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Getting Kids to Think

Dr. Charles Fay


Have you ever stopped to think about what a blessing it is to be a good thinker? Now I’m not necessarily talking about being a genius or intellectually gifted. I’m mostly referring to being able to use good problem-solving skills and good old-fashioned common sense.

As this world becomes ever more complex and temptation-laden, it becomes more and more important that we teach our kids how to build their mental muscles. Listed below are some quick tips:

  •  When your kids ask you for help with something, encourage them to try a bit longer before you jump in to help them. The only way to really learn good thinking skills is by having to figure out some things on your own.

  • Ask them as many questions as possible. Examples include, “What else might you try? What have you seen other people do to solve this problem? What would happen if you tried_________? Where might you learn how to do that? Is that something you could learn about in a book, by asking someone, or by looking on the internet?”

  • Allow them to mess up. Too frequently, we step in and tell kids exactly what to do when we worry that they might make a mistake. When the consequences are small, allow them to blow it and learn.

In our book, Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless, we also teach the importance of limiting the amount of TV kids watch and how to deal with all of the arguing that can happen when we begin to set limits. The less TV your kids watch the better thinkers they will become.

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