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How to help your child think critically?

Today, it’s more important than ever for children to learn how to think critically, as it’s a skill that will be increasingly important for them in the future. In our rapidly changing world, kids need to be able to go beyond simply memorizing facts; they need to be able to understand the information, evaluate and analyse it, compare it with the already gathered information they have and draw a plausible conclusion to solve the present problem at hand. And hence, it’s important to expose children to different ways of critical thinking so that they can be better equipped to solve problems in the coming future.

What is Critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to use existing knowledge and problem-solving skills to draw new conclusions. It is an important skill for children to develop, as it allows them to explore the world around them and make new discoveries. These skills help children to make wise decisions while also making them realise the consequences of their own actions.

Ways to develop critical thinking skills among children

  • Encourage curiosityChildren with curious minds always seek information about the environment that surrounds them. They want to learn newer information about the same object or new objects altogether. To pacify their curiosities, children often ask ‘why’ questions to their elders. Seek out the answers to their ‘why’ questions in order to help them learn about various new things and let them be curious to learn more.
  • Let them learn on their ownChildren learn things on their own especially when things are challenging. As a parent we might have an urge to simplify the problems for our children but instead of jumping in the problem solving process it’s always good to wait and watch how the child tackles the problem and finds out the solution on its own. Though sometimes, a parent may need to step to offer help. At such times, parents can verbalize their own thoughts and actions and be a model of critical thinking to their child.
  • Promote children’s interestsSometimes children get deeply involved in stuffs that hold their interest for a longer time. When children are passionate about a topic or activity, they are more likely to be engaged and willing to try new things. Helping children explore new interests may further expand their knowledge and offer opportunities for critical thinking.
  • Help children evaluate learned informationChildren learn a lot everyday but it’s important to evaluate the information to see if it is accurate, relevant and applicable. Help children learn these skills by encouraging them to give their opinions upon what they have learned so that they can analyze it and decide whether to use that information or not. This way, they will be better equipped to make decisions based on sound judgement.

Critical thinking & problem-solving skills

When it comes to problem-solving, it is essential to use critical thinking skills to understand the issue and generate possible solutions. Give children opportunities every day to solve problems. Help them describe the problem, think of alternative solutions, and decide on the best option. Let them draw on their knowledge and experiences as they go so they can learn to trust their own judgment.

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