Three Easy Ways You Can Help Your Child Be A Critical Thinker
Having worked with diverse students and families on issues in education, I notice many parents have one similar concern. They want their children to think critically and be global thinkers, but aren’t sure what they can do as parents to help. Watch your children grow with these three easy steps towards cultivating critical thinking!
- Read Everything with Your Child
Every parent has heard the phrase “it’s so important to read to your children”. And yes, this is true. However, never underestimate the power of reading ordinary things with your children- and the difference you’ll notice in your kids because of it. Have your children read the directions on the box of brownies you’re making- even if it takes them longer to read it than if you did. They learn so much! Have your children read the menu at the restaurant. Then you can let them order for themselves instead of asking you if the restaurant has chicken fingers. Encourage them find it on the menu and read what the meal they want comes with.
- Talk to Your Children… About Everything.
Does your child know who the President of the United States is? What about the Vice President? Can your child name all the continents, and a country in each one? I strive to test what the children I work with at my job in education advocacy and management. I want to see what they know about the world around them. Can they name languages, countries, political and historical figures? The ones who can are global thinkers in the making. Parents can teach them all of these things during your conversations at the dinner table. Tell them about world events (in an age-appropriate way, of course), and watch their horizons expand right in front of you.
- Ask Your Children What They Think
A major factor in helping our children think critically is simply asking them their opinions. Closely linked to Tip #2, ask your children what they think about what’s going on in the world. Ask them their opinion on the restaurant you’re dining at, and even ask them even for advice. Doing this causes your children to stop and think. Hearing what your child thinks on a subject gives you a wonderful glimpse into their mind— how they think, what they value, and how they are developing into critical thinkers.
About the Author:
Roxana Kazemi is a senior American Government and International Politics major in the Honors College at George Mason University. She works at the Smithsonian Air as Space Museum in the Education Department, and this summer is working for the City of Falls Church in their Housing and Human Services Department working on issues regarding affordable housing for Falls Church residents. She has also worked for the education nonprofit TEACH.org as the Regional Intern of D.C. She is the host of the podcast Dictation (@DictationLIVE) with her cohost, available on soundcloud.com/dictationlive, and the duo can also be heard as hosts for Odyssey on Air available on iTunes. On campus at George Mason University, she is the Vice President of MasonU (@masonutours), which strives to empower low socioeconomic and underrepresented groups grades K-12 in the D.C. Metro area by providing comprehensive college planning activities and interactive tours of campus. She is a lover of Pure Barre, avocados, and closing the opportunity gap.