In our constantly changing global society, we need to be flexible and able to think quickly to succeed.
However, the number of children who can think by themselves is decreasing.
In this article, we will introduce some ways for parents to teach their children how to think from a young age.
The first step is to create a situation where your child is encouraged to think for him/herself. One way is to have your child attend activities such as sports, art, cooking and other activities where each situation has more than one answer and they will be required to find the best solution for themselves.
As a parent, it is important that you do not tell them what to do but them take the time to think for themselves.
For example, when cooking together it is important to teach them about how to use the stove and where the ingredients came from but you should let them use their imaginations to create the actual dish.
Instead, let’s support their decisions and help only when they need us.
It is a good idea to let them know that there are many variations and it is up to them to choose the one they would like to create.
It is important to give your child the opportunity to solve difficult problems on his/her own.
On the topic of cooking, an example may be “I will give you 2,000 yen please come up with a delicious dish you can make with ingredients under that amount” or “can you make a dish that we can bring to your grandma’s house”. Giving your child difficult problems will require them to think for themselves and help them gain self-confidence if they succeed.
Having conversations with peers and adults will encourage your child to use his/her thinking skills.
However, it is important that the conversation is not full of “yes” and “no” but requires him/her to come up with his/her own ideas and opinions. For example, if you say “I like that animation because…” your child will have the opportunity to answer back with his/her opinion of the animation and may even realize that he/she has a different opinion than you. He/she will understand that it is OK to have different opinions and that many times there is not only one right answer. Exposing your child to people with different backgrounds and opinions at a young age will be very helpful in expanding your child’s thinking skills.
The earlier you start encouraging your child to think for him/herself the better. Please expose him/her to various challenges and people from various backgrounds and opinions as soon as possible.