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How to Help Your Child Think Critically?

Have you noticed that some people, including children for that matter, spend more time taking a decision than most? Some people take more time than others to make a choice even when it’s to answer simple questions such as what food they would like.

The reason this happens is that they spend time analysing the question and try to make their way through the most optimum solution by using their critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is an important part of life. Most adults with exceptional problem-solving skills have to face fewer problems in their lives. Therefore, training your child to think more critically is important as it will help them in life.

Some say this comes naturally to a person, implying that it’s a skill that cannot be acquired. However, experts have worked out ways in which you can drive your child towards critical thinking. 

Here are some of them.

1. Ask a lot of questions

When offering your child a beverage, give them options. Ask if they’d like milk, juice, lemonade, or just water. Follow the question by asking how much sugar or any other ingredient they would like. Ask them the colour of the mug they would prefer.

This is an interesting strategy to give your child the authority to make decisions. They start to feel like they are in charge. The next time when you offer a beverage, they are sure to think more carefully about what they want to drink, thus instigating a sense of critical thinking in them.

2. Teach scepticism

There is a fine line between sceptical thinking and cynicism. A lot of times, parents go overboard while trying to burst their child’s bubble, unknowingly turning them into pessimists. 

Ask your child to question the existence of Santa by giving them clues. But, at the same time, do not take the holiday spirit away from them. Teach them that the joy of Christmas comes not from Santa bringing gifts but from the warmth one receives from their family.

3. Support your child’s arguments

When your little one asks you to have a later bedtime, give them time to come up with a reasonable explanation, and listen to them state their thoughts. 

Now instead of outright denying their request, ask them to put themselves in your shoes and let them think of the reasons why you would not let them stay up late.

Tell them about the ill effects of inadequate sleep. Run an experiment where you allow them to stay awake past a certain time for a week. Let them cumulate the data and come to you with their analysis. 

Ask them if they felt more tired in the morning during those days or found it difficult to concentrate in class. Have them come up with their own solution.

4. Follow-up on different situations in school

If your child tells you about a recent incident in school regarding their friends or teachers, ask them follow-up questions to allow them to think more and from a different perspective.

Examples:

  • What did you decide to do?
  • What did you really want to say?
  • What was the hardest part?
  • What did you learn from this?
  • Are you happy with the way you reacted?

Not only will this show that you are genuinely interested in their lives and problems, but will also make them analyse the situation more closely.

Such follow-up questions instigate the process of problem-solving in a child’s brain.

5. Talk about the internet

A lot of kids, and even adults, succumb to the misinformation the internet presents to us. Sit your child down and tell them how everything that is there on the internet is not true. Teach them the importance of correct resources; take them through a list of trusted sources to get their information from. 

Whenever you spot them saying something absurd, ask them where they read it. Ask them if they verified the news/information from trusted sources on the internet. 

Apart from the above-mentioned tips, you can also turn your child into a well-rounded thinker by doing puzzles with them; puzzles that require out-of-the-box thinking.

At The Blue Bells School for Integrated Learning, the curriculum involves the use of logical and critical thinking, pushing students to think on their own to come up with unique solutions. 

By connecting learning to real life applications, we help students become more acquainted with the real world and the challenges that come along with it.