Thursday, February 10, 2011

Encouraging Your Child to Develop Thinking Skills

An advanced, critical thinker is willing to challenge others ideas as well as their own. As parents, we often mistake childhood as a time to follow orders, directions or guidance but the key to thinking, intelligence and educational success for your child may be in questioning what they know, what you know and what they read. You should encourage your child to challenge knowledge and entertain the possibility of being wrong. They need to be comfortable scrutinizing their own thoughts. The search for the truth (the positive side of challenging) is one that can be developed at a young age. The best way to encourage challenges to thinking is by reading to your child and asking them to make predictions about the text. As you read more of the story have your child correct their predictions. This is a gentle way of getting your child to recognize the mistakes in their thinking. It also encourages them to correct their mistakes. Reading helps children challenge what they know. You should also encourage questions as you read to your child. This activates their critical thinking skills. Challenging doesn’t have to be adversarial. It can be understated, cerebral and rewarding for your child and for you.

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