How to Help Develop Problem-Solving Skills in Students?

Every dedicated parent holds a powerful role in nurturing their children with essential skills that will serve as their compass towards future success in both academia and the professional world. One of which is problem-solving skills in students.

Pupils who can think critically and independently when identifying and solving problems are better equipped to navigate the challenges ahead. With a positive outlook, let’s dive into the transformative world of fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills in our children.

What Are Problem-solving Skills in Students?

Problem-solving skills in students refer to a set of abilities to decisively identify problems and effectively implement developed solutions. These skills are not only key to success at school but also in everyday life and future careers.

Parents can help their children succeed in all aspects of their lives, or more particularly, help children better understand problematic concepts and ideas, improve academic performance, and develop confidence and resilience, by teaching them problem-solving skills.

Benefits of Developing Problem-solving Skills in Students

To help you better understand how problem-solving skills can benefit kids, here are five advantages we have found in helping build problem-solving skills in students:

Improved Critical Thinking Abilities

Critical thinking involves analysing information, evaluating different perspectives, and making decisions based on sound reasoning.

By practising problem-solving skills, children will form a logical and analytical mindset to identify patterns and apply creative thinking to solve problems, which is particularly important in academic settings.

Better Decision-Making Skills

Mastering the art of problem-solving equips students to weigh the pros and cons and choose the best path forward, opening up a world of possibilities for them.

For example, imagine your child working on a challenging group project for school. They might be unsure about whether to take the lead or contribute in other ways. With strong problem-solving skills, they can evaluate their strengths and provide a solution that leads to a successful project and a fulfilling experience.

Increased Creativity and Innovation

Great problem-solvers often think outside the box, especially in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving world. Being creative and innovative to solve challenges will nudges students to step beyond traditional thinking, encouraging them to let their creativity shine and bring forth innovative ideas.

Problem-solving skills can lead students to solve unanswered questions in the world.
Problem-solving skills can lead students to solve unanswered questions in the world.

Increased Confidence and Resilience

Children can gain a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from solving problems. This raises their self-esteem and motivates them to take on even more challenges. Simultaneously, they can learn that setbacks and failures are a normal part of such a process, thus developing the resilience to persevere in adversity.

Improved Academic Performance

Problem-solving skills can help students understand complex concepts and make informed decisions, which can lead to better academic performance.

Many studies and articles, including Relationship between Problem Solving Skills and Academic Achievement by Prof. Mehmet Beyazsaçl of the University of Kyrenia, Cyprus, have agreed that “as from the senior grade of primary school and earlier periods, development of problem solving abilities is important.”

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How to Help Develop Problem-Solving Skills in Students

There are as many benefits to young kids’ development in solving problems as there are strategies for parents to aid that development. Here are a few examples:

Encouraging Curiosity and Questioning

Inviting students to explore their interests and ask questions, consume informative mass media, and engage in other forms of self-directed learning are ways to help students become more curious.

The more questions your child asks, the more they will learn about how things work and how problems can be solved.

Providing Opportunities for Independent Thinking and Decision-making

As children are more engaged with curiosity and questioning, there must also be opportunities for them to make use of that attention.

Parents can support this development by enabling children to think critically and make decisions on their own and by providing them with age-appropriate challenges and tasks.

Encouraging Collaboration and Teamwork

In a team situation, problem-solving skills allow students to learn to share ideas, listen to different perspectives, and work together toward common goals.

To inspire this, parents can provide opportunities for children to work together on projects and assignments. Other ideal backgrounds that can promote children’s participation in group activities are sports, clubs, and community services.

Group activities are among the best situations for kids to use problem-solving skills.
Group activities are among the best situations for kids to use problem-solving skills.

Providing Real-World Problem-Solving Scenarios

By giving students opportunities to apply their problem-solving skills in real-life situations, like assisting in planning family outings or activities or involving them in household decision-making, parents can help them develop a deeper understanding of the relevance of their learning and prepare the necessary skills for the challenging future ahead.

Offering Guidance and Support When Needed

Finally, when children struggle with problem-solving, parents must guide and support them by providing feedback and assistance in developing strategies. This help is undeniable in aiding children to acquire the confidence and skills they need to overcome challenges and succeed.


A multitude of benefits await students who sharpen their problem-solving prowess in academic and vocational domains. Problem-solving skills are deeply embedded in the United Nations International School of Hanoi’s (UNIS Hanoi) curriculum through the the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme we teach from age 3-18. Although developing this skill set requires a great deal of time and dedication, the rewards are invaluable.

Cultivating a professional and trustworthy educational milieu constitutes a decisive factor in fostering students’ problem-solving aptitude. This is the first setting where learners can perceive the existence and significance of such a skill set and where they can practice and polish those skills.

With more than 30 years in action, UNIS Hanoi’s “problem-solving skills,” along with our well-developed learning programmes, are affirmed to be top-tier in not only unlocking our students’ full potential but also allowing them to inspire every individual around them.

Click here to enrol your child in our new school year of 2023-2024!

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