12 Ways to Teach Problem Solving to the Helicopter Parent Generation


Helicopter parenting, a term coined in the early 1990s, refers to parents who are extremely involved in their children’s lives, often attempting to make decisions for them and shielding them from challenges. As a result, children of helicopter parents may struggle with problem-solving skills as they have not been given the opportunity to face obstacles and learn from their experiences. Therefore, it is crucial for parents to understand how they can teach problem-solving skills without hovering over their children’s lives. Here are 12 ways by which you can achieve this:

1. Encourage Independent Play:

Give your child some time each day for unstructured play without parental guidance. This allows them to explore their imagination, make decisions on their own, and develop critical thinking skills.

2. Introduce Problem-Solving Games:

Incorporate educational games or puzzles that require critical thinking and strategizing. This will help sharpen their problem-solving skills in a fun and interactive way.

3. Foster Open Communication:

Establish open communication with your child by asking open-ended questions about their feelings, ideas, or experiences.

4. Teach Collaborative Problem Solving:

Help your child understand the importance of working together with others to solve problems. Engage them in group activities where they must cooperate with peers or siblings to complete a task or resolve a conflict.

5. Discuss Real-Life Scenarios:

Use real-life examples of problems faced by people or characters in stories; ask your child how they would go about finding solutions.

6. Model Problem Solving Skills:

Let your child see you tackling problems by brainstorming ideas, weighing pros and cons, and making decisions based on rational thinking.

7. Offer Choices:

Encourage decision-making by offering them choices within boundaries. This gives them a sense of autonomy while still maintaining parental control over important life decisions.

8. Allow Mistakes:

Don’t be afraid to let your child make mistakes. They learn from experiencing failure, and it helps build resilience and problem-solving skills.

9. Develop Emotional Intelligence:

Teach your child to recognize and manage their emotions as it will help them understand how their feelings can influence their decision-making.

10. Encourage Goal Setting:

Guide your child to set achievable goals and help them to identify the steps required to achieve those goals.

11. Focus on Process, Not Results:

Emphasize the importance of trying new things, learning from mistakes, and improving their skills, rather than just focusing on the outcome.

12. Seek Professional Assistance if Necessary:

If you’re struggling to teach problem-solving skills or notice that your child is not developing these abilities, consider seeking professional help from a counselor or therapist specializing in child development and parenting.


Teaching problem-solving skills to children of helicopter parents is essential for their success in academics, social life, and future careers. By incorporating the strategies mentioned above into your parenting style, you can help your children become more independent and capable problem solvers without compromising on the support they need from you as a parent.