FIND THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS BETWEEN YOUTH Why problem-solving skills are important Everybody needs to solve problems every day. But we’re not born with the skills we need to do this – we have to develop them.
When you’re solving problems, it’s good to be able to:
These are skills for life – they’re highly valued in both social and work situations.
When teenagers learn skills and strategies for problem-solving and sorting out conflicts by themselves, they feel good about themselves. They’re better placed to make good decisions on their own.
Problem-solving: 6 steps Often you can solve problems by talking and negotiating.
The following 6 steps for problem-solving are useful when you can’t find a solution. You can use them to work on most problems, including difficult choices or decisions and conflicts between people.
If you practise these steps with your child at home, your child is more likely to use them with their own problems or conflicts with others.
You might like to download and use our problem-solving worksheet (PDF: 121kb). It’s a handy tool to use as you and your child work together through the 6 steps below.
1. Identify the problem The first step in problem-solving is working out exactly what the problem is. This can help everyone understand the problem in the same way. It’s best to get everyone who’s affected by the problem together and then put the problem into words that make it solvable.
‘You’ve been invited to two birthday parties on the same day and you want to go to both.’
‘You have two big assignments due next Wednesday.’
‘We have different ideas about how you’ll get home from the party on Saturday.’
‘You and your sister have been arguing about using the Xbox.’
When you’re working on a problem with your child, it’s good to do it when everyone is calm and can think clearly. This way, your child will be more likely to want to find a solution. Arrange a time when you won’t be interrupted, and thank your child for joining in to solve the problem.