In our ever developing, constantly emergent and fast moving world, life is so pleasantly easy and simplified, yet the way of living is becoming complicated by the minute!
Technology has taken over our lives (more for the good than bad) and information is available at the tip of the finger. Parenting is not an exception to this world ofinformation explosion. Just like all the other life sciences, the world of parenting too, is constantly evolving with researches and experiments to understand children better and to provide better child care.
But at the same time the traditional parenting hacks never go out of style. In fact they always come handy when nothing else works!!
WHAT ARE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
In simple terms Critical thinking is the ability to solve problems, to be able to understand another person’s perspective and to be able to recognize the consequences of your actions.
9 IMPORTANT CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS FOR CHILDREN
The following stories will help you understand how children with varied critical thinking skills act and behave.
Fair-Fairy-Furballs thinks a lot because it helps her learn. Furballs has been with empathetic parents, therefore she has learnt to think about other people’s feelings as well. She is motivated and is always ready to learn new things.
Above illustrations show us how parents play an important role in building positive and negative attributes, most often unintentionally. Primitively one must recognize their own parenting style and then on the basis of your child’s personality and attributes you will know how much you need to work.
The good news is that critical thinking can be developed at any age.
activities to develop critical thinking
ASK OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
MAKE GROCERY SHOPPING LIST WITH YOUR CHILD. ALLOW THEM TO HAVE AN OPINION.
DISCUSS DAILY MENU WITH YOUR CHILD.
Including your child in daily household decisions will provide them with a sense of validation. It will also help them think and regulate their emotions through added responsibility. Young children take pride in responsibility. They want to act like the adults around them all the time and through these activities we are providing them with that sense of pride and achievement.
RIDDLES RIDDLES RIDDLES
Riddles are a fun way to stimulate minds. Without much effort you can engage them into a fun brainstorming session!
Here is a link for activities that will help you engage your child while developing their critical thinking skills.
Right from late night television binge watching to having no fixed routine for bathing, meal times, physical activity, whatsoever. And getting dressed up in decent, presentable clothes has been long forgotten. Pyjamas are the new ripped jeans and hair goals have changed to “messy hair, who cares?”
Umm, well honestly your kids are not to be blamed here. Children need to be led by example and here, forget about following a routine, adults are equally or even far more out of order. Aren’t we ? Or at least some of us are.
Although there are a lot of things to enjoy in these crazy times, many unhealthy patterns have also emerged. We as parents need to take charge and apply some regulations to unproductive habits. A little bit of alterations will definitely help us manage to set the right example and help our children get some order in life.
COLOUR CODING THE DAY
So here is the brilliant idea. And I can assure that it’s going to work.
I have tried and tested this easy recipe. And trust me the result is delicious!
This is basically a pie chart. The circle represents the day. And the 24 slices represent 24 hours of a day.
This is a colour code chart. It can be edited according to your family needs. Some may want to add exercise or sports instead of creativity time. Anything that suits you, as long as it’s productive.
The idea is to fill the colours in the Self Regulation chart according to the way you have spent your day. The target should be to have more of Green-Blue-Orange-purple slices and less of Red-Yellow-Indigo slices.
I have extracted this Self Regulation theory from one of my CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) class, where we studied that a lot of behavioural issues can be corrected with the help of self management. CBT is a proven science and it has proven to be helpful in depression, anxiety and many other social-emotional problems.
Albert Ellis is known as the father of cognitive-behavioral therapy and founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). To quote him in this respect, “Rational beliefs bring us closer to getting good results in the real world”
So with the belief that with the help of this Pie-Chart/Self-Regulation exercise, which is both rational and positive, let’s get closer to getting the result that we want. A disciplined and productive family!
Now, once your pie chart print out and colour code is ready, you can move on to the part where you have to decide how to motivate children and family members to participate effectively.
You must set some kind of a reward system, which can be given on a weekly basis. The reward can differ according to the likes and desires of your family. I kept monetary rewards, Food items that I was limiting during lockdown for health reasons, they fit in just perfectly in my reward list because it eliminated the anger and frustration the children had towards me, now they could earn it and it proved to be a great motivating factor.
So basically whatever fits best in your family system as a reward can be kept, it’s totally up to you.
You can put up these charts in a common area so that everyone plays fair and there is no room for any kind of manipulation.
You will realise that with each week passing, the colours will start trending towards the good habit zone. And the healthy competition among family members will increase bonding and love.
Two fish are swimming in the sea, one is from Holland, the other is from England. The English fish sees the Dutch fish, waves his fin, and says, “Hi!” The Dutch fish panics and says, “Where?! Where?!”
In Dutch the word haai, which sounds like “hi,” means “shark.”
