How to develop critical thinking in kids?


Do your kids ask questions?

Are they curious to know how more than what?

Do they believe everything that is said to them?

Critical thinking is very important and it is one of those qualities that every parent should try to develop in their kids. Ellen Galinsky, an author of Mind in the Making, includes critical thinking on her list of the seven essential life skills needed by every child. This is one of the evidence to prove how critical thinking and its development can share your children’s future.

Why is critical thinking important?

Critical thinking is important as it teaches kids how to cope with a real-life situation. The problem with most of the schools they only teach what is written on the book and only ask the questions that have the right answer and all other are answers are wrong. We need to understand that this is not the case with life as when dealing with the problems of life, most of the time, there is no right or wrong. It is the people who have to decide what is right for them and what is not. Life doesn’t ask for a question with only true and false as the option of answer or an MCQ with only one correct answer.

What are the typical thinking pattern of kids?

The nonprofit Foundation for Critical Thinking has done some research on the development of critical thinking of kids. They have come up with the main type of thinking pattern of the kids. It has been observed that kids basically think using one of the three pattern as mentioned below:

Innocent thinking

These are the types of kids who believe everything they see and listen. They think that everything that is shown on TV or on the internet is correct. These types of kids do not want to spend on thinking as they believe that this thinking part is for their kids. As they grow, this dependency changes from their parents to their friends and it keeps on changing from time to time, depending on the situation.

Selfish thinking

These types of kids think, but the problem is that they believe that they are always right. They only think to present themselves as correct. These kinds of kids manipulate others and they do not value the thinking or opinion of other people or kids. Their perspective depends on whether it is going to be beneficial for them or not.

Rational thinking

The third type of kids thinks as they understand it is necessary for them to learn about the things. They simply do not believe anything and everything that is said to them as they understand that people cannot be right every time. This makes them respect other’s opinions too as they realise neither they nor others can be right at all time.

Five ways to help kids develop critical thinking

Now the question is that we need to figure out what can be the way to develop critical thinking in the kids. Although there is no definite path to develop these skills, we have come up with five ways which will ensure that your kid is ready to make decisions based on their own reasoning thinking, not because someone else says is correct.

Clear their doubts

Always allow your children to clear their doubt. Do not get irritated if your kids are asking you too much questions, instead give them a proper explanation. Make an environment in the house which is not that hard on kids, so that they will feel free to ask anything that comes on their mind.

Focus on Accuracy

Teach your kids to focus on accuracy, it can be by researching on the internet or through books. The best practice is to tell them to find out that if what you told them is right or not. This way they will learn to check facts.


It is one thing that kids should be taught. Whenever they ask what, instead of telling the answer plainly, tell them why they need to know this and how can they use the same information on other places too. Try to make this a habit and help your kids to stay updated on relevant topics that are necessary for them.

Logical approach

Ask your kids questions like how they come to any conclusion. Ask them to think about what could the other way or answer and why that is less important or less correct. As stated earlier, even when you give them some answer, ask them to give a logical reason as to why this is correct.

Be Fair with the kids

The way parents behave with the kid impacts how they behave with others. Teach them empathy, and try to consider them when making any decision. This way they will learn to respect others when they will make their decisions.


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