Critical thinking skills are essential for navigating everyday situations. It helps us to make sense of information, analyze problems, and make better decisions. In today’s ever-changing world, it is increasingly important for young children to think critically in order for them to better understand themselves, other people, and the world around them. It also allows them to enhance their problem-solving skills, and learn to communicate more effectively as they understand how to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
Developing critical thinking skills builds the foundation for future success, which is why many preschools and childcare centres in Singapore incorporate it into their curriculum. Similar to honing your child’s talent, here’s how you can encourage your child to become a critical thinker, right from the comfort of your home.
Encourage independent thinking
Children are naturally curious and will ask as many questions as they can. Instead of always giving them straightforward answers, encourage them to think for themselves and search out their own answers. Doing so will embolden them to be more creative while trying to find solutions.
It’s important to note that you should never dismiss their replies, even if they are incorrect or not what you expected. Instead, you should validate them by asking them to further elaborate on their response.
Giving your child sufficient time to gather their thoughts, complete a task, or provide an answer is essential. It encourages a habit of taking time to consider the appropriate response to a situation instead of simply acting on their initial instinct.
Your child will face various obstacles, as it is a natural part of growing up. For example, they may have gotten upset with someone who snatched their toy but may not know how to express themselves to get their toy back. As a parent, it’s vital to know when to allow them to figure things out on their own before jumping in. Giving them time to solve problems on their own can lead to invaluable insights that they may be able to use in the future.
Ask them to make predictions
Asking your children to form predictions about situations can play a significant role in developing their critical thinking skills. Ask them questions like “What do you think will happen if you keep doing this?” or “What comes next?” These questions are especially effective during playtime as children are fully engaged and interested in what they are doing.
Encourage out-of-the-box thinking
Imagination is key to fostering critical thinking skills in children. It’s good to encourage thinking from different perspectives. When you encourage your child to try and think differently, they are also sharpening their creativity and problem-solving skills. Wherever possible, ask them questions like “Do you have any other ideas?” or “What else can be done about this?”
Lead by example
There are, of course, many circumstances where you will need to intervene. When these situations arise, it will be beneficial to your child if you could lead by example. The behaviour you display is what children will try to emulate. With that in mind, modelling critical thinking skills is an important part of getting your child to follow suit. An example of this is brainstorming a variety of solutions to the same problem and then picking one to see if it works. Over time, your child may follow suit and come up with more solutions when a problem arises.
Going against your instincts and allowing your child to solve their own problems may seem challenging at first, but it is essential for their development. With the tips listed above, cultivate a critical thinking mindset in your child to build a strong foundation for future success.
At Raffles Kidz, we believe in providing the best head start for your child. As a multi-award-winning preschool, our inquiry-based curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In a safe and nurturing environment, our children are encouraged to stay curious, ask questions, explore their surroundings, and apply what they have learnt in real life. Book a tour today to find out more about our comprehensive curriculum, innovative learning facilities and qualified educators!