Some children, when faced with a problem, will immediately ask their parents, or their teacher, for help. It is very tempting to supply the answer. Some parents and teachers will be inclined to say. `Why not try that line there?’ instead of allowing the child to make a mistake or find the solution.
If your child solves the problem then he or she is more likely to remember how to solve a similar problem.
Most parents will have discovered, over the years, that their children think differently to them. The way a child thinks is often very different to how an adult thinks.
There is no one single best way to solve a problem. Your child may suggest a way of solving a problem that is wrong to you. As an adult, and parent, it is sometimes hard to back down while your every instinct is to maintain that the adult way is the best way.
If you have time, the race towards the eleven plus should slow down for a moment, sometimes, to allow a discussion on different methods of solving the problem. It is only when you child keeps fumbling for an answer that you will need to put your foot down and use those most useful words in a parent’s vocabulary: “Because I say so!”
Again – if you have time – you will naturally want to lead your child to understand your position on solving problems. Your child may feel threatened and overwhelmed if you point mistakes out – after all it may be better for your child to discover that he or she has made a mistake – than to be told that a mistake has been made.