Childhood is the age where the foundation of intellect and behavior is laid down. Learning to think critically is going to be one of the most important skills that children will need in the future. With the advent of the information age, today the consumption of content is way more than the amount of information we put out. This constant bombardment of information may lead to various risks when it comes to making the meaning out of something important. Critical thinking may be the one gateway that can enable students to learn things quickly and figure things out with ease.
Critical thinking is not a straight verbal reiteration of facts but a process that has various levels of learning. Children need to find meaning in the information, analyze, compare, apply logical reasoning, make inferences, and practice higher-order thinking skills. The onus of this effort falls on the parents to supervise and play their role efficiently in developing critical thinking skills in their children.
Critical Thinking is one of the most important cognitive abilities since it teaches us how to solve problems using discipline and reasoning. It is also critical for a child’s cognitive and mental development. These abilities are essential in preparing a youngster to comprehend how things work in the actual world and to generate innovative ideas.
THINGS PARENTS CAN DO TO INVOKE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN THEIR CHILD.
Developing critical thinking skills is a continuous process, not some activity that is periodical in nature. It is important to remember that improvement in thinking ability is possible if parents interact with their children happens on a day-to-day basis. Consistency in efforts is the key to any form of development in this process.
Here are some suggestions and ideas to assist your children to develop critical thinking skills:
• Ask open-ended inquiries and let your child experiment and solve problems while building with blocks, acting out roles with friends, or playing board games. These practices help children to experiment with their environment and learn to solve problems.
• Take a breather and wait. It’s vital to give your youngster plenty of time to consider, try a task, and let them respond. Rather than answering with their first gut reaction, this allows your child to deliberate on her response and possibly refine it. To put it shortly it is a process more of a pause and wait.
• Don’t jump in right away. To develop, children require obstacles. Before you head towards tackling a problem, get a step back and observe. Let children figure things out.
• Pose open-ended inquiries. Rather than reflexively responding to your child’s queries, encourage them to think critically by asking them questions: “What suggestions do you have? What do you believe is going on here?” Be considerate of their responses. You might say, “That’s fascinating. Please explain why you believe that.”
• Assist children in forming hypotheses. Forming hypotheses during play is critical thinking practice that aids skill development. “What do you think will happen if we do this?” or inquire about the impromptu remedy they intend to devise.
• Encourage new and diverse ways of thinking. Allowing youngsters to think differently helps them build their creative problem-solving skills: “What other ideas could we try?” for example. “Let us think of various answers” is something you can say to encourage children so that they develop ideas.
There are times as a parent when you must intervene. It is beneficial to model your critical thinking at these moments as you go through a decision-making process and brainstorm. Children learn by watching how adults think. Allowing your child to work through problems is essential for their long-term development of critical thinking skills.