Helping kids learn suitable skills in fast developing technology world.
Despising the curiosity of your little daughter after much questioning just to get along with your daily routine and meet up with schedules is not the best. Your child may ask: ‘Mum what is this?’ Dad, why did you do that? Can’t we make tea with cold water?, even more. Do note that, all these are the channels to explore her critical mind.
‘Critical thinking is marked by the tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws by using the five sense organs of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell to give meaningful and insightful information for improved productivity’.
There is also the certainty of using the sixth and most important sense which Solomon the King of Israel called discretion in the books of Proverbs. He said, “discretion shall preserve you”. In the bid to engage in critical thinking, discretion- which is the trait of judging wisely and objectively is very essential.
The five sense organs (eyes, nose, tongue, ears, and skins) are coordinated by the brain’ which is the thinking faculty. You must have heard or said the phrase “use your brain” before. It is just a way to say ‘give the right judgment after the information provided by your sense organs’ or ‘please use your discretion’.
Figures that exhibit critical thinking skills
Joseph: Have you ever wondered why Joseph was able to come forth with a profound solution to handle the seven (7) years of famine that came on Egypt after the Seven (7) years of plenty? He was able to preserve Egypt and the then world with discretion, critical thinking skills. He saw a famine coming after abundance by revelation and thought out strategies to preserve the bounty for the famine that is to come by discretion.
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Solomon: Why do you think Solomon could come up with reasoning to kill the living child of those two women of the same household arguing over it? Deep thinking! Critical thinking! He was not so much overwhelmed with the speech of the women, he put their emotions to test (for women are really emotional when it comes to their children), and he could use that to identify the mother of the baby.
In simple note, critical thinking skills cannot be attained without having handy useful information. If you don’t read and involve in meaningful observations, you will likely have a deformed and subjective judgment.
Critical thinking skill definition
Although critical thinking has various definitions from various authors, with no further ado, in the scope of my discourse. Critical thinking is defined as using or exercising your mind or your power of reasoning in an organized and rational manner of gathering, sorting, analyzing, and interpreting information and facts to produce right judgments, solutions, and pieces of evidence that are not subjective as relates to scope or situations but rather objective and can stand the test of time and caters for variations.
Information role in critical thinking
Information is what a person knows about things and it is very essential for critical thinking. Making your child stay abreast of information is crucial to develop his critical thinking skill. Information is everywhere around us and you need to teach your child how to easily access and as well use them to help his brain stimulation.
Like the computer central processing unit, our brain is the site for thinking. It accepts data (various information and instructions through our five sense organs), processes data (engage in meditation, deep thinking, or critical thinking processes) and brings out useful information (right judgment, logical evidence, and creative solutions).
The skills embedded in critical thinking
For your child to engage in critical thinking he needs to be trained to function effectively in various skills that cumulatively make up the critical thinking skills. He can acquire all the skills progressively. Joseph could bring up the profound solution of all ages from the cumulative acquisition of these skills from his father’s house and Potiphar’s house. These skills are what help the doggedness of researchers and inventors of all times. These skills includes:
- Problem analysis skill
It is the ability to look thoroughly into every problem, identifying the cause, the extent of the effect, and savage continuity till a solution is provided.
- Creative thinking skill
Been able to consider something in a new way, looking out for new ways of doing things differently that others do regularly the same way and still achieve best result.
- Interpretation skill
It is the ability to correctly decipher the message that symbols and situations are communicating. It involves being a keen listener and observer to get the minutest details.
- Problem solving skill
Having a mind that will not give up until a solution is proffered to every problem encountered. A skill acquired in focus and determination.
- Evaluation skills
This is the ability to give right assessment of a situation or occurrence. It can begin by understanding how to do an honest self evaluation.
- Result presentation
Ability to present findings and thinking in a logical and acceptable manner. It involves the use of appropriate terms and evaluation parameters. This can be acquired by learning research presentation techniques and proper communication skill.
Critical thinking as value added to a child
With few mentioned skills above; you want to agree with me that training a child to be a problem solver, a solution provider etc. is very important in the trending world of rapid development. Tasking your child with information of less difficulties in the house, societies, among his peers, siblings and neighborhood is an act to further open is mind to learn, unlearn and relearn when and where necessary. Have time to listen to his amazing solutions and try to polish them up for him as such is getting your child prepared for adaptiveness in lifelong learning experience.
