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Teach your child independent thinking skills

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
19 November 2022   |   3:55 am
You should promote independent thinking in your child if you value his/her ability to think for himself/herself. When you encourage independent thinking in your child, you give him/her the freedom to learn.

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You should promote independent thinking in your child if you value his/her ability to think for himself/herself. When you encourage independent thinking in your child, you give him/her the freedom to learn. You also create a well-rounded individual who can accomplish tasks independently even when you are not around.

When your child becomes an independent thinker, he/she is more likely to determine how he/she wants to accomplish something, even if someone tells him/her how it is done. He/she will also be more likely to solve problems independently without seeking assistance from others.

Independent thinking is essential at school and in life, so it’s worth spending time teaching children how to think outside the box and do things their way.

Here are a few tips to promote independent thinking in your child:

Ensure you integrate independent thinking into everyday activities. Give your child plenty of opportunities to think independently everyday. An excellent way to do this is by asking open-ended questions that encourage him/her to give initial responses instead of always offering yes/no answers. These questions help develop independent thinking skills by allowing for divergent and critical responses.

Give your child some responsibility, which will provide him/her with opportunities to make decisions. Let him/her pick out his clothing for the day, choose what he/she wants for breakfast and choose art projects to complete. Assigning some responsibilities to your child will always promote independent thinking in him/her. He/she will be forced to think about all options available before he/she chooses.

You should allow your children to make mistakes and never try too hard to shelter your child from being free minded. Do not be afraid for him/her to get things wrong or make a bad choice every once in a while. He needs to learn from his mistakes, and independent thinking will help him do this.

Also, encourage your child to learn new things. When he/she is inclined towards something, encourage it; whether it’s painting or singing, you should never discourage him by telling him that he/she is not good at it. Allow him/her to fail and then guide him/her to do better next time.

Let your child express him/herself through words. Don’t correct him/her if his/her sentence is incomplete but rather help him/him finish what he/she is trying to say in a manner acceptable to other people. Don’t correct every mistake because this will make the your child self-conscious about him/herself and his/her abilities. The more independent he/she becomes, the better it is for everyone.

Most importantly, make your child independent of you. While raising a child, parents tend to pamper their children too much, making the child dependent on his/her parents for everything. While this might be acceptable at infancy, it becomes less appropriate when he/she grows up. Start making your child independent of you by letting him/her make minor decisions like what he wants to eat or wear, teaching him/her how to solve problems without having to constantly run to mummy or daddy.

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