Developing Your Child's Critical Thinking Skills
By Andrew Loh
Child educators and counselors of the day keep using a number of
buzz-words and definitions to explain the basic concepts of critical
thinking skills. Some of them use words like creative thinking
to drive home the idea, while a number of others employ words like
higher-order thinking or logical thinking to explain
the topic. Whatever the ideas or definitions are, one thing is quite
simple; your child needs to improve his or her thinking skills to
derive maximum advantages or benefits of productive and result
oriented learning. All parents want their children to grow and
develop with an important skill like critical thinking that
eventually helps them to achieve personal and professional success.
Critical thinking skills help your children in a number of ways
Proper and meaningful analysis of available information. Information
can come to you in many forms and nature. Some bits of information
could be very trivial and simple, while a number of others are
highly complex and variable. Analyzing and evaluating these bits of
information in a proper manner needs highly advanced critical
To take correct and right decisions. Right decisions are the
stepping stones for your success, both personal and professional.
Taking correct decisions will help your children save precious time
and energy. Other benefit of taking timely decisions is the decisive
edge obtained during studies, as well as carrying out any type of
highly competitive jobs.
Become successful enough to create new and creative ideas,
suggestions and opinions. Today's competitive world needs equally
competitive and cutting edge thinking processes. A person who can
create new and better ideas can become successful, when compared to
others who are quite poor in their critical thinking skills.
Be successful in solving complex problems. Life is all about solving
any type of emerging problems. Children who develop critical
thinking skills are more adept at evaluating the innate complexities
of problems, and later take proper actions to solve those problems.
Act with a rational mind. Stable and rational mind is the byproduct
of critical thinking skills. Children who develop these skills are
always very stable in their attitude, persona, mind and action.
Develop logical thinking process. This is perhaps the most important
skill that your child can develop and master during an early age.
Logical thinking process is essential in segregating the good from
the bad and right from the wrong.
Critical thinking skills are necessary to live a productive life by
challenging an ever competitive world. The main goal of teaching
your children critical thinking is to help them become empowered to
take the accurate sense of information, adapt to new and emerging
situations and develop necessary skills to identify, and solve any
type of problems. There is a deep relationship between critical
thinking and ancient philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, who
emphasized and believed in training minds and streamline brain
functions to derive absolute and deeper truth.
Parents may express their doubts as to why their children need to
develop these skills. Of all the skills, critical thinking skills
are the ones that help their children in mastering their academic
curriculum, as well as general study materials. In essence, thinking
in your children is essentially motivated by asking critical
questions. Asking the right type of questions will help your
children clarify, solidify and crystallize basic thinking and logic.
Critical thinking also helps children to develop a sense of deep
inquisitiveness and curiosity. It will also help them in asking the
right and precise types of questions, critically examine critical
problems, and later find and seek ways to solve complex problems on
their own. In other words, critical thinking process assists your
children in becoming independent and expressive in their basic
persona. These skills will also help them in developing life-long
ability to solve problems.
Here are some general tips and suggestions to help your children
develop critical thinking skills:
Encourage your children to ask probing questions: Get to know
what your children are thinking in their mind. Ask what they think
about a particular situation or scenario. Develop active
conversation with your child.
Unnecessary criticism can prove counter-productive: Low
self-esteem in your children could be due to over-criticism.
Unnecessary criticism may also make your children develop very poor
self-image and self-confidence. Be supportive when you find your
children doubtful or unsure of their abilities to carry out school
Your children's opinions are as important as yours: Just
remember that your children are individuals with their own mental
makeup. Respect their opinions and honor their intentions. Your
children are not your mirror image! If you help and assist your
children in expressing themselves and their opinions, you can have
very confident individuals.
Create a nurturing environment: Love and respect your
children, even when they are wrong in their ideas and expressions.
Children like an environment or ambience where they are loved and
Teaching critical thinking process is a two-way traffic. Your
children need your full support and training, while you need their
cooperation and learning attitude to help them achieve cherished
goals. Once you make your children understand the importance of
critical thinking, you can rest assured that you will have happiest
children in the whole world.