Helping Your Child Develop Critical Thinking Skills

#Collaborative post

Critical thinking skills will not only help your child academically, like when analysing a piece of literature, but it will also give them the confidence to make sensible decisions throughout their lives. With that said, you’re probably wondering how you can help your child develop these skills? I have teamed up with a junior school in Surrey to offer you some advice.

Encourage Free Play

Give your child opportunities to play and explore independently, so that they can learn to solve problems without your help. Critical thinking skills are all about assessing one’s existing knowledge and the information in front of them to come to conclusions, so they need to be free to make their own mistakes and learn from them, while developing an understanding of cause and effect.

Don’t Intervene All the Time

Following on from allowing your child to navigate the world independently sometimes, it’s important that you don’t always intervene whenever you see your child struggling. Let them try and figure things out on their own so that they can develop their critical thinking skills, as well as their resilience and determination. They need to be able to think outside the box sometimes and overcome obstacles confidently, without assistance.

There will be times when your child will fail without your help, but that’s ok. Failure isn’t something we should shy away from because its what allows us to learn from our mistakes and make different decisions in the future.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

 Getting your child to think outside the box will require more than just letting them play and learn without your help. You will also need to ask them open-ended questions; questions that require more than a one-word answer. When they make statements, ask them why they think that or why they might feel that way. This will encourage them to explore their thoughts on a deeper level, rather than taking everything at face value.

Promote Healthy Discussions

Of course, you don’t want your family to argue 24/7, but healthy debates are great for a child’s learning and ability to think critically. Ask them for their opinions and don’t be afraid to give them an alternative viewpoint. Don’t shut them down or tell them that they’re wrong, just encourage them to see things from a different perspective.

Being able to see things from a different point of view is not only a great way to support your child’s critical thinking but is also important for their social skills. It will allow them to consider how other people might be thinking, therefore allowing them to empathise and be more open-minded.