PRACTISING LIFE SKILLS – CRITICAL THINKING
Take away that phone, iPad, PS4 or TV from your kid and observe your child’s behaviour. Are they restless and complaining, wanting their games back? Why not? They have been deprived of their whole and sole form of entertainment – gadgets.
Now let’s say instead of spending hours on screen, they are asked to look around and spend their time. What would this lead to? – This would guide them to another life skill - Critical Thinking.
Let the boredom begin
In critical thinking, boredom is a boon. When they are deprived of things that distract them, kids often find interesting ways to entertain themselves. This is the first step in critical thinking – finding various resolutions to problem solving and decision making. However, be ready for some complaining initially. Give them some time to think through ways in which they can deal effectively with their time.
Independence is one of the greatest gifts a parent can provide to the kid. However, it doesn’t mean that kids will be left to figure life on their own. Independence means supporting them in the choices they make; leading them to making wiser choices by understanding their interests. Be open to hearing their views and share yours when required. When kids are independent, they are critical thinkers.
Question them everyday
A good way to inculcate the habit of critical thinking in your kids is to ask them open-ended questions. When they suggest an answer, discuss with them the various possibilities. You can also present various scenarios for them to look at and get them to think of more ways to address them. This puts them into a habit of looking at every situation with various perspectives.
Imagination is the key
Good critical thinking requires one to imagine and evaluate information – of ways to resolve, or what might occur. This is why it is important that we involve our kids in exercising their imagination. There are various games that can help one make this process fun and easy. Join your kids in story-telling, or role-playing, this opens their vision and makes their thinking expansive.
Develop a life-long learner
When you encourage critical thinking process in your kids, you are creating a life-long learner in them – an important feature of positive parenting. Critical thinking improves your child’s decision making skills which helps them to enhance their social skills. This aids them in owning up their choices and makes them confident. When the kids have multiple perspectives to look at, in every situation, they are flexible and open to learning new things in life.
Talk with kids – a lot more
You may have read a lot in the past articles that we focus a lot on your interacting with your kids during their upbringing. Here’s yet another reason why – because they can apply their critical thinking skills first hand. When you involve your kids in personal discussions and take their help in resolving some situations, they learn about everyday life situations and how to tackle them. This way, you get them used to having realistic approach to their thinking.
So, preparing little critical thinkers, are we?
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