Tips to develop critical thinking

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Kids are bombarded with information, messages and images every day. Whether at school, online or talking to their friends, they must know how to evaluate whatever they see or hear to configure their own beliefs and opinions. Along with being the foundation of education, critical thinking is also an important life skill. Without the ability to think critically, kids will struggle academically, particularly as they grow older. 

No matter what your child plans to do professionally someday, they must be aware of how to think critically, make decisions and solve problems. As parents, it is important to ensure that your kids can think for themselves and have developed a healthy critical mindset. This will help them succeed both professionally as well as academically and benefit their future relationships. Kumon, being one of the best after-school programs, has mentioned below some important tips to develop critical thinking skills among children. But before that, let’s figure out what critical thinking is. 

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to imagine, analyse and evaluate the information for determining its integrity and validity. These skills help people form ideas and opinions as well as help them recognise who is a good friend and who isn’t. As a matter of fact, critical thinking is an important part of problem-solving, decision-making and goal-setting. It is also the basis of education, particularly when combined with reading comprehension. Both these skills together allow children to master information.

How to teach kids the art of critical thinking?

Teaching the art of critical thinking to kids is an important part of parenting. When we teach critical thinking skills to kids, we are also teaching them to be independent. They learn to form opinions and conclusions without a lot of outside influence. Hereby mentioned are some ways of teaching your kids to become critical thinkers. 

Be a Good Role Model

The best way to teach your kids an important life skill is to model it yourself. Basically, kids tend to copy the behaviours they see in their parents. So be sure that you are modelling critical thinking in your own life by researching things that seem unethical or unfair. 

Play With Them

Kids constantly learn by trial and error and play is a great trial-and-error activity. Playing with your child regularly at a very young age is one of the best methods to set the foundation for critical thinking. The depth of these skills will advance as they develop.

As they get older, you can play board games with your kids or simply spend time talking about something of interest to them. The key is to spend quality time together that allows you the opportunity to discuss things on a broader level and to examine issues together, critically. 

Teach Them to Solve Problems

One of the best methods of teaching your kids to think critically is to teach them how to solve problems. For example, ask your kid to think of at least five different ways to solve a particular problem. 

Encourage Them to Ask Questions

Answering a constant barrage of questions from your child can be exhausting at times but it’s important that you encourage them to question things. Asking questions is the basis of developing critical thinking skills and the time you invest in answering your kid’s questions or finding the answers together, will pay off in the end. 

Kids will not only learn how to articulate themselves but they also will get better at identifying untrue or misleading information from others. You can also model this type of questioning behaviour and allow your kid to see you question things as well. 

Encourage Open-Mindedness

However, teaching open-mindedness can be a challenging concept to teach kids, it is an important one. The process of becoming a critical thinker includes the ability to be objective and evaluate ideas without bias. 

Teach them that in order to look at things with an open mind, they need to leave their personal judgments and assumptions aside. You should be talking about some concepts that encourage open-mindedness including diversity, inclusiveness and fairness.

Wrapping It Up

Developing a critical thinking mindset is one of the most important skills you can impart to your kids. In today’s information-saturated world, they require these skills in order to thrive and survive. These skills will help your kids make better decisions, form healthy relationships and determine what they believe and value.

Also, when you teach them to critically examine the world around them, you are providing them with an advantage that will serve them for years to come and will benefit them academically, professionally and relationally. 

Kumon is among the best after school programs in India, providing English and Maths programs for preschool students through 12th grade. Being the world’s largest enrichment program, Kumon helps students master self-learning methods and encourages them to discover ways to solve problems by themselves without asking for much help. For more information on Kumon, visit our official website. 

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