Finding solutions to learning problems

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We live in a solutions orientated world. How often do you share something with a friend and then they start offering solutions, some of us even worry about things we have heard because we have the view that we need to find a solution even though it's not our problem. This is even more so with young people and learning. When children are very young we direct them as to how they should behave and do as we want them to do.

However, once they become teenagers it's important that we help them to develop their decision making muscles. How you do this is a matter of trial and error but essentially if they share an issue with you your role becomes one of facilitator and coach. Try these steps out.

  • Ask them to scale their problem from 0-10 with 10 being the extreme of the situation.
  • Then ask them what parts are making it the number they have selected ie If it's having too much homework to do perhaps it's actually once piece of controlled assessment.


  • Check the boundaries of the problem; time, resources, quality, ability?
  • Ask them whether they need any support in any area.
  • Get them to set up a mini plan ie what are you going to do first then?
  • Get them to scale again, what number would you give it now?
  • Finally support them to do that by offering a simple reward.

Finally keep it conversational so rather than a face to face meeting, carry on with whatever you are doing, keep the tone light and inject humour where you can. They have many of their own solutions as do we all.

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