Skip to main content
Main Content

Problem-Solving Strategies

Anson Counselor's Corner

Ashley Chyma, Guidance Counselor



Helping kids solve kid-sized problems and asking for help for adult-sized problems.

When your child reports or complains about a problem, help your child decide if it's a big problem or a small problem. Ask your child these questions:

  1. Is someone in danger?
  2. Is someone hurt?
  3. Have you tried to solve it and you can't?

If the answer is yes, then help your child solve the problem.

Small Problem Solutions

What could you try do to do solve the problem? If it is a small problem, help your child solve it on their own. Your most important role is to listen and encourage your child to solve their problem. Here are some ideas from the Kelso Problem Solving program we use at school:

  • Go to another game
  • Play with someone else
  • Talk it out (I feel _______ when ________.)
  • Share and take turns
  • Ignore it
  • Walk away
  • Tell them to stop
  • Apologize (I'm sorry for _________.)
  • Make a plan
  • Wait and cool off


Teaching young children the process of making good and healthy choices needs to be clear and simple. At Anson we use four questions to guide children:

  1. Is it safe?
  2. Is it kind?
  3. Is it responsible?
  4. What will happen?

This is the beginning of teaching cause and effect thinking. We start this very simply in kindergarten by talking about whether people will want to be by us if we make certain choices. Direct teaching along with discussion of cause and effect thinking is crucial in the early years, but by third and fourth grade children are beginning to be able to make these connections on their own.


Community Resources & Services

Anger Management

Problem-Solving Strategies

Copyright 2015-2023 Marshalltown Community School District