For all you may know, your kid might be the smartest fish in the sea! That is, if you are a multicultural family or live in a multicultural environment. I mean that is the only possible reason that you may still not know that you have the smartest kid. Or even if you have felt it you feel you should be humble enough to not be vocal about it. I here am talking about Polyglots/bilingual/multilingual children and their families. The benefits of being able to speak more than one language is not just that you can speak more than one language, there are many that you may not know.
While in most countries, the emphasis on learning English is laid upon at a very early age, a lot of parents find it annoying or impeding when the child does not respond that well and is more comfortable speaking the native language. It may be so because of other influencing factors such as grandparents, house help, school environment etc. Well there is a good news for all of you who have struggled trying to teach your children a language out of bounds and out of natural comfort of speaking the native language.
Studies suggest that bilinguals outperform monolinguals on tasks testing executive functioning. Here are some benefits of being a bilingual:
BILINGUALS HAVE A COGNITIVE ADVANTAGE OVER MONOLINGUALS.
THEY PAY FOCUSSED ATTENTION WITHOUT BEING DISTRACTED.
THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO MULTITASK
THEY ARE MORE EMPATHETIC
THEY ARE BETTER READERS AND HAVE BETTER COMPREHENSION SKILLS.
THEY HAVE FEWER BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS.
THEY ARE BETTER PROTECTED AGAINST ALZHIEMERS AND DEMENTIA
THEY HAVE A STRONGER MEMORY
While there are many researches and inferences on this topic, I am carving out just an outline to help you understand the importance of speaking many languages. Or at least two! The brain of a child right from the age of 0 months, starts getting stimulated by the environment that they live in. Studies suggest that even the presence of an older sibling can affect a child differently than the presence of a younger sibling. Children with older siblings tend to become more independent and whereas a new born may cause emotional upset and disruptive behaviour and feelings of jealousy to develop at an early age.
A sibling is just an element in the environment of a child. There are many more elements that can be discussed and the way they affect a child’s brain and development. But for now, lets get back to our topic. So a child’s brain is very flexible between the age of 0 -3. Hence they are uniquely suited to learn a second language. Although up until the age of 8, children have an advantage of a flexible brain, flexible ear and speech muscles, by a little extra effort and patience, you can give your child a life long gift of cognitive flexibility.
HOW TO TEACH YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE TO YOUR CHILD
With the advancement of globalisation and better opportunities, many people shift their base to foreign countries for work. In this scenario it is inevitable to be monolingual. You can work your way around to teach your child two languages with the following approach.
ONE PERSON ONE LANGUAGE
This approach was first introduced by the French linguist Maurice Grammont in 1902. George Saunders wrote in his book ‘Bilingual children: from birth to teens’ that the one person one language approach “ensures that the children have regular exposure to and have to make use of each language. this method has also been linked to an early development of metalinguistic awareness. (source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org)
MINORITY LANGUAGE AT HOME (ML@H)
This is a relatively less popular but an effective approach. It implies that parents speak their native language at home and practice speaking their community or national language outside of home. Gradually the child learns to switch between the two and starts to understand the importance of both cultures. These children grow up to be more empathetic and respectful human beings.
How to teach a new language to your child
Again as being a part of a global community, it is a great skill to acquire more than one language which may work immensely in your favour in many ways. other than the benefits that we have mentioned above, being bilingual opens a plethora of opportunities in the work sector.
Here are a few ways that can be helpful to you:
If you already know the language that you want to teach your child, it will come naturally to you because you have already taught them how to speak and you can apply the same approach, that is,
Start as early as possible.
Start by having a basic conversation, like, say asseyez-vous instead of sit down, if you are teaching French.
Repetition is the key.
Use expressions and physical demonstrations While carrying out daily routines, insist on using the new language.
Here are some resources and links that will be helpful
It is popular and free of cost. It is a task and activity based learning program. http://duolingo
This is great for preschool and kindergarten children. They can improve their English language skills along with learning a new language at the same time.https://www.rosettastone.com/
Get instant access to all videos in 12 languages (30+ hours of content), the parent/teacher guide, printable lessons, and fun activities! Discover why millions of children love learning a new language with Little Pim. https://www.littlepim.com/
Penyo Pal provides amazing learning experiences by carefully adapting the latest advancements in pedagogy, cognitive science, and user-experience design.
Their first series of language learning apps won multiple awards, a 5-star rating and resulted in over 10,000,000 hours of learning from students around the world. https://www.penyopal.com/
LEARNING BY MINDSNACKS
An awarded game based app that boasts of providing games for your brain, their team has designed the perfect recipe of 1000 words and phrases, 50 real-world lessons, and a bunch of delicious games. Learning has never tasted so good, so they say! https://www.mindsnacks.com/
Parents can use this golden opportunity of a lockdown and empower their children with a skill they will thank you all their lives for.