As parents, we want to help our kids out any way we can including making decisions for them that might be difficult for them, depending on their age. Even so, at some point, they must be given the chance to actually think and make decisions on their own.
Helping your kids solve problems is perfectly normal. But, when they get to a certain age, they should be allowed to figure out solutions for their problems as long as it’s not something that’s too advanced for them at this time.
Just keep in mind, in order for your kids to grow and develop, they must be able to think for themselves and make their own decisions.
Sal Severe is a psychologist that strongly believes that parents should teach their kids how to think before taking any action. They must learn how to solve or at least face their problems once they reach adolescence.
Instead of giving your kids all the answers to problems, parents must teach them how to look at alternatives in order to make decisions on their own.
Unfortunately, many school systems are letting kids down by telling them what to do and how to think but they are not helping them deal with problems or issues by thinking for themselves.
As kids, we all had a habit of getting ourselves into situations by making impulsive decisions. Making impulsive decisions with no common sense or reasoning will get kids in trouble more often than not.
Your kids might be facing a situation involving drugs because they need to fit in with their peers. They can make bad choices instead of weighing the outcome and the level of the consequences they might have to face.
By encouraging your kids to use reason the correct way, they will develop very important social skills and competence. Thinking will help them learn how to live and cope with life’s ups and downs.
In time, it will be easier for them to move forward, study at a higher level, and be socially ready to take on the world.
Okay, so you know it’s important to teach your kids how to think but how do you encourage them to actually think for themselves?
You can read with them, watch television together, or go visit a museum. In the aftermath, talk about what you both saw or heard.
Just talking about the exhibits is missing the point, ask them questions about what they learned and let them use their point of view to explain it.
There was a time that families ate dinner together and talked about the day they had. This should be brought back. Get the cell phone turned off and ask your kids about the events during the day allowing them to reason while talking about it.
Simple single answer questions will not stimulate their imagination. Questions that have subjective answers will build their curiosity and insight into their interest. In turn, this will help your kids think more clearly and develop their conclusions.
PCI is an approach for looking at all aspects that surround an issue. Edward de Bono is a psychologist and creator of this technique. PCI consists of looking for the pros, cons, and points of interest regarding an issue.
Your kids should consider other points of view, not just their own. When your kids look at second and third opinions, it will encourage them to think outside the box and except other people’s opinions.
Patterns and links will help kids identify and relate to common situations which are the backbone of education.
Allow for change. Children are usually associated with certain characteristics such as doing things their own way, not marching to the same drummer. As a parent, never let them lose this valuable habit.
Allow your kids to make decisions, question things, and even make mistakes.
There is no doubt that parents should help their kids to handle life on a day-by-day basis but you must give them some room to reason for themselves and how to solve problems on their own.
If they have made a decision, ask them what that decision is and why they have made this choice. Parents should be involved in their kids’ decision-making but always from the view of a guide or teacher.
Questions are the most effective way to help kids when they are reflecting on a decision they have to make. Ask them questions that can help them make the right choices.
What did they do today? Are there things they could have done differently/ What should they do next time? You will help them gradually make thinking an easier process and will make decision-making so much easier as well.
If you encourage critical thinking from childhood, it will definitely help your kids become more socially competent and easier to deal with the ever so critical world of today.