In school, children learn about a variety of academic subjects. Oftentimes, we evaluate our children’s progress based on their aptitude in subjects such as math, language arts, and social studies, but oftentimes we pass over some of the most important skills that children learn as they develop and grow; critical thinking. Critical thinking is comprised of different skills that help individuals make decisions. It is the process of determining what is right or wrong, as well as creating solutions. The development of critical thinking skills can help students not only academically, but socially, emotionally, and physically.
So, how you foster critical thinking in your home? Here are a few ways you can get your child’s mental muscles working during everyday situations.
- Encourage Questions – Every single day, children are encountering new situation and emotions that require their response. Oftentimes, new experiences can be confusing, and children may have questions about what they are going through. Encourage them to ask questions and allow them to develop their own conclusions.
- Encourage Logical Thinking – Help your child understand the way that they come to their own conclusions and help them identify facts that support them.
- Encourage Empathy – Remind your child to include the wellbeing of others in their problem-solving process. By being considerate of others, and looking for solutions that benefit others, as well as themselves, they will learn to empathize with others.
- Encourage Connectivity – Make comparisons with your child. While reading a story, encourage your child to compare and contrast the events and emotions the characters are experiencing to their own. If you are out with your child, and you encounter a conflict being resolved, speak with your child about it. By observing and evaluating the similarities and differences in the world around them, they will begin to sharpen their own problem-solving abilities.
By encouraging your child to problem solve and find creative solutions in situations during their daily life, they will become much more adept critical thinkers. These skills will help your child express themselves individually as they navigate life and will help them better understand the experiences and views of others, enhancing their ability to work with different people.