Tips For Raising Critical Thinkers
Critical thinking is a 21st century essential. It is pretty much the groundwork of so much in life which is why kids should be raised to be smart, savvy, and critical thinkers. In an era where there is a plethora of information, children must know the practical application of concepts rather than just remembering information. To aid your child’s growth in becoming an active learner instead of a passive recipient of information, you should emphasize their ability to think critically.
So, what is critical thinking? As defined by ThoughtCo., “Critical thinking refers to the ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgment”. It is a skill that leads to important traits such as open-mindedness, discernment, reason, flexibility, social consciousness, the ability to respond to complex problems, and the difficult ability to self-correct.
Children are fast learners and continuously absorb knowledge, hence, they should be taught to think critically from an early age. By teaching creative problem-solving, parents can help their children deal with the demands of adulthood later on. Here are some effective tips on raising critical thinkers:
- Encourage Asking ‘How?’ And ‘Why?’ Instead Of ‘What?’should encourage their children to understand the cause and effect behind a particular phenomenon or topic. This is important because simply knowing the definition of a topic is not enough as that information can be superficial and may give the child a false sense of security about their knowledge of that subject. Understanding all aspects of a topic besides its definition will allow children to go beyond bare facts and ponder about the subject.
- Intervene Only When Needed, Not Immediately:
More often, parents tend to intervene in the activity their child is having difficulty in, to provide them with an easy solution to the problem. It is necessary to give your child the time and space, as they need to understand a problem, think of the practical solutions, and then execute the way they think is best. The task may be challenging but allowing them to work on it by themselves will help the child develop problem-solving skills. And if they do end up making a mistake, it will turn out to be a learning experience for them. However, if and when you need to step in, you may provide them with enough information, so they do not get discouraged and continue to brainstorm, but not so much that you solve the problem completely.
- Communicate Your Thought Process To Your Child:
As mentioned previously, there will be instances when you will need to intervene in case your child is facing difficulty in a task. You can advice and encourage your child/children to try again, but if they still find it difficult, you can show the solution by communicating your thought process to your child. Children learn best from seeing how you think. Therefore, sharing your process of decision making when you are navigating through the problem can help them understand how to manage future challenges in an effective way.
- Encourage Your Child To Develop Hypothesis:
Forming a hypothesis is the cornerstone of critical thinking. All of us tend to create a hypothesis when deciding. It allows us to weigh the pros and cons and assess the possible outcomes of our choice. Similarly, you can teach your child to form a hypothesis to help them understand the process of decision making. With this method, children can develop skills to think ahead and make informed decisions for themselves.
- Ask Follow-Up Questions:
A particularly important tip to raising your child to be a critical thinker is to ask them follow-up questions. You could ask your child questions such as “How do you know this?” or encourage them with positive affirmations like “That sounds interesting, can you tell me more!”. Asking them such questions can increase their self-confidence and make them feel that their ideas and thoughts are valued and heard. Additionally, asking kids about their learning process can help them reinforce concepts, reflect on their earlier statements and assess the source of their information.
- Encourage Them To Understand How Their Views Might Differ From Others:
Parents can regularly discuss topics with their children to help them understand that different people can have different opinions while tackling an issue. Asking questions with variables such as “How will X problem affect X group of people?” and “Why should X people worry about this issue?”, will push kids to think about the priorities and concerns of other people. Ultimately, trying to understand others’ perspectives during problem-solving is an essential aspect of thinking critically.
We hope the above tips help your children to be better critical thinkers and better individuals by overcoming challenges not only in academics but also in every stage of life. To know about admissions in CGR International School for the academic year 2022-2023 please visit this link.