Being a critical thinker can help your child both at school and later on in life. That’s why, with collaboration from a girls prep school, I’ve put together some pointers and tips on teaching your child critical thinking skills.
You probably get a lot of this from children, where they come back to something you said with just the question: why? Well, now it’s time to flip the tables! Asking them why when they come to you with a problem or a declaration will allow them to truly think about their actions and encourage them to really think about what it is that they are doing, allowing them to get a deeper understanding of both the topic at hand and of themselves.
Encourage Agreement and Disagreement
This doesn;’t mean you should always encourage arguing, there would never be any peace in the house! This is more about encouraging a sense of discussion and letting your child feel like it is ok to say they disagree with something, as long as they give their reasons in a calm and reasonable manner. Giving them the space to articulate why it is that they agree or disagree with something will definitely improve their critical thinking skills.
You should encourage an environment of research at home, for both your children’s questions and your own. Showing that you do research on a topic when you want to learn more will help instil a natural sense of curiosity in your child, encouraging them to go out and find answers themselves. Researching a variety of different topics, from school work to things going on in the everyday will make them engage critically when faced with different perspectives and information.
Be A Good Model
This shouldn;t need to be said, but we’re going to say it anyway! Children will follow your example, so if you demonstrate that you yourself as a parent engage with critical thinking in a measured, patient and genuinely inquisitive nature, your child will likely follow suit.