Are you raising your child to be a leader? One of the qualities of great leaders is their ability to make good choices. Choices are a fact of life and every day our children are faced with decisions to make. Let’s face it we can’t, won’t and shouldn’t make all the choices for them especially as they grow older.
How can we help them sift through the myriad of information and opinions coming from their friends, teachers, family, social media… and teach them how to make well-informed choices? CRITICAL THINKING!
Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned and a great place to start is by teaching them to ask the right questions. Developing a skill takes time and practice so be patient with them.
To help us get started, let’s imagine this scenario…
Your child and another classmate got into trouble in school. Apparently, the students were given an essay to write. Your child comes top of the class in this particular subject. His classmate & friend asks your child to “assist” him with his essay. Your child has been taught to help others when they are in need and learn to share so he decides to help this friend write his essay. Somehow the teacher finds out what has happened and decides to give the friend an F and grades your sons essay a D– to serve as a lesson. Obviously, your child is distraught because this is his favorite subject and he usually gets an A+.
By learning to ask themselves and answer the right questions before deciding to say or do anything, our children can be kept safe from unnecessary pain, shame, embarrassment, poor lifestyle choices and even death resulting from making poor un-informed choices.
This guide (feel free to download) can be applied to almost every situation (positive or negative) where one is faced with a choice to make.
Remember it takes practice so when next your child bounds up to you to help them make a decision, rather than quickly providing an answer, take them through this process of asking and answering the question. Note of caution parents please don’t “fall my hand”. Do not make this like an FBI interrogation! Make it easy, natural and light…don’t whip out the guide and say “question 1 why…question 2…” I’m sure you get the picture.
Critical thinking is a key leadership quality and a sine qua non for staying safe, making informed choices offline and online. So come on, let’s go raise some critical thinkers and brush up on our skills as we do so!
At RAVE Et Al we work with parents, schools and government by providing relevant capacity building programs for children/teens and young adults in the area of values, life skills and digital citizenship education. Our programs equip the younger generation to stay safe and thrive in the real world – offline and online. For further inquiries please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.