Benefits of critical thinking skill
Our life is made up of the cumulative sum of the decisions we make, which is the product of our thoughts, therefore; one of the ways to ensure that your child has a good life is ensuring that he is thinking right, deep and critically. The enormous benefits of critical thinking cannot be overemphasized but few points that will inspire your commitment will be discussed below.
- Healthy relationship
A lot of folks have issue keeping healthy father- son, mother- daughter, husband- wife, co-workers, and teacher- student relationships. Despite the list of relationship that we keep through life is endless critical thinking skill is one of the needed skills for a sustainable and healthy relationship.
Your child stands a chance of enjoying a beautiful relationship with you and others when he can think critically and constructively. Have you ever seen a father push away a son that also seems to know how to get his petty car or electric problem solved, or a mother get rid of a daughter that can make a piece of meal from any available grain in the store? Capital No!.
A critical thinker also stands the chance to enjoy his relationship with God, for there is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding. He can reason with God and have understanding of His way by meditating on God’s word.
- Guaranteed career success
Career building demands a doggedness and thinking through ability possesses by a critical thinkers(think tank). Every employer is on the look-out for a critical thinking and innovative employee. They are looking out for a problem solver, a creative thinker that will take their organization to the next level. Starting early to train up a child can give him edge as at time due.
Your child stands a chance of academic success that results in a mind blowing result as a critical thinker. It will be easy for him to do well and earn qualifying certificate that employers requires. The critical thinking skill will make him indispensable in any field of learning or career path he chooses.
- Right life choices
We are the product of the choices we make and we are faced with a lot of choices each day. Critical thinking skill gives the possessor of it the opportunity to analyze and interpret situations well, and this informs the ability for right choices. A critical thinker has a better approach to deal with everyday problems, hence, enjoys the benefits of his good choices and resolves the effects of the poor choices from his evaluation. He lives a happy life.
- Good citizenry
Every country will be a good place to live in if their citizens will imbibe the sense of critical thinking. This is what education is supposed to instill. Educated fellows are said to be needed for safe living in our society, but I dare to say critical thinkers are needed to have a safe, healthy, growing and blessed society.
A critical thinker brings innovations and ideas to improve the economy and the prospect of the society. He also provides solutions to the many problems that face the society. He brings up ideas for community development and growth.
- Good leadership traits
A critical thinker cannot but be ahead of others; this is an important point in being a leader. He is more equipped with the needed information, action plans, innovations for change and development. He has hindsight (interpretation of past happenings), insight (inspiration and innovation from meditation and deep thinking) and foresight (ideas to be implemented for future development).
The life of a critical thinker will command others to follow him. He has the right answer to every question, he can lead the way with focus and determination, he can relate well with others because he has a sense of right judgment of others. Since there is no fish without water, there is no effective leadership without critical thinking skills.
How to develop critical thinking skills ?
Having seen the benefit of critical thinking skill, it is imperative for parents who are all out for the best for their children to give out the time and resources to train the children to emerge as solution providers.
Your child has the inherent thinking faculty that needs to be enhanced for optimal productivity. You might have noticed a display of critical thinking in your child’ however; you need to add some extra things to make critical thinking more intense and better enhanced tool in your child life. And to enhance your child’s critical thinking skill, you have to teach him and encourage him to be heartily involved in the following processes day after day.
- Gathering information
Teach your child the use of his five (5) sense organs to observe everything that is going on around him. Train him to be security conscious without instilling fear and give him profound solution to handle challenging situations. An example is observing road signs, the uses of manual and label on everything purchased, being on the look-out for change in behavioral pattern of those he is relating with, being conscious of what goes on in the mall while shopping to avoid undue harassment.
Teach him ways to avoid other domestic accident while playing at home, in school and in the neighborhood. He should know the smell of burnt food or cooking gas, the sound of his dad’s car, the fragrance of his mother perfume, the difference between rose and hibiscus, the difference between affectionate pat of his mother and a spank.
