Watch your child as she attempts to work out a difficult situation on her own. Praise her willingness to try to solve the problem and for thinking through the different aspects of it, even if she wasn’t able to resolve it on her own.
What you can say
“Sofia, I’m so impressed that you worked on trying to figure out how to fit both your drama class and Tessa’s birthday party into your Saturday plans. It’s tough working out scheduling issues like this.”
“You are being a good friend in not wanting to hurt Tessa’s feelings. And it’s also very smart of you to be thinking about how important your drama class is since you have a big performance coming up soon. Your idea of trying to go to the party after the class was a good one. Unfortunately, I think the party will be over by then.”
“How about trying this instead? Tell Tessa about your class. I’m sure she’ll understand your commitment. When you tell her, you can also invite her to the dress rehearsal next Saturday and see if she wants to get dinner with us after the performance. How does that sound? You can still give her the birthday gift you chose for her. She’ll love the locket.”
Why this will help
Children learn as much from the process as the final outcome when attempting to solve problems on their own. Recognition and praise for trying will encourage your child to keep working on improving her problem-solving skills.