Teach critical thinking to children.
It’s quite an overwhelming task, isn’t it?
It’s surprising that as early as primary school age, children are already putting their critical thinking skills into practice. With tons of information children get on a daily basis, it’s important they know how to evaluate all of these messages so they’ll be able to create their opinions and beliefs.
Benefits of being a Critical Thinker
The section “Critical Analysis” is often seen on general exams and tests. Being a critical thinker also is a very praised skill set. But what makes it so beneficial for us?
The most general benefit of being a critical thinker is its universal use. All paths in life and professions your children will take in the future, critical thinking will always be a relevant life skill that will help them succeed.
Here are other benefits of critical thinking that will urge you to help your children develop theirs.
Economy. To grow the economy, critical thinking is needed to solve problems with effective solutions and through innovation.
Language and presentation. Knowing how to break down information results in the improvement of our comprehension and also thinking clearly and systematically. This, too, requires critical thinking skills.
Creativity. Not only does critical thinking helps with problem-solving, but it is also an important foundation to be able to come up with new ideas.
Self-reflection. One of the most important benefits of critical thinking is how it can be used to improve oneself. It allows your children to evaluate their life and how they are living them.
How to Teach Critical Thinking to Children
Knowing how to critically think is a healthy mindset. Teaching and helping them develop this important life skill is also setting them up for success in the future.
Here are 5 ways how to teach critical thinking to children.
Be a role model
Kids are great imitators. They tend to copy the behaviors of the adults around them and this is why it’s important to act carefully around your children.
One of the best ways you can teach your children how to be critical thinkers is by modeling such a skill in your life and verbalizing it. Show your kids how you critically think things through, allow them to observe your thought process, and show them to research things first before believing and to defy statements that seem untrue or unfair.
Play is powerful
Do not underestimate what playing with kids can do.
Play is a trial and error activity and is an excellent ground to hone critical thinking skills. If you play with your kids, you are helping them practice their initial critical thinking skills which will develop as they grow older.
When they are older, spend as much time as you can with them. The goal is to establish quality time that allows you to talk with your children on a deeper level, discussing issues and examining them critically. Board games are also perfect activities that can help your kids develop critical thinking skills.
Encourage them to solve problems
Teaching your children how to solve problems greatly encourages them to think critically. You can ask them to brainstorm different ways to solve a problem and help them pick which one works the best.
For example, asking them to move an object from one corner to the other without using their hands. For little kids, this might be such an impossible task but with your guidance and probing, it is possible for them to think of dozens of ways to do this.
Let them ask questions
Every parent understands the exhaustion of constantly answering tons of questions from little kids but don’t ever stop your kids from asking questions. Instead, encourage them to ask questions as this is a great way to practice and develop critical thinking skills.
Not only will your children learn how to express themselves, but they’ll learn how to differentiate misleading statements from the true ones. You can also ask them questions in return.
The time you spent answering or looking for the answers together will pay off as your kids gets better at thinking critically.
Teaching your children how to be open-minded can be challenging. Even adults at times find it hard to open their minds to certain issues but being open-minded is part of becoming a critical thinker since it helps practice children to be objective, formulate ideas, and make decisions without bias.
Starting at a young age, teach your kids to look at issues with an open mind, with no judgments and assumptions, especially in concepts such as diversity and inclusiveness.