Develop Your Child's Critical Thinking Skills
1. Encourage Questions.
Don't answer every question, instead ask what do they think. Asking questions stimulates conversation between you and your child.
2. Don't Criticize.
Criticism invites low self-esteem. Children feel that they have failed or disappointed their parents when they are criticized. Find alternate ways of correcting the problem. A child will likely shut down communication if they feel that their parents are not supportive.
3. Respect Your Child's Opinions.
Your child is not an extension of you. Although it is difficult to accept at times, it is normal and healthy for your child to have their own opinion. Children who are confident in expressing their opinions are less likely to join gangs or succumb to peer pressure.
4. Teach Your Child To Embrace Diversity.
Encourage your child to learn about different cultures and ethnicities. A well informed child can will understand and respect other people's values.
5. Teach Your Child To Set Personal Boundaries.
Children need to have their personal space respected in order for them to respect other people's personal space. Help your child to establish their boundaries and insist that he/she enforce them with their peers.
6. Establish A Nurturing Environment.
Children thrive in environments in which they know they are loved and respected. Remind them every day that you love them and support them.
7. Understand Your Child's Thinking Process.
In order for you to be an advocate for your child in school, you must know and understand how your child learns. Is he/she creative, logical, musical, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic? Know your child's capabilities and accept their creativity.
8. Let Them Think For Themsleves.
Encourage independent thinking. Let your child decide (within reason) what is appropriate for them. Give them enough room to make decisions, but also be there in case their plans don't work out.
9. Teach Them Stress Management Skills.
Help your child to effectively deal with stress. Try not to contribute to their stress with demands and unrealistic expectations. Make learning fun!
10. Teach Your Child To Trust His/Her Instincts.
In order for children to be successful in life, they must learn how to trust their decisions. Your child needs to be confident in trusting his/her instincts and feelings. Children who trust themselves are less likely to participate in unhealthy behaviors.
Marie Magdala Roker is a Family Coach and Certified Breakthrough Parenting Instructor. She is completing her Masters in Health Education at Columbia University's Teachers College. She helps parents to reclaim their lives and students to unlock their academic potential. She is committed to helping build healthy families, one family member at a time.