You should also teach your child how to interpret observations. He should understand various forms of non verbal communications. He should be able to rightly interpret what he sees with his eyes, what he smells with his nose, what he fells with his hand, what he tastes with his tongue and sounds he hears with his ears.
You can give him various tests at home for example, put a cosmetic powder in small quantity on a table, with yam flour, glucose, all purpose flour of the same quantity, a little distance from each other and ask your six (6) year old child to differentiate. You can invent more of such games for your children with respect to their age bracket to help the sensitivity of their five (5) sense organs and ability to decipher.
Remember to always whet his appetite and keep him curious sometimes. Encourage him to ask questions when he sees or hears anything he doesn’t understand. Being curious helps him to gather facts and useful information.
Don’t shut him up when you feel he asks too much questions’ its better to tell him to write down his questions when you are busy and find time to answer them. Embrace discussing new things he is observing around him with you and teach him how to handle his new found knowledge.
- Finding out more details
Teach your children where to get useful information about things they use, do and learn daily. Children should know how to politely ask questions from people around them when they need help. You need to teach them the use of library both in the home, in the school and in the society, let them have time they go to library to read books related to their passion.
Let them learn that readers are leaders, and that that is the only way they can be the best they ought to be. Certain books also help to understand meaning and basic concept of things, example is the encyclopedia and the dictionary. Teach them to use it appropriately.
Children have an absorbent mind and it is very easy for them to watch you use a machine and practice what you do with it in your absence. Please instruct your children to use machine manual to understand the operation of machines. Read it with them before using, this can also heighten their curiosity to operate it. Also teach them the use of road maps and meaning of road signs, it makes them conscious to check for them on the roads.
Encourage your children to listen to news on radio and televisions, and also read news from newspapers, magazines and the internet. The use of the internet to find information cannot be over-emphasized but care must to taken to ensure your child maximizes his time and search out only essential things with the internet. Give them stipulated time for information finding so that they can have room to sort out information and meditate.
- Sorting out information
The ability to bringout what is needed from a pile of facts and information is an essential ingredient in critical thinking. This is what information sorting is all about.
Your child should know the information source they can trust. Facts can be a bit confusing sometimes especially when heard from people and that is why sorting out information is important. Sometimes, people explain what they understand from what they read and not necessarily what is written or spoken.
Therefore, your child should be able to check the authenticity of information by been analytic; comparing information from various sources, cross checking facts from published books, website of well know organization, newspapers and magazines. Your child should also be able to bring out relevant information per time meaning filtering facts from absorptions from the bulk of information accessible to him. When he does this on daily bases, it will not be difficult to utters reality at the point of vital decision making.
- Analytical mindset
Analytical mindset can be developed by finding out answers to questions about a main point by means of querying or probing with why, what, which, who, where, when, how, how much, how often and other probing questions. This gives room for innovative and creative thinking. Being resolute to have a solution to every challenge makes a solution provider. Encourage your child to watch detective movies and read detective books, this will sensitize him to always seek out solutions even when every chance seems slim.
- Giving right judgment
This is to improve your child’s evaluation skill, a sense of proper assessment of situations and people. You can help your child to recall how he spends his day and give an honest self-assessment; this will help his sense of right judgment. Try to know his opinion about certain decisions you make. As a mom’ dressed up for an occasion, you can ask, “How do I look”, to test his taste of judgment. Having your child give sincere evaluation of things and bring out profound solution is a better thing than slice bread I think. Help him get the best of proper assessment and evaluation.
- Eating Healthy
Research has shown that foods rich in potassium, manganese and some variety of vitamins help to stimulate brain cells responsible for thinking. Make your child fruit lover instead of candy and ice-cream lover. Variety of fruits contain what kids brain needs for proper functioning. Give him carrots, pineapple, watermelon, avocado (pear), Guava, banana and nuts (Cashew nuts, groundnut). Ensure your child feeds well. Make a plan of meal that can sustain him. You don’t need to empty your account to get balanced diet. A good plan for your meal can help improve your child’s living.
Giving your best to train your child to go through these processes will doubtlessly bring to manifestation the great inventor and consultant out of your child. Don’t forget to do it right at the right time. The time to train him is NOW. Enhance his critical thinking skills. Make hay while the sun shines.
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