We are all aware of the importance of teaching children various skills, but many parents may neglect to teach their kids how to think. For Example, parents will often tell their kids to use their brains to solve problems, but as we know, they are not born with this knowledge.
Young minds can develop rational thinking through regular practice. A child’s perception from childhood is how it develops cognitive sophistication, so parents should start laying a foundation for their children as soon as they are born. It will encourage strong reasoning skills throughout life and into old age!
What is Rational Thinking?
Many of the decisions we make in life are made using our thoughts or our feelings. We all have a choice of what to do with those thoughts and feelings when they arise, such as: be happy, be angry, take action, dwell on it, or move on from it. A person’s decision depends upon the individual’s ability to think about their situation, also known as rational thinking. Thus, Rational Thinking is a way of thinking that allows you to put aside any prejudices or biases you may have. If you can think rationally, you can make good decisions based on common sense. This skill can help people avoid making poor decisions that could lead to difficulties later in life, such as drug abuse and alcohol addiction.
Why Is it Important to Encourage Children’s Rational Thinking?
As a parent, I strongly believe that rational thinking is a must for children to build characters and undergo holistic development. So, it is essential to develop children’s rational thinking at an early age.
Let us examine the reasons why encouraging rational thinking among children is of utmost importance.
1. Helps children to focus on issues at hand
When a child is allowed to reason his problem rationally, he can find the best solution because he:
a. Can determine what the issues are.
He can also come up with several solutions instead of jumping on one option. It will save him time and energy in the long run when he is solving problems as an adult.
b. Eliminates irrelevant information
He will put aside all other thoughts outside of solving the problem at hand, which will help him make a decision quickly and effectively.
2. To enable oneself to think before taking action
If a rational thinking individual has an option between two things, that child should choose what will benefit him most in the long run. It is also essential for that child to think before doing something. If a child thinks rationally, he will decide that he will not cause any harm to himself or the people around him.
3. To develop common sense
As mentioned earlier, it is vital to think rationally to make wise choices and develop good character. A child’s mind is like a sponge; it absorbs whatever it comes into contact with. In addition, children have an enormous capability of learning from their surroundings and what they observe other people do. Therefore, if parents display rational thinking while interacting with their children, they could also think rationally.
How to Foster Your Child’s Rational Thinking?
Below are some activities and routines that can help foster rational thinking in your children. It will motivate them to think logically and rationally.
1. Work on STEM-STEM subjects
Introduce your child to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM-STEM) subjects; this provides him with a wide range of opportunities that could open doors for him as he grows older. Unfortunately, some children may shy away from these subjects because they find it challenging to grasp the concept, especially math. As we all know, math is remarkable for being the most hated subject due to its complexity. But don’t lose hope! The fear they have on these subjects now is just part of the process. By being patient with your child and following efficient ways, you can encourage your child’s passion for math and other subjects. In addition, having your child engage in these subjects will soon improve their rational thinking skills.
2. Make Your Child Think
For your child’s rational thinking to be developed, you should involve him in recreational activities that can help him explore and think logically. These include reading, drawing, playing games, and watching television.
3. Persuade Your Child
For a child to develop rational thinking, he must be persuaded that the things he does are essential and benefit him in some way or the other. Thus, when you tell a child about something that will help him learn more to develop his rational thinking ability, he will learn from it in the future.
4. Encourage Open-Ended Play
Open-ended toys such as multiple block toys and sand and water tables will enable your child to explore nature. He will be able to think about different ways of playing or building something using his imagination, which will help him develop rational thinking skills more quickly.
5. Practice Application of Reasoning Skills
When your child or your child’s friend/friend encounters a new situation, you should have them practice applying their rational thinking skills. For Example, if your child asked you about the weather, you might ask him whether they want to play outside or stay indoors and read for a while. In this way, your child will understand that rational thinking can enjoy and use in their daily lives.
6. Teach Your Child About Cause and Effect
When your child comes across a situation where he acts in anger or is uncertain about their choices, you should introduce him to cause and effect. It will help him understand the circumstances that led to his actions and why his action was correct or incorrect. For Example, if your child uses too much force when playing with his toys and breaks them, then you could ask him about the cause and effect of their actions and how he could change it to make sure that it does not happen again. This way of thinking will develop in your child, and he will be able to think logically, which will help him make more informed decisions as an adult.
7. Encourage Your Child To Ask Questions
Rational thinking starts with asking questions. Your child should be encouraged to ask as many questions as possible. It will enable him to think more deeply about things and relate to his surroundings better. You can demonstrate this to your child by asking the meaning of words when you come across a new one.
Rational thinking is similar to a muscle; one needs to exercise it regularly to make it stronger. As a parent, you may be able to think with reasons when presented with certain issues, but as a child, you may not have had the opportunity to use it often enough, and therefore it can be neglected. Many parents are unaware that if they neglect their child’s rational thinking skills, they could deal with severe issues such as drug addiction or emotional problems.
Encouraging rational thinking among children will prepare them for the future, where they will have the skills to make good decisions on what they want out of life.