing children closely, teachers can use the child’s social, cognitive, movement and emotional experiences to facilitate problem solving and promote strategies that will be useful in the lifelong process of learning. Constructing knowledge by making mistakes is part of the natural process of problem solving.
Even when adults provide a warm and supportive environment, there will always be times when children have difficulties in their interactions with others. Three limit-setting strategies that adults can use to respond to and prevent harmful behaviors and to reduce children’s distress at these times are:
State limits in positive terms
Supporting Problem Solving
When children are upset over a problem or conflict, adults also can assist by helping them understand what the problem is and inviting them to participate in finding a solution. The following six strategies are part of supporting problem solving.
Problem Solving Steps
Example: I see tears coming out of your eyes you are feeling sad. You are clenching your fists and stomping your feet, you must be angry. You are screaming, how does that make you feel?