Critical thinking is a crucial skill for living life. It is the ability to think independently, form your own opinions, and draw your own conclusions. Fostering this skill in your children is essential to their success in school, in careers, and in navigating society.
So how do we raise critical thinkers?
- Create a foundation of knowledge. Children can’t think critically if they do not have the information they need. Exposure to knowledge about a variety of topics equips them with the information to engage in critical thinking.
- Consistently engage your child by asking open-ended questions. This inspires them to brainstorm, analyze, and problem solve. Encourage them to ask questions also.
- Encourage Roleplaying. Becoming someone else requires children to stretch both their analytical and creative minds.
- Ask kids to consider alternative explanations and solutions to problems. It’s nice to get the right answer. When kids consider multiple solutions, they may become more flexible thinkers.
- Ask children to put concepts in their own words. This helps them understand, and to make concepts more concrete for them.
- Don’t confine critical thinking to just factual or academic material. Encourage children to reason about ethical, moral, and societal issues. This is important for raising conscious, socially responsible children.