Children are highly maleable throughout the first several years of life, and parents want to give their children the tools and skills they need to navigate their way through the world in a meaningful way. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage independent thinking, which can be done in several ways, including:
1. Reading Books with Your Child
Reading is excellent for kids for many reasons, but encouraging independing thinking is perhaps one of the most important ones. Children who read or hear stories regularly can get exposed to new cultures, ideas, and ways of life, and they can absorb the strategies and thought processes characters use when trying to solve a problem or handle a conflict.
Creating a regular reading routine with your child, and reading a wide vareity of books, is a fantastic way to facilitate independent thinking.
2. Playing Interactive Games
Interactive games, such as card games and board games, can be highly beneficial for developing a child’s independent thinking skills. Interactive games require your child to understand a set of rules and think critically about a strategy to win the game or achieve the goal. Board games and card games can also encourage quality family time and reduce the amount of time everyone spends in front of screens.
3. Encouraging Children to Share Their Thoughts
Many adults dismiss what children say or think right away and assume that their own beliefs are the correct ones. Instead, try asking your child what they make of any given situation or what they would do if they were faced with a certain problem that needed to be solved. Many children are inadvertently trained to say what they think a parent or adult wants to hear instead of what they think, but being asked about their own opinions can sharpen their independent thinking skills in no time.
Although fostering independent thinking in children may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, it just takes a few simple strategies such as though outlined above.