My child returns home with an assignment sheet for a school project. Due to his level of excitement about the task, he began to conduct Internet research in order to gather the relevant materials to complete it. After some time, I noticed that he had omitted some of the required items for the project. I have some ideas on how he can improve the quality of his presentation but I read an article in a parenting magazine about how important it is for children to develop responsibilities for their own learning. Contrary to this idea, I recall several ways through which my parents took over my school projects when I was a kid. Therefore, I decided that I would encourage my child to develop the ability to complete projects independently. However, the following day, at a grocery store, I saw the parent of a student in my child’s class who spent over $30 on purchasing all that was required for the science project and who is taking a day off at work to help in ensuring that all the pieces of the project are put together. This became a problem for me, as to whether I should assist my son or not. As such, this paper is aimed at presenting the synthesis of my ideas about solving the problem using the six-step systematic approach to solving problems.
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In this scenario, the decision on whether to help my child in doing the science project or allow him to do it independently is a big problem to me as a parent. Whichever decision I take, as to whether I help my son or not, it is critical to his learning and development skills. I noticed that he needed help, because he was already skipping some of the items required for the project, and I have some ideas on how to improve the quality of his work. Moreover, I saw another parent who is willing to do even more by taking a day off at work to assist the child is a great motivation. However, contrary to that, the article I read suggested that I should allow my son to do the work without my assistance in order to develop his ability to complete tasks independently. The decision to take in this situation is a big problem for me as a parent.
There are two phases in the problem as identified earlier. The first one is the fact that if I assist the child in doing the assignment I will probably deny him the opportunity of learning how not to dependent on people in achieving set goals or accomplishing given tasks. According to Jessica Anderson, parents seem to be more worried about raising happy children than competent or autonomous ones (2015). She said that kids raised by directive or controlling parents do not get to contemplate tasks on their own, while those who are being raised by autonomy-supportive parents are more contemplative and stay engaged in tasks. On the one hand, as a growing child, the boy needs to have confidence in his ability to complete projects without really depending on anybody. It will be also good if he can develop his research skills, which is one of the major reasons why assignments/projects are given to children. They need to develop responsibility for their own learning.
On the other hand, I thought that parents are supposed to influence their children to be more committed to their responsibilities by assisting them whenever they can (Figueiredo & Dias, 2012). As a parent, I felt I should ensure that my child achieves academics success, too, and that was the reason why I could not ignore the fact that he had started skipping some of the required items in the project.
However, I was really inspired by the parent of my son’s class mate who had spent some money and had also decided to take a day off at work to help her child. This is an act of motivation to the child. It shows that the parent is actually involved and interested in the academic progress of the child. Moreover, social learning theory established the fact that children learn better by observing their attachment figures, shaping up to their behaviors and imitating them (Figueiredo & Dias, 2012). In other words, children learn better from others who are actively involved in the process. Therefore, based on such convictions, I became confused as to whether I should put some effort into my child’s school project in order to encourage him and ensure that he passes, or just let him do the work himself as a way of developing responsibility for his own learning.
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Possible Solutions (Options)
One of the possible solutions to the problem identified earlier is to help the child do the work in order to make sure that he passes. It is also possible to provide him with all that is required to complete the project without necessarily joining the child when doing the work. And lastly, it is possible to allow the child to complete the school project without any help from me.
Evaluation of Possible Solutions
Helping my child in doing his school project is a good idea, but it depends on the nature and level at which the help will be rendered to him. The help must not interfere with the objectives of the assignment. This is because every task given to students has specific learning outcomes or objectives. There are specific things that pupils are expected to learn or develop from the assignments. Therefore, if parents should take over their children’s school work, then the children will definitely be not able to achieve those objectives. However, it is also good for parents to help their children by guiding them on how to do their work and providing necessary items for the project. Therefore, if as a parent I decide to help my son do his school work, then I should only provide the required items and guide him on how to do the work, if necessary.
On the contrary, it is possible to let the child do the work independently in order to be self-reliant in terms of accomplishing given tasks. However, the disadvantage of this option is that it exposes the pupil to failure. If left alone, the child might not be able to do the work, leading to unsuccessful result. This option can also affect the child’s morale in accomplishing the task. He might feel like nobody is interested in his academic progress. Therefore, this option could psychologically affect the child’s response to the learning activities. However, it is aimed at developing his confidence in working independently.
The decision on the Best Solution
As a parent, I will choose to provide my child with all the necessary items for his school project and also guide him on how to do the work without necessarily doing the task for him. While giving my son some level of independence, I will make sure that the project is completed successfully. I believe that doing this will also motivate the child to do his work, even as I monitor his progress in accomplishing the task.
Solution Implementation Plan
In accomplishing this project, I plan to follow the solution implementation steps described below as last stage of the six steps approach to problem solving (The Global Development Research Center, n.d.):
· Provide my child with all the items needed to accomplish the school project.
· Make my son understand that he always has to take responsibility for whatever task he is given.
· Show him how to break the project into smaller steps and complete them accordingly.
· I will work with my son and teach him how to develop a reasonable and consistent schedule to accomplish the tasks.
· Additionally, I will also observe what he does in-between the smaller units of the assignment to ensure that he does not drift away from the goals and objectives of the project.
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In conclusion, problem solving is a very critical aspect in life processes. The six steps approach to problem solving that was followed in this paper makes the process easier. It is a framework for providing effective solutions to life challenges. The problem solving steps were followed in order to provide a solution to the challenge indicated in the case scenario discussed earlier. These problem solving steps are: defining the problem, analyzing the problem, generating possible solutions to the problem, evaluation the possible solutions generated, deciding on the best solution, and creating a plan for solution implementation. However, based on the approach used, I decided that as a parent, I will provide my child with all the necessary items for his school project as well as guide him on how to do the work without necessarily doing the task for him. I was also able to draw out the plan on how to implement my decision on the case scenario.