One of the goals we should have as parents is teach our kids to think for themselves.
I’m sure you’ll agree that sometimes it is so much easier to do their thinking for them. Helping them learn to think takes work and emotional energy. Teaching our kids to think means we have to do more thinking ourselves–and who wants to do that?
I recently read a book by Maria Chesley Fisk, called Teach Your Kids to Think, which makes this job a little bit easier.
As a person who loves to ask questions, I found her book delightful. It’s full of wonderful questions parents can ask their kids to help sharpen their thinking skills. It’s full of great ideas for casual conversations, specific teaching ideas, and creative fun.
“Smart is something you can get!” says Fisk. She adds that parents should tell their children, “If you work hard and practice, you can develop that ability/skill/intelligence” and “No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change.”
Believing that parents are their children’s most important teachers, Fisk encourages parents to teach their kids to think wisely during the time they spend together. She advocates that parents encourage what she calls a growth mindset in their children. She outlines very specific tools for teaching thinking skills, analytical thinking skills, creative thinking skills, social and emotional thinking skills, and practical thinking skills. And in the midst of her practical suggestions, Fisk reminds parents to “be impressed if her (your child’s) thinking is different from yours.”
Fisk recognizes that “one size does not fill all when it comes to parenting or to thinking.” So when you read this book, remember that it is not a checklist, but a resource with many suggestions and options to help you teach your child to think.