Thinking correctly is very important. In the words of Neil de Grasse Tyson –
“I’m worried really about how much fuzzy thinking is going on in the world. You know, fuzzy thinking, people just not thinking straight… And so we have built a system for ourselves where there is an answer and everything else is not the answer. Even when some answers are better than others. So our brains have absent, the wiring, capable of coming up with an original thought…. I’ll hire a person who can use the mind in a way not previously engaged. You realize when you know how to think, it empowers you far beyond to those who only know what to think.”
As a parent, we want our children to think better. Using their brains to the fullest so that children can be able to solve problems they face. But many of us do not understand how to do it. People just leave majority of the part of mental development to schools. We know however, that schools does not encourage thinking out of the box, it restricts it in many cases. If your child is in a school where they encourage thinking, well then good for him/her. But in any case, here are a few tips on how you can help your child be a better thinker.
Encourage Them Explore Stuff Themselves.
Again, in the words of Neil de Grasse Tyson “Kids are born scientists. They are always turning over rocks and plucking petals off a flower. They are always doing things that by large are destructive. That’s what exploration kind of is. That is you take stuff apart, whether or not you know to put it back together. This is what kids do…. So we don’t have enough people who understand or know how to value the inquisitive nature of their own kids. Just because they want to keep order in the household.”
That is the point. If you see your child trying to do something new, trying to learn something, help them, encourage them. Do not let the curiosity in them die. Keeping this curiosity important. Also if they ask a question to which you know they themselves are capable of solving, encourage them to do so. If a child understands something by him/herself, it gives them a massive confidence boost. This also encourages them to explore further.
This is the first step in developing self-reliance in your child. Solving his/her own problems means he/she can rely on him/herself. This also makes them good leaders as not only they can solve their own problems, but also help others with their own.
Get them Plenty of Exercise
It is a fact that children love games and sports. It helps them in physical development, makes them understand the value of teams and how to work with others to accomplish a task. But how exactly do sports and other physical activities be better for thinking. The main aspect of sport is to compete.
Children hone their skills to think over different form of strategies to accomplish the task. Their attentiveness increases. They can concentrate better with a very small but intense time to play. It also keeps them in shape. They make mistakes sometimes, even lose games. But this encourages them to think over and employ a new way to beat the game. This makes the child think on his/her own. And the best part is children have immense fun while doing so.
Playing sports helps improving the motor skills of children, think faster and better. They learn to accept defeat and fact to not lose hope, there is always another game. There is always another chance in life.
This may seem counter-intuitive. People associate to the fact that multi tasking is good for your brain, as it is able to work at two things at once. Parents really want that their kids to multitask. They feel that it will enhance their speed. Well my dear readers, your kid IS NOT IN A RACE. It may seem so that multitasking increases versatility and thinking ability, sadly, it is not. This is because when you multitask your focus divides into the tasks that you do.
This not only has the disadvantage poor performance in the task, but also several unforeseen effects. Firstly the brain tires faster. As it works on two things at once. The child stresses more as it thrives to finish the job. Many kids usually are keen to finish a job to prove they are better. If you are trying to learn from the tasks you are doing, it may so happen that you learn incompletely or wrongly or both.
The is same for distractions too. The word itself means that your focus is no longer on the thing you are doing. It is however difficult to keep a child from distractions. In many cases it is even disadvantageous. Make them understand the value of prioritizing the job that they currently undertake.
Make Sure They have Free Time
We schedule every second of kids today. It does not allow kid to be on his/her own. I understand that the parents of today, both the spouses usually have a job and it gets difficult to spend time with kids. This does not mean you schedule every bit of the time the child has. The child is not a robot, expected to work like clockwork and perform repetitive tasks (which by the way is the main issue in education system).
Not having free time means the kid is to follow the schedule to the letter. This only makes the developing brain adapt to the schedule itself. They hence slowly diminish the power to adapt something new. It proves the fact often observed that children who had a strict schedule in childhood never like change, even as adults. This is because their brain just can not deal with it.
The brain must be able to deal with newer situations. Giving children free time of their own, gives them freedom to think. Let them think anything they fancy. Embracing boredom encourages kids such that kids themselves can come up with new ways to entertain themselves. This elaborates their thinking prowess, as they themselves would never repeat an activity they themselves think out of boredom.
Puzzling Group Activities and Games
This is one of the best ways you can overlook the development of the child. Children love tedious puzzles, like riddles, jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers and even games that makes them think more like Sudoku. Children have a common need of entertainment. Giving them these activities to do will keep them occupied. If they solve the activities faster than expected, well then great. It is time to up the ante and give them slightly more difficult puzzles to solve.
These activities done by a group of children is wonderful way for children to share their ideas. They also learn at a faster rate and understand better. Give them something practical like gardening to do as an activity and make it look like its fun. The child will play it as a game. Even listening to good music can be a great way to help the brain. Depending upon the age of your child you can do little science experiments with kids.
Help Them Learn Something New
Kids have constantly developing brains. It is easier for them to pick up new skills and learn new things. When a kid tries to learn something new, the brain adapts itself to help it learn the best way it can. However, apart from the three basic things of eating, moving and communicating, there is no existing motivation in children to learn something new. This has to be brought by parents. Starting on small-scale, make your kid learn various things like small basic chores. Make them understand something little better. Kid friendly apps and encyclopedias are a plenty to choose from.
Learning new things from books that they read, or any other form of information that they get, raises questions in them. This enforces the inquisitive nature of children. The more they try to learn something new, the more they will knowledgeable and better thinkers. Supervise the way children learn something, just do not let your child be a dummy who reads and forgets. Make them understand the importance of what they learn. This cements the adaptation of brain towards new things as it understands the importance of it.
A brain that adapts to new situations is crucial. This will help them over the years when any new kind of situation is present. If your child does not take interest in learning new things, or if it is getting too difficult, encourage them and show a positive attitude. You can always try to twist the things he/she is currently learning or doing. You can make them do stuff backwards, bring out a small detail and concentrate upon it. And be sure to make the learning experience rewarding.
Whoa guys, hold your pitchforks and sticks. I can see it from the likes of your puzzled face. How on earth can video-games be better for the child’s brain? All games and TV and mobiles do is dull the child’s mind. But just hear me out guys.
Video Games have changed vastly since its creation. There is more freedom and simulation than they ever had. While it is true that video game addiction is a true thing, but done correctly, children can only benefit from them. In games there are more than one way to approach their target, you need to focus on multiple aspects in a short time, making you think faster. Multiple angels to deal with the task given in games makes every child think at a different way if he/she fails the previous time.
There are several games available that make use of two player’s collective working to solve the task (Co-Op games). This is a fantastic way for child to bond with you, their friend or siblings. There are various proved researches that with video games, the brain activity and functioning develops. This also improves the hand-eye co-ordination of the body.