From the age of 4 or 5, children bombard adults with questions about life, death, justice, etc. All of them without a sharp answer. This type of questions with relative answers is what teaches us that children can reflect from a very young age.
Therefore, teaching them to reflect is not going to be necessary. As children breathe, or learn to walk instinctively, they begin to think naturally. For this, the adults in the child's environment (at home and at school) must motivate the child to continue thinking and to do so critically.
Currently, children face daily over-information in which advertising, TV, and the Internet lead them to receive stimuli without a clear response, so they must activate their minds. From home, parents can help their children to be more reflective in the following ways:
- Educate the child's emotions. For children to learn to think critically, they must first understand how emotions work. Knowing how to identify them is the first step towards empathy that makes the child understand himself and others. Young children learn from birth, so it is very important that through affection they feel that emotional and social learning is basic.
- Give the child confidence. As parents, the child must be encouraged to understand that he is special and important, capable of offering many things. Parents have to accompany the child and that he feel the confidence and sufficient support to venture to explore to continue advancing.
- Attend your own thoughts. Encourage children to think about the consequences before giving an answer or doing something.
- Encourage creativity. Parents should prevent the child from losing curiosity about things. To do this, they must provide stimuli and challenges that lead them to learn and have fun. Developing this imaginative capacity fosters their curiosity to learn and wonder why.
- Each child has his own thought. Children have their own personality and must be respected at all times. You have to allow them to have their ideas and opinions and to know how to argue. For this, we may ask you to provide examples to clarify your ideas. Pay attention to their gestures, their listening, etc. But never give the answer for them. Promote their independence and maturity avoiding overprotection that causes the opposite to happen.
At school, as well as at home, it is the place where the child begins to develop his thinking little by little, overcoming levels until he reaches abstract thinking. The problem comes with the error that is seen today in school education, where it tends to form "equal children", with same learning and that they think in the same way.
It is important that there be a change in education that allows the autonomy of children, creativity and constructive and critical thinking. For this, school must be the continuation of learning that has begun with the stimulation of thought from a very early age in the family.
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