In our time, we have a special need to practice critical thinking. A person that lived a thousand years ago could believe in different myths and silly concepts, all whilst avoiding standing out among other members of their society. Today, people have become more educated. Thus, if you believe in every kind of nonsense, you will noticeably fall behind from the progressive part of society. Moreover, there are different kinds of traps that you can get into—especially if you will believe in everything you hear or read. There are many possibilities to join some destructive cult, lose your money, buy worthless goods, or even have long relationships with toxic people. Due to this, it is necessary to teach your children to understand the real picture of life. They need to know that the world is a harsh place, that it is not all sunshine and butterflies. However, how do you succeed in that task? How do you convince them to be wiser? Here’s some advice.
Instill in them a love of reading
There has to be an atmosphere of science; a desire to know everything, read, and study the things around your house. Show them that you spend a lot of time learning new things. Specifically, you need to explore things that pertain to your pressing issues in that particular period. This will teach them that if they have questions, they shouldn’t make guesses and compose fantasies; instead, they can read a whole book on that topic.
When children ask questions, answer—do not ignore them. You can google the answer and read it aloud, right from resources like Wikipedia. It is beneficial for your children because they will believe that it is possible to find answers and comprehend things.
Teach your children to avoid cliched thinking
If your child wants to understand something, they shouldn’t ask, “What is the answer for that question?” Rather, they should learn to ask:
- “What are possible answers to that question?”,
- “What are the different opinions?”,
- “Why do different groups have different positions on that topic?”
The point is that if your child develops tribal thinking, it will be difficult for them to think clearly and seek the truth. It is comfortable to stay as a part of “true religion” or “a political movement that is always correct.” However, in reality, this is a sure way to be deluded.
To know opposite opinions
A child needs to see an example of you analyzing different perspectives in the case of a philosophical question.
- Why do Catholics not agree with Orthodox?
- Why are Russians in confrontation with the West?
- Why do atheists not believe? Why do believers believe?
- What do liberals say to conservatives and vice versa?
All these questions need to be considered if you want to be objective when reasoning with these topics. So, next time your child asks you a question, your answer should probably begin with, “There are different opinions on that case, buddy. Some say that…”
By teaching your kid the above-mentioned techniques, you will teach him or her to be a critical thinker. This way, you prepare them well for adulthood and teach them essential skills. If you’d like to know more about how to encourage your child to think critically, watch this video: