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Top 5 Ways to Raise Thinkers

by Amy Jourdan 4 years ago in children

Teach your children to think.

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One of the most important things to me as a parent is raising critical thinkers. I want them to say the layers beneath and the reasons why things are the way they are. It isn't just a rainbow to us, it is sunlight refracting from the moisture in the air.

With that in mind, here are my top 5 ways to encourage your children to be thinkers.

1. Speak to them using complex words.

Don't use baby talk. I think it is adorable when my child would call his legs "legos" and I never had it in me to correct his baby speech. But when I spoke to him I always use the correct words. My four and six year old boys can accurately use words like "collaborate" because these are the words we use when speaking to them. Sometimes they ask for clarification on words they don't understand, but that is what I want them to do. Kids will absorb anything at this age, and language is an excellent way to expand the way your children think.

2. Answer all the questions.

I know young children spend 80% of their time asking "why?" It can be aggravating at best, but I encourage you to answer as many of their questions as possible and feed their growing mind. If they ask why the grass is green, don't cop-out with a "just because." Tell them grass and other plants have chlorophyll in them that helps with photosynthesis. Explain to them how plants convert the sun's energy to food. Go outside and look at plants and talk about them.

3. As a second part of the last one really, if you don't know the answer to question--tell them.

They need to see that even parents don't know everything, and it is okay to not have every answer. Show them how to research information they'd like to know. Maybe you don't know why the grass is green, so together you Google it. Now you can learn together.

4. Science experiments!

There are so many great science experiments for kids out there, and I may post my own list soon of our family favorites. Some are fairly simple, just adding food color to water and watching as you mix two colors together to make a new one. Others can be fairly involved like make a home made battery out of an ice tray. Either way, kids will truly love spending the time with you and it is so fun to watch their excitement. Hands-on learning is a great way for children to explore their world. Be sure to always ask them what they think will happen. Ask them to tell you their hypothesis. Once the experiment is over, ask them to tell you if their guess was right, what really happened, and why they think it happened. Then you can explain the science behind it.

5. Ask them questions.

They are filled with why's, but the most important part is having them challenge themselves to see if they can find an answer. Ask them why they think there are clouds or why their toy stopped working. Let them struggle for a bit before you help them. Sometimes their reasoning may be way off, but tell them you are impressed with their thought process. Try their methods even when you know it's wrong. We might know the toy just needs batteries, but if they think the toy stopped working because it got too cold, put a blanket around it and see if warming it up helps.

I believe that doing these things have helped my children in so many ways. Not only are they strong readers, imaginative story writers, but I can see them working through problems they face instead of crumbling beneath them. They are very independent and I know the biggest reason why is because by doing these things, we've shown them they are capable.

children

Amy Jourdan

I have an infatuation with books. I spend most of my time adventuring with my two sons. I enjoy dipping my fries into my frosty.

Read next: When I Lost Her

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