Are we teaching our children to think? – 5 tips

Heather Welch, Edx Education

With all the knowledge and experiences we provide to our children are we teaching them to think? Are we teaching them to see a problem or answer a question?

Does our education system teach our children to follow a learned process to solve a problem. Which is one very important area of learning, however being able to identify issues before they are there. Even to solve the problem requires a much more in-depth thought pattern.

Can we enhance this at home by teaching our children to think? here are 5 ways we can encourage children to think in the early years.

  1. Choices

    It maybe as simple as choosing their own clothes (even if they don’t match) ,deciding on what to spend their pocket money on, choosing from the menu, a sport, books. Explain your reasons for a good choice, why certain activities are a bad choice.

  2. Listen 

    Listen to them when they are trying to explain to you the difference between a character in their game, story or the new sport they played, etc. Ask open ended questions so they have to explain to you the different concepts. Also, encourage them to tell you a story.

  3. Explore

    Take a few risks (within reason & supervised). Do they want to make their own potions, play with water, climb trees, build forts, make up their own games at the park and many more activities.

  4. Experiment

    Talk to them about things to solve for e.g. Plant tomatoes in 4 areas around your garden near shade, sunlight, each area looking a little different. Then experiment, why did it grow here and not there?  What can we do differently, take them grocery shopping, look at why we pack the trolley, why do we choose certain foods.

  5. Experiences or opportunities

    Try different activities, allow them to find their passion. What do they love doing?  Try to engage with them with their interests. Take them to the local market & keep an open mind about the culture around them, talk about the different food s on the shelves from around the world.

Last of all, spend time with your children, engage them in your interests or even things you use to do as a child.

In life, sometimes we become busy and then make decisions for our children. If we encourage children to think we are teaching them how to be leaders in their school, community and workplace or ready for the world we leave them.