How to nurture children’s thought process and guide them to critical thinking process? There are different thinking skills we should recognize – thinking systematically based on what children already know and what they learn; thinking outside the box using their imagination; and thinking positively.
- Systematic Thinking
- Creative Thinking
- Positive Thinking
We can encourage systematic thinking by asking open-ended questions. Asking questions that don’t have just one right answer encourages children to respond creatively without being afraid of giving the wrong answer. Respect their responses whether you view them as correct or not. Give them enough information and ample time to think so they don’t get frustrated and lose confidence; but not so much that we solve the problem for them.
By letting them making decision and follow through their decisions, we can help them consider the advantages and disadvantages of the decisions, but don’t be afraid to let them make a wrong choice. Then evaluate the decision with them later with these questions; “How do you feel about your decision? What would you do differently next time?”. They will learn that there are multiple ways of approaching problems — not just one correct way. Teach them that it is okay to make a mistake and learn from that mistake. This will help the child grow to solve bigger problems as an adult.
Children are born with imagination. We can use art and play to help foster their imagination and nurture their creativity by giving them freedom to invent scenarios and different roles. We can join in the imaginative play by taking on a role ourselves and let the children lead the playtime without intervening their thought process. By allowing children to think differently, you’re helping them refine their creative problem solving skills.
We can encouragepositive thinking by creating a positive environment for children. We can guide them through the experience and show them positives vs. negatives in each scenario. Teaching them to accept negative emotions and process them in a healthy way will promote their social development that can benefits others and themselves.