Ways to Help Children Become Critical Thinkers and Not Passive Learners

Children need to learn how to be critical thinkers. They need that skill to solve problems and feel more confident in facing challenges in life. The problem is that we keep telling our children what to do instead of allowing them to learn on their own. We tend to be overprotective. As a result, we end up making life a lot easier for them. In the process, children become passive learners. They might know what to do when you’re around, but they will panic if they have to do things on their own. These tips will help children become critical thinkers. 

Provide opportunities to play and explore

Allow your children to play and even get dirty in the process. They will learn from their mistakes. Telling them what to do all the time isn’t helpful. It would help if you also let them explore things. Playing with clay and puzzles is an excellent idea. These tools will help children think and be more creative. 

Don’t give answers right away

Even if you feel tempted to tell your children the correct answer, you shouldn’t. Allow them to make mistakes. They will learn from it. You can pause before giving the correct answer. It allows them to explore but also not feel frustrated. If they know what went wrong, they can do better in the future. 

Ask open-ended questions

Avoid asking yes or no questions all the time. Try to give open-ended questions since they help children think more. They look for reasons to support their responses. They can have the same mindset when facing other issues in life. They become deep thinkers. Analysing is also a skill that they can learn along the way. They don’t immediately jump to a conclusion without undergoing a thorough analysis of the situation. 

Look for tasks that can have multiple solutions

Ask questions with different ways of answering or games that allow children to discover their own method of responding. Using sensory room equipment is a great example. It allows children to enjoy and learn at the same time. They can use their senses to play and learn. If faced with similar situations in the future, they already know what to do. 

Be careful in giving rewards

There’s nothing wrong with offering rewards. If they help children learn and motivate them to do better, it’s okay. The problem is if they’re too reliant on rewards. If they face a situation that has no rewards, they might not feel encouraged to do well. The rewards might also be way bigger than what they deserve. They will learn to keep asking for more. 

Critical thinking isn’t a skill that children can learn overnight. Even adults don’t use this skill all the time. Even when they already got exposed to different challenging situations, they still have a hard time. It’s a good thing that your children start young. They will do better as they get older.