Teaching Your Child Critical Thinking

criticalthink2Children can begin to learn critical thinking very early. Critical thinking is a skill that elevates thinking beyond memorization into the realm of analysis and logic. It is about knowing how to think, not what to think.

Here are some things you can try with your children to get them used to thinking critically, a skill that will serve them well throughout life:

  • Ask open-ended questions that don’t have one right answer. This encourages children to respond creatively without being afraid of giving the wrong answer. They will begin to see themselves as problem solvers.
  • Teach your child to find patterns and connections in everyday things—at the park, watching TV, different shapes in road signs, etc.
  • Help children develop hypotheses. Ask them, “If we do this, what do you think will happen?” Or, “Let’s predict what we think will happen next.”
  • Categorize and classify things, such as sorting laundry or Legos. Classification requires us to identify and sort based on a set of rules. After classifying something, follow up by asking your child what the similarities and the differences were with the groups that were created.
  • Help your child consider the pros and cons of a situation and make a decision, even if it is a wrong decision. Then ask your child how they feel about their decision and what would they do differently next time.
  • Instead jumping in to solve problems all the time, ask your child some questions and provide enough information so he or she doesn’t get frustrated, but not so much information that you solve the problem for them.
  • Encourage your child to do research, to look for more information about a topic. You could help them search for information on the computer, at the library, or by asking mom or dad.

Optiminds has earned a reputation for helping to improve the study, reading, math and cognitive skills of students of all ages. We also have specialists in college counseling and athletic college prep counseling on our staff. Learn more about us by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or by visiting us at: optimindsct.com.


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