We all want our children to form inquisitive minds, but sometimes it’s not always the strict critical thinking we hear about in school. Sometimes we need to step back and let them really process what has happened and what they have been learning lately.
According to MaryAnne, the blogger who runs MamaSmiles.com, there are five steps involved when it comes to raising kids who think.
- You have to listen, sometimes very patiently, before jumping in and offering your opinion or solution. MaryAnne reminds us that “sometimes they’ll bring a subject up again long after I’ve forgotten it, and sometimes I’ll ask them again after waiting a while, and they will have an answer ready. Other times it’s a matter of waiting a minute or two, just long enough for them to gather their thoughts.”
- Schedule free time in order to allow their minds to process and cultivate “the random thoughts that make their way in when you spend a morning digging in the sand, drawing on paper, or making mud soup.”
- Ask curious questions to let your learner know you are sincerely interested in what they’re doing or saying.
- Let them hear you think aloud, even when your thinking leads you astray. This illustrates that even parents make mistakes and work their way through them, and when they need to solve a problem, “they will be able to think resiliently themselves.”
- Spend time in nature and leave distractions by the wayside. Go outdoors and “create a space where kids feel free to talk and ask questions.”
To learn about these five steps in greater detail, read the full article here.