Steps of problem solving.

Human beings are faced with tough everyday choices from which they have to make the best decision that will influence their actions and interactions with the environments around them. Problem-solving is a critical task and needs a sound mind. It is a process that consists of a sequence of steps that lead to the ultimate decision that is the best out of all available alternatives. An individual must first define the problem at hand and analyze it to get a better understanding of the situation. They then generate possible solutions and figure out the best solution to the problem that they are facing (Whimbey, Lochhead & Narode, 2013). After implementing the solution, reflecting on the decision is paramount to ensure that the choice is best solves the problem.  In a crisis, people rarely take the time to analyze problems objectively, resulting in worse problems due to poor decisions. Therefore, it is important to assess the extent of the problem, think of alternatives, and choose the best alternative. This paper will discuss scenario two and use the decision-making process to come up with the best solution to the problem at hand.

Topic: Scenario 2

Definition of the Problem

In the scenario, the main problem is whether or not; a parent should help their child in their school projects. In the scenario, the child comes home with a project and has to gather material to ensure that their project is the best. As a parent, one is in a dilemma of whether to help the child do the project, get good grades, or let the child do the whole project independently and gain skills such as self-confidence and responsibility in the process. The decision is becoming harder when other parents help their children do their projects, even taking time off work to concentrate on their children’s projects. Parents are often guilty of either helping their children a little too much or not helping them when it comes to their school work.

Problem Analysis

The defined above could be viewed from different perspectives. The first perspective is on the impact it would have on their child and their learning ability. Doing the project for the child or over helping in the project might lead to them missing out on various milestones in their educational life, such as developing cognitive ability to perform research independently. Over helping children in their assignment becomes a problem for various reasons: Helping a child too much might hinder their cognitive development and make them feel incompetent when it comes to their school projects. Children are often excited about learning new ideas on their own and showing that they can handle their school work. Helping the child could also increase the tension between child and parent and create a sense of pressure to succeed. If children feel pressure to succeed, they often give in to the pressure and develop low esteem and never believe that they can do assignments, projects, or even examinations without their parents’ help.

On the other hand, the dilemma becomes worse as other parents help their children with the school programs. A good project will influence the grade of the child and their esteem at school. However, as a parent, it is clear that the child has not included important elements in their projects, and the inclination is to help and overhaul the project making it better than it is now. Most parents do not want to see their children failing in their school work, therefore, creating the problem of over-involvement in the child’s school matters. Depending on the child’s age, too much help in assignments or projects does more harm than the intended good.

 

Possible Solutions

Hicks (2013) shows how one could evaluate possible solutions to a problem. As a parent, the following are a few possible solutions to the problems stated in the scenario above: The parent needs to exploit all the ideas that they think will help the child develop cognitively. The first solution would be to help the child do the project fully by giving them ideas and also getting materials needed for the project, relating to the ideas in mind. Another possible solution is to let the child deal with the project independently, even though they miss out on various important aspects of the project. The third possible solution would be to show interest in the child’s project, but avoid overstepping in the child’s activities and only offer support and ideas when needed or requested by the child.

Analyzing the Solutions

In this step, the parent weighs the cons and pros of each solution to the problem stated in the scenario (Robbins, 2014). The first solution was to do the child (overstepping in the project assignment), where the parent will often correct the child and just like other parents go out and get project materials and dedicate time to doing the project. This solution will give the child the best chances of getting good grades in the project. However, the solution will have a negative impact on the child’s cognitive ability. Study shows that when parents overstep in their children assignments; they create a sense of incompetence in their child. The child will lose self-confidence when it comes to doing projects. The second solution is letting the child deal with the project alone. This will encourage the child to be competent and promote responsibility and confidence when it comes to schoolwork. However, the solution might lead to lower grades in the project due to missing aspects.  The last solution is to show interest in the child’s project but not overstep their process of doing the project. The solution allows the parent to give their thoughts on the project but not get involved in it. It allows the child to be the center of the project and do all the work while the parent acts as a guide. Such encourages the child and boosts confidence as they feel that their parents also believe in their capabilities.

Best Option

Looking at each solution’s pros and cons, the last option is the best when it comes to helping children in their assignments (Sun et al., 2020). The parent should not overstep but show their support to the work that their children are doing. If the child needs help, they should always be there. Parents should not be more interested in school work more than the child. Setting rules for homework, such as when it should be done, help create time for a child to figure things out. The solution allows a parent to coach and not to do the project for the child.

Implementation and Reflection

To implement the decision as a parent, one has to make sure that they are available when the child is doing their project. Creating a learning environment where a child can feel free to ask for guidance and assistance is also important. To assess the success of the solution, the child’s attitude, cognitive ability, and interest in other school projects will act as key metrics. If a child develops research skills and the ability to think outside the box in projects, the solution will have a positive impact. If the child does not develop intellectually or cognitive ability in school work and projects do not improve, then as a parent, one needs to go back and start from Step three.

Conclusion

As seen above, the six steps of solving problems come in handy when faced with multiple solutions to a particular problem. Paying attention to each step will allow individuals to make the best choices that will emanate the best possible solutions. Before getting a solution to a problem, the problem should be well defined and analyzed to create a better understanding. Only then can one get the best solution to the issues at hand.

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