Problem Solving with Our Teens
Problem solving is a process that teens need to practice and perfect to deal with the everyday challenges that they face. Parents play an important role in helping their teens develop effective problem solving strategies.
We as parents and grandparents are role models for our teens. Teens observe how we deal with problems. They adopt the attitudes we demonstrate and the actions we take to cope with problems. Parents, we need to be aware of what we are teaching our teens through our example.
Here is a process for problem solving that may serve as a guide for parents.
- Listen without interruption to your teen as they describe the problem.
- Listen for how your teen is feeling about the situation.
- Ask questions and make suggestions to develop options for solving the problem.
- Ask questions and make suggestions to determine the consequences that may result from taking each option.
- Offer encouragement and support for the option your teen decides to take.
- Follow up to see how it went and to offer further support.
Our teens need our guidance as they navigate the challenges that come up in their lives. We can show them through our example that problems are temporary. We can guide them through the process and be there to provide emotional support. Eventually, our teens will be able to problem-solve for themselves as they move towards adulthood.
Please share your experiences problem solving with your teens. We would love to hear your perspectives.
With love and affection,
Copyright (c) 2016 by GenParenting
Rosemarie Pérez has worked with English learners and their families in public education for more than twenty years. She has served as a bilingual teacher, professional developer, and district administrator. Administrative roles included serving as the Director of English Learners for an elementary school district and as a Coordinator of Reading and Language for the San Mateo County Office of Education. Rosemarie continues to work with families as she leads the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Parent Engagement Initiative during the past three years. Ms. Pérez provides expert guidance to teachers, school site staff, and school administrators in creating culturally sensitive parent training modules and academic curricular units. She facilitates parent education and Common Core Standards workshops. Engaged parents are further trained to become parent leaders and advocates. Rosemarie is the mother of five adult children and three grandchildren.