Tips to Develop Thinking Skills for Your Kids
By Andrew Loh
The extensive use of critical thinking is perhaps the most valuable
skills that we can teach our kids. Gifted children have the habit of
making rapid progress and they always use the power of synthesis and
evaluation to learn things without any proper teaching or training.
It is imperative that you support and nurture the ability to think
and act in a responsible manner. Thinking skills are mandatory to
the development of very robust and strong academic and life's
problem solving skill sets.
Tip: When you are trying to teach your kid how to think
and act, make the learning environment as exciting and interesting
as possible. Let the environment be a playground for your kid. Have
fun while teaching and make learning session interactive by
including games, toys and play sets.
Here are some practical tips to develop thinking skills for kids:
1. Encourage questions from your kids: Nothing may success
unless you ask your kids open ended and easy going questions. Urge
and cajole your kid to ask returning questions to you. Never ask a
barrage of questions. Let them answer what they know and how they
understand the perspective of a given situation.
Tell me what happens when a hen lays eggs?
Come on sweetie! Let us water this plant. What happens when you
water this plant? Is it good for the plant or not?
What is the picture? Can you draw it for me?
Please tell me more about this toy?
2. Respect your kid's views even when they are wrong: Given
your kid's growing mental ability, it is natural that he or she
makes a number of errors while answering your questions. These
responses could be very bad or sometimes very funny! Ensure that you
are respecting his or her views. Try to correct them in a highly
Mommy, why this cat is barking?
Instead of answering “white”, you kid may say “Mom, this is blue”
3. Keeping the questions short and sweet: Often,
parents commit cardinal mistake of asking very longish and difficult
questions. Such questions may confuse your kid and make him or her
not interested in answering further questions. Ensure that you are
keeping your questions very brief and short. Never confuse your kid
with difficult questions.
What is this color?
How does a dog bark?
What is it? How does it look?
Can you arrange this board game?
How many eggs are in this basket?
4. Relate everything with a visual thing or object: Kids can
remember and recall any objects very easily. When you relate an
event with that of an object or a thing, your kid will start
thinking by using both audio and visual mode of communication. Try
to enhance cognitive skills along with cognitive skills. Use plenty
of colorful toys, board games and puzzle sets.
Use a board game set to develop your kid's thinking skills in
relation to skills of logic, prediction, math, colors and patterns.
Let him or her start thinking how to solve a complex problem and
find solutions for it.
Use cognitive enriching toys like block games, brick games,
sequencing skill games and shape/pattern games to enrich learning experience.
In gifted children, teaching thinking skills is often a big
challenge. Even though they are way ahead than normal children, we
still need to make them think more and develop a range of skills. As
parents, we may need to give them more to think and analyze about.
Here are some basic ideas and suggestions to handle a gifted kid:
Children will always ask for help and assistance with their parents
even for inconsequential things. If your kid asks you - “How should I
do this” never provide any solutions to that problem. Instead, you
can ask - “How do you want to do it” or “What can you do to solve that
problem”. Make them think and work to solve the problem. Help them
solve on their own.
If your kid asks for help to make a valid decision like - “How should
I do this” or “What shall I do”, then you can pose dicey problem
solving questions like “Do you have any plans in your mind to solve
that problem” or “What do you propose to do”
Thinking skills are so essential to solve most ordinary problems and
tasks that form the part of everyday life. Once your kid becomes
proficient in thinking skills, you can rest assured that your kids have
equipped themselves with the most important skills in their life.