Cognitive Development
Promoting Problem-Solving
WiseTip: CD-SOL-M2436-I01A

Notice and comment positively on the accomplishments, new skills and abilities that your child develops. For example, say, “Oh, good job! You managed to use the pencil to take out the toy! That was a very good idea!”


The motivation to continue problem-solving comes from the child's success and trusted adults' encouragement and reinforcement of the accomplishment. Research shows that young children with trusted caregivers are more emotionally stable and more likely to investigate their environment.

Helping children feel successful in their attempts to solve problems will encourage them to try again and improve in the skill.
  1. Schiller, P., & Willis, C. A. (2008). Using Brain-Based Teaching Strategies to Create Supportive Early Childhood Environments That Address Learning Standards. YC: Young Children, 63(4), 52–55.

Read more at CD-SOL-C03.