Tips for developing your child’s critical thinking skills

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Critical thinkers are indispensable in today’s world. Critical thinking has become a prerequisite to succeed in any realm of life. Some of the best primary and secondary schools in Singapore have recognized the importance of this crucial skill and started to impart it to children at a very young age through a hands-on well-designed curriculum. 

Critical thinking is the ability to think and form judgements on your own with the available facts. Critical thinking is the logically disciplined process of actively and skilfully evaluating, synthesizing, and applying available information through observing, reflecting, reasoning and communicating. It essentially means that the kids need to use reason and logic to reach any particular conclusion or find a solution for the issue at hand. 

What is the ideal age to impart critical thinking skills?

Critical thinking skills are all about having the capability to analyse, visualise and evaluate data and then apply it to prove or disprove the hypothesis. The ideal age to help your child think critically and out of the box is when they are very young. You can start by getting direct school admission Singapore leading international schools to inculcate critical thinking skills in your children. They move away from traditional classroom training and create a learning style conducive to developing critical thinking skills. 

Here is how you can help develop your child’s critical thinking skills

‍Through Identification

Identification is the first stage of critical thinking which focuses on the child being able to identify the problem before they move along dissecting it. Identification encompasses understanding various situations, aspects, and citations; it is also being able to identify that there is no problem and the benefits of the present situation and why it is working. 

Make them more curious. 

You need to unleash your child’s curiosity because this is important even if your child is not born curious. Curiosity is a skill that can be developed over some time by encouraging your children to ask questions and wonder why something is a sure way and what could be the alternate scenarios. Once your child develops the habit of asking open-ended questions, curiosity has been instilled. 

Make them carry out research.

Research is a significant concept that puts both the right and left parts of the brain to use. When you ask your child to research – read, compare, and find, they will be able to understand the concept through facts and figures rather than biases and preconceived notions. Do not answer your child’s question. Let them search for answers; guide them about where they can find these answers. 

Account for biases

Biases surround every child, biases about our political opinion, best career options, and favorite food – there are biases in every aspect of life. Children should understand why these biases exist and decide their position on the matter. Here is where they unlearn and relearn constantly. 

Encourage your child to ask Questions.

The best thing about children is that they are usually unbiased till a certain age. This means they are inquisitive about what is happening around them. Since they understand and learn things through answers, create an environment where they feel free to ask questions without judgement or fear. Open communication is vital to develop critical thinking skills and is the first step toward making your child a critical thinker.

Let your children follow their own path 

Do not expect your child to follow you blindly; they need to find their own path in life. This won’t be smooth – they will fall, make mistakes, and often stray but eventually find their own path. When they tumble – do not say ‘I told you so’ – till they don’t fail and rise again they will not be able to figure out what they want to do in life. Do not blindly expect your child to follow your teaching, values, traditions and understandings.

Play With Your Child

Playtime is one of the best ways to teach critical thinking in your child. When you play with your child you can steer the course of the game to best bring out their critical thinking. Present them with problems – this could be unjumbled pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, crosswords, outdoor games etc. and let them struggle and come up with conclusions. 

 Encourage Thinking in Innovative and varied Ways.

Since we are often stuck in a set thinking pattern, we expect our child to too, but that is not the case. We need to be more open-minded with our children. When the child knows that the parents are not judging him and he has a free hand to think how he deems fit, he will find unique ways to outshine in a similar situation.

Ask Open-Ended Questions 

Sure, asking objective questions is helpful most of the time but not the most suggestive when you want your child to become a critical thinker. Ask open-ended questions if you want your child to become a critical thinker. This gives them a vast playing field, and they become open to interpretation and ideas that help enhance their critical thinking skills.

Last but not least, as a parent, it is natural to come to their rescue whenever you see them presented with a hurdle. This is the biggest prevention of critical thinking- let your child figure out a way out of a problem for themselves. 

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About the Author: Mark Callaway