Encouraging your Child to Think More Critically

By: admin |

We all want to boast about how smart our kids are or how well they do in class, but when it comes to actually encouraging your children, some parents are at a loss. There are plenty of books and DVDs and seminars on child development, but few easy answers.

While these aren’t easy answers, they are 5 tips that you can use to stimulate your child’s mind.

1. Explore the world with your child. Kids need to be shown what’s out in the larger world so that they can be curious about exploring it on their own. Find events and plan trips that might give your kids something to latch onto, like a day at the zoo, a trip to a cool new museum exhibit, a night at the theater, or any number of parks and fairs for them to run around.

2. Allow for downtime every day. It’s easy for parents to think that a child needs to have every moment of their day planned out and scheduled for lots of wholesome activities. However, while so much soccer practice and piano lessons might be good for their reflexes, it may leave them exhausted for homework and other thinking activities. Make sure that your child has some unscheduled time during the day where they can just unwind and reflect on what they’ve absorbed.

3. Talk to your children about what you’re doing. Parents don’t always have to be mysterious to their kids. When they’re young, you can talk about what you’re doing and explain things to them, whether it’s about an office project you’re working, the laundry you’re folding, or the model airplane you’re building. As they get older, keep your children in the loop about your life. They’ll feel more included in the family and be better prepared to deal with challenging situations.

4. Read with your child. Besides being a nice quiet activity, getting your child to read more means that they’ll spend less time in front of the TV or playing repetitive video games. Reading is good for stimulating not just your child’s mind, but their imagination, too. If you think it helps, why not keep up a strong reading habit yourself? Perhaps there’s a book series that both you and your child might enjoy reading and chatting about.

5. Set a good example yourself. If you want your child to learn good behavior and good habits, then you need to set and follow those same habits yourself. What parents do (more than what they say) leaves a huge impression on a child’s mind. For example, if you’re curious about something, then do some research and let your child see you doing research. If you’re want your kids to be more diligent about reading and homework, let them see you be just as focused with your own paperwork.


Image:  chefranden on flickr

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