Problem solving – The traffic light

By June 29, 2016Peppy Talks

Children’s problems sometimes seem fairly trifling and even slightly ridiculous from an adult’s point of  view. It is however important to remember that even if the problem seems silly it is very real and tangible for the child. If you want to work as a good emotional guide for your child it is important that you put yourself in his/her shoes. Help your child identify the problem, brainstorm solutions and help your him/her judge and choose an alternative. Problem-solving is one of the last cornerstones of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) that we have not yet touched upon, which this week’s “1 minute Peppy Talks” will cover.

Conflict, empathy, traffic light

Exercise; Start by drawing a traffic light together on a piece of paper. Explain what the colors mean:

  • Red means stop, stand still, calm down – think before you act
  • Yellow means tell me your problem and how you feel, put up a positive goal, come up with many different solutions to the problem and think ahead/consider the consequences
  • Green means try out your best solution.

Ask; Why should you calm down before doing something?


  • How do you know that you have a problem?
  • How do you feel when you have a problem?
  • Where in the body can you feel it when you have a problem?
  • Do you want to tell us about a problem you are having or that you have had?

Purpose; To begin working on problem-solving

Want to experience more? Problems and/or conflicts are signals of imbalance. They cannot all be solved, but most of them can be handled. That does not mean that one person is right and the other wrong. It is an art to see your contribution and to settle for a compromise. This exercise has been more focused on helping your child identify a problem and not so much on how he or she solved it. The next couple of weeks will walk you through the different steps and help your child in becoming an effective problem solver.