Now more than ever, kids are being exposed to mature content. With a 24-hour news cycle, issues in our schools and communities, media outlets such as YouTube, and gaming being more accessible than ever, it’s hard to escape. This exposure often occurs without an adult’s knowledge because it is so prevalent. Our best option as adults is to help kids build critical thinking and resiliency skills.
Critical thinking skills help children to absorb external information and process it in a way the makes sense. Children tend to interpret things literally and then react based on how they are directly affected. Developing critical thinking and resiliency skills early allows a child to process information and emotions, as well as understand how to navigate challenging situations.
The good news about these skills, is that they are easy to help children learn. The hardest part as adults, is to step back and let it happen. Here are a few simple suggestions to help develop your child’s critical thinking skills:
- Providing opportunities for play
- Waiting and pausing
- Resisting the urge to intervene immediately at the first sign of a problem
- Asking open-ended questions to encourage conversation and thought
- Having children develop thought and insight into what THEY think happened, or a hypothesis
- And encouraging thinking in different ways
At LFCS, we encourage these skills through our programs in Counseling, Play Therapy, School-Based Therapy, and Project STEP Up. Children learn in a safe and judgement-free environment, with a professional adult who can guide them through these messy situations. At home, it is as simple as playing and listening to reinforce all these skills.