Parents want their kids to be able to think for themselves and acquire critical thinking abilities, so they won’t believe everything they read. One way to accomplish this is to instill in them the ability to think for themselves.
Today, our children spend a lot of time online, scrolling through their feeds and chatting with their friends. While there are positives to this, there are also potentially severe cautions.
The Internet is a fantastic resource for education and personal development. But the prevalence of fake news and other false information is cause for concern.
8 ideas on how you can help your child learn to think for themselves.
1. Spend time with your children
Intentionally, spending time with your child is just as important as educating them to be self-reliant. Activities like backyard camping, cookie baking, and game night sound like great ideas. Pick out pursuits to help your kids develop useful talents as they grow up and become more independent.
Make cookies with them, show them how to measure materials, and operate an oven properly. Kids can help make the cookie dough and then pass the baked goods to friends and family.
Participating in activities as a family can help kids develop the abilities they’ll require to handle themselves when Mom and Dad are away. Growing vegetables together as a family may teach kids about responsibility, caring for the earth, and the importance of eating well.
Spending time together strengthens a child’s sense of worth in many ways. It teaches youngsters and their parents to value their time together. Eventually, this self-assurance can lead to a greater degree of autonomy.
2. Give them some control over minor matters.
Allow your children some leeway in making minor decisions. When taking small children on a family outing, give them a say in what they wear by letting them choose from a few options before you leave the house.
Watching what kids come up with when you give them free rein over their wardrobe selections when you’re hanging out at home is fun. When they’re just lounging around the house, they can wear whatever they like. If they want to wear it, let them.
Do not criticize their decision if you allow them to make it on their own. They may start to doubt their judgment and feel uneasy about making the next choice because of the criticism they’ve received.
3. Let them have lots of playtime.
Children’s ability to think independently develops greatly during unstructured playtime. This is because they learn to choose what and how to play. The ability to make these kinds of decisions is a stepping stone to greater independence in the classroom.
4. Don’t rush to provide help
Think about how much effort your kid has put in on their own before you jump in to help with homework.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that ease and speed are the most important factors when solving problems in today’s era of instant internet hints. Your child’s learning ability may suffer if you are too quick to answer their questions.
Instead, reassure them that taking as much time as they need to figure things out is okay. In addition, give them plenty of breathing room in their schedule and tell them it is okay to be patient with themselves.
You can give your child suggestions that give just enough information. This is to get them thinking again without giving too much away. If you see that they have put a fair bit of personal effort into the topic, then assist as needed.
5. Put away the gadgets
Limit your children’s exposure to electronic media unless they are involved in productive activities like research or school work.
The rapid development of certain regions of our children’s brains is a major concern when it comes to their use of electronic devices.
Development builds upon itself, and research shows that for children to reach their full potential, they must have frequent, direct experiences with the world beyond the home.
Since practically everything in the digital age is instantaneous, our children may never learn to deal with delayed gratification, which is really important but can be easily overlooked.
6. Permit your children to fail.
There is a downside to taking risks: the possibility of failure. It’s alright for your children to fail. The fact that they made an effort is what matters. Reassure them that it’s normal to need support, make mistakes, and try again.
As mature individuals, we are well aware of this. The objective is to help kids develop the emotional resilience necessary to deal with the inevitable disappointments and difficulties that life inevitably brings.
In the same way that you should encourage your children to explore new things and succeed at them on their own, you should also encourage them to think for themselves.
7. Ask them many questions and motivate them to ask the same
You may learn a lot about your children and stimulate their minds by asking them many questions. You gain insight into who they are, and they pick up on your habit of desire for knowledge.
Instead of staring at a screen while driving, try talking to them about anything interesting you saw on the way there or anything else that will get them thinking and talking. They develop communication skills through these activities.
They will (and you will) gain insight into their opinions on anything from the outdoors cuisine and to entertainment. They start as preteens, then teens, and eventually adults.
They get used to discussing their thoughts with you. You’ll get access to their inner lives and have more chances to impart wisdom and encouragement.
Remember that kids are still growing and learning, and avoid passing harsh judgment on anything they say. If they say something that could be interpreted negatively, instead of stressing out, ask them clarifying questions.
Depending on the context, questions can be used either politely or authoritatively.
8. Do offer difficulties that necessitate careful consideration.
Your children’s intellect will not flourish if they solve simple issues, just as your muscles will not expand if you only lift modest weights. Furthermore, since fear of making mistakes does not yet paralyze young minds, they are naturally captivated by exciting, difficult tasks.
Learning how to study effectively, bouncing back from setbacks, and gaining the self-assurance that comes from knowing you can solve difficult tasks are all skills that may be honed in the face of intellectual difficulty.
The abundance of social media or online information is often cited as a major drawback to the proper development of creativity and critical thinking. The sheer volume of available data can make it challenging to isolate relevant details.
Teaching a child to be inquisitive and seek more information sets them up for a lifelong journey of discovery. They will learn to critically evaluate materials and find sources that back up their claims.
A person who doesn’t learn to think critically as a child may be led astray by their reading as an adult and be powerless to defend their values. The ability to think independently will also aid them in comprehending the world from the views of others. This will broaden their knowledge of the world and its workings.