6 ways to teach your children to think critically

A picture of an extended family huddled together sitting on the floor for a family picture. On top of the picture are these words, 6 ways to teach your children to think critically. www.onedeterminedlife.com

In today’s rapidly changing world, children are constantly bombarded with so many ideas and beliefs from various sources. From social media to school curriculums, secular influences are prevalent, shaping how children perceive the world around them. With this in mind, continue to read as I share with you: 6 ways to teach your children to think critically.

6 ways to teach Your children to think critically

As parents and caregivers, it’s our responsibility to equip our children with the necessary tools to navigate these influences with discernment, understanding, and confidence in their faith. 

One of the most powerful tools we can provide them with is the ability to think critically.

Critical thinking is the process of analyzing and evaluating information, arguments, and beliefs in a systematic and logical manner. 

It allows children to question, challenge, and explore different perspectives, enabling them to make informed decisions and form their own opinions. 

By teaching children to think critically, we empower them to approach secular influences with a discerning eye and a firm foundation in their faith.

Why Critical Thinking Matters:

Critical thinking is more than just the ability to memorize facts or regurgitate information—it’s about actively engaging with ideas, concepts, and arguments in a thoughtful and analytical manner. 

Children who develop strong critical thinking skills are better equipped to:

  • Make Informed Decision: By analyzing information critically, children can make informed decisions based on evidence and reasoning rather than emotions or peer pressure.
  • Solve Problems: Critical thinking enables children to approach problems creatively, identify potential solutions, and evaluate their effectiveness before making a decision.
  • Navigate Complex Issues: In today’s interconnected world, children are exposed to a wide range of complex issues—from climate change to social justice. Critical thinking equips them with the tools to navigate these issues with clarity and understanding.

6 ways to teach Your children to think critically

1. Encourage questioning: 

Encourage your children to ask questions about the world around them. Encourage them to seek out answers, explore different viewpoints, and think critically about the information they encounter.

Encourage your children to ask open-ended questions. These are questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. 

If your kids can’t think of any, as them some of the following: 

  • “Why do you think people believe different things about God?”
  • “How do you think our faith can help us make decisions in difficult situations?”
  • “What do you think it means to be a good person?”
  • “Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision and how you decided what to do?”
  • “What do you think happens after we die, and why?”

A picture of an extended family huddled together sitting on the floor for a family picture. On top of the picture are these words, 6 ways to teach your children to think critically. www.onedeterminedlife.com

2. Provide opportunities for discussion: 

Engage your children in meaningful conversations about a wide range of topics, including faith, values, and current events. 

Encourage them to express their opinions, listen to others, and consider different perspectives.

3. Teach them to evaluate information:

Teach your children how to evaluate the reliability and credibility of sources, whether it’s a website, a news article, or a social media post. Help them understand the importance of fact-checking and verifying information before accepting it as true.

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4. Teach Media Literacy: 

Teach your children to be savvy consumers of media by helping them evaluate the reliability and accuracy of sources.

One way to do this is by guiding children to look for evidence to support the claims presented in the media. 

Encouraging them to ask questions such as:

  • What evidence is provided to support this claim?
  • Is there data or research to back up this information?

These types of questions helps instill a habit of critical inquiry.

You can also teach children to check multiple sources for information on a given topic. 

This reinforces the importance of corroborating facts and perspectives. By comparing and contrasting information from different sources, children learn to recognize biases, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies, encouraging a better understanding of complicated topics.

You can also teach children to think about the author’s credentials and expertise. 

Encouraging them to ask questions like: 
  • Who is the author, and what qualifications do they have?
  • What biases or motivations might the author have?

These types of questions help children think critically about the credibility and reliability of the information presented.

5. Expose your children to different viewpoints: 

Expose your children to different viewpoints and perspectives, both within and outside of your faith community.

Encourage them to engage with ideas that challenge their beliefs, helping them develop empathy, tolerance, and a deeper understanding of the world around them.

  • Discuss Current Events: Engage your children in discussions about current events and news stories. Encourage them to analyze the information critically, question the sources, and consider the biases that may be present.

  • Encourage Independent Research: Encourage your children to explore topics of interest independently. Provide them with access to books, articles, and online resources, and encourage them to conduct their own research and draw their own conclusions.

6. Model critical thinking: 

Be a role model for your children by demonstrating critical thinking skills in your own life. Talk openly about how you approach problems, make decisions, and evaluate information, and encourage your children to ask questions and challenge assumptions.

Conclusion:

By teaching children to think critically, we empower them to approach secular influences with discernment, understanding, and confidence in their faith. 

As parents and caregivers, it’s our responsibility to equip our children with the skills they need to navigate the complexities of the modern world and stay true to their beliefs. 

Together, we can empower the next generation to be thoughtful, compassionate, and resilient individuals who make a positive impact on the world around them.

In the comments below, share your tips for helping your children think critically. 

Author: Anne Markey

Anne is a stay at home mother of 3 who has been married for more then 10 years. She loves the Lord and is passionate about helping women learn who they are in Christ and how to live a life that glorifies Him.

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