Building problem-solving skills

By August 10, 2016Peppy Talks

Frustration, stress, pulling your hair out… I think we’ve all experienced one, or many, social conflicts in our lives. Problems arise all the time. But how do we learn how to solve them? Effective problem-solving is rooted in the social and emotional skills we develop as children. Talking about problems early on can have major benefits for your child’s ability to work in groups, accept other’s opinions and be able to come up with solutions. In fact, by thinking about what we do when we have a problem, and by listening to others, we learn about the things we can do to solve them. This week’s “1 minute Peppy Talks” is a helpful guide in discussing problems with your kids.


Exercise: The starting-point for this exercise is problems that occur in your everyday life. Perhaps it is only having one tablet on five kids, a disagreement on which movie to watch etc. Give everyone a few minutes to think how this problem can be solved – or even IF it can be solved?

Ask: What is your best solution to this problem? Give each other feedback and see if everyone agrees to the presented solutions.


  • Was the exercise easy or difficult?
  • Were the solutions to the problems similar? Different?
  • In what ways could you solve a problem?
  • What ways can we use at school/at home?
  • What ways can we not use at school/at home?
  • How can you say what you think without hurting someone?

Purpose: Problem-solving. To practice giving feedback.

Want to experience more? When discussing different solutions to a problem it can be valuable to practice giving feedback without hurting someone. How can I tell someone that I disagree or think it can be solved differently? Be aware of the feelings that might emerge and talk about those. Perhaps someone is angry, hurt or happy? How does it feel to agree and collaborate?