Critical thinking skills are essentially what allow us to make logical and informed decisions, by identifying a situation and the factors that influence it. They are crucial skills for a child’s overall development because it will help them academically but also on a personal level. As a parent, you can help your child develop critical thinking skills, as explored below by an independent boys’ school in London.
First of all, it’s worth noting that there’s no right or wrong way to teach your child critical thinking skills. We all have different techniques when it comes to parenting, so don’t feel like you have to do what other parents are doing. However, it’s certainly worth giving your child some space to solve problems and make decisions without you there to hold their hand. They need to learn cause and effect by experimenting with different outcomes to particular situations.
Be sure to ask your child lots of open-ended questions that require more than a one-word answer, so that they start to think outside the box. This will help enhance their inquisitive nature. What’s more, it will show them that you are genuinely interested in their thoughts and opinions. They need to know that they have a safe space to express their views without judgement, so even if you disagree with something they have said, try and let them know in a sensitive way. For instance, rather than saying “no, I think you’re wrong”, you could say something like “do you think there might be any other solutions?”.
Ask your child to clarify what they mean by certain things so that they learn to express why they have come up with a particular conclusion. In doing so, you will teach them that it’s okay to have opinions, as long as they can be backed up. However, don’t confine this way of thinking to academic matters; encourage them to also think deeply about ethical or political matters.