Independent thinking and the ability to express one’s opinion are the skills necessary for a happy and successful life. How to develop them in a child? The first thing to understand is that everything starts with the family.
Do you consider the child’s opinion? Do you listen to him? Do you encourage discussion? Do you give an opportunity to make independent decisions? If the answers are negative, you need to reconsider your approach to education.
Sometimes we take care of children too much. We replace their thoughts and desires with ours. We impose a bunch of unfair bans and rules. We control every step. Let the child find his own way! For example, let him choose what to wear to school, with whom to be friends, how to celebrate birthdays, which section to go to.
Of course, this does not mean that you need to remove all restrictions and allow the child to always act in their own way. There are situations when parental intervention is necessary. But at least try to explain why you have established certain rules (“because I said so” is not an argument).
Children should be interested in what they think about voiced rule or expectation. When you try to understand a child’s point of view, he sees that his opinion is valued and that parents are ready to look at the situation from his position.
As your child grows up, give him a little more freedom and autonomy than he is used to. Start with small concessions and, if he manages, continue to reduce the level of control.
Say, before you insisted that your daughter first dealt with the lessons, and then play, but now she has learned to better manage her time, and therefore it would be more logical to just make sure that she did her homework before going to bed, and when it is she who will do this, she can decide for herself.
Be ready to help your child with action or advice if the need arises, but give him the opportunity to make his own decisions!
Encourage independent search for answers
What seems obvious to parents is not always as obvious to their children. Helping a child understand why one course of action is more correct than another is better than simply making the right decision for him.
Tell the child what to look for when making an important decision, but do not insist on your own. For example, if a teenager chooses between several options for a summer job, tell him that the salary level is only one of the criteria and maybe he should pay attention to work, where he is paid less, but on which he will get the skills he needs.
If your child is faced with a difficult situation, first of all, listen carefully to him and allow him to throw out negative emotions. And then use the brainstorming method, during which you will try together to come up with different solutions – the more the better. Then discuss the pros and cons of each option. But leave the choice to the child.
It seems to you that he makes a mistake? Nothing wrong. Learn from mistakes. Try to give him the maximum degree of freedom (if, of course, his actions do not threaten his health or future).
Discuss various problems and ideas with your child.
that the child learns to consider different points of view and learn critical thinking, talk to him about current events, books and films.
1. Think of a topic about which there are different points of view. These could be books, movies and TV shows that you watched as a family, school rules, questions in a local newspaper, or topics discussed at a parent meeting. If there are several different sound points of view, the conversation will turn out. Put the question at a level accessible to the child.
2. Ask the child what he thinks about this and why he thinks so and not otherwise. What values and prerequisites are his opinion based on? What does a child think can happen if another point of view wins? What will be the consequences? Why would it be better if it were?
3. Play the Devil’s Advocate. Whichever side a child takes, give the opposite opinion, using about the same number of words. Explain why such a viewpoint is better, what values and assumptions it is based on, and what the consequences will be if it wins or loses. During the conversation, encourage the child and play – do not be too demanding.
Be careful with criticism! Treat the child’s position with respect.
4. Encourage your child to respond to your point of view. Let him come up with new arguments that were not originally there. Assess how ready the child is and wants to participate in such intellectual games so as not to cause him discomfort.
If the father and mother constantly criticize the thoughts and feelings of the child, argue, read the notations, put pressure on the psyche, insult, declare unacceptable the normal manifestations of excitement, anger, happiness, sexuality, desire, and fear, the child will increasingly reject his “I”.
Ask yourself: can your child freely and openly express his opinion, without fear that he will be punished, called up stupid or ridiculed?
Few parental approaches that are as effective for children’s healthy development than the formation of a child’s feeling that his nature, temperament, interests, thoughts, and aspirations are accepted even if they do not share them.
A parent can be an athlete, and a child is not. A parent may be artistic in nature, but a child may not. Parents can live in an accelerated rhythm and the child in a leisurely. The parent can be disciplined, but the child is not. A parent can be an extrovert, and a child an introvert. The parent may be “secular”, and the child is not very . A parent can love competition, but a child does not.
It is completely unrealistic for parents to admire every act of self-expression of a small creature. However, acceptance does not require joy, comfort or conciliation.
Show interest in the child’s life, his feelings and thoughts
Communicate over dinner, in the car, while walking, on the way to the store … Just do not turn it into an interrogation with addiction or educational conversation, otherwise, the child will simply close in on himself. The conversation should be easy.
Be friendly! Let your child speak freely about topics that concern him. Be sympathetic, ask clarifying questions and listen with sincere interest.
Teach the child self-affirmation
Self-affirmation is respect for one’s desires, needs, values and the search for appropriate forms of their manifestation in reality.
At the other end is cowardice. Its essence is to avoid fighting with someone whose values are different from yours or to satisfy someone, flatter someone, manipulate someone or belong to a certain group.
Self-affirmation does not mean belligerent or inadequately aggressive behavior. Nor does it mean the need to rush into the first rows or knock anyone who gets off the road; protect your rights to the detriment of others.
It simply means a willingness to stand for yourself, to openly proclaim yourself to who you are, to treat yourself with respect in any human relationship. It means a refusal to put on a mask in order to “earn” love.
Practicing self-assertion means living truly, speaking and acting based on your deep-seated beliefs and feelings, considering it to be your rule.
Some of the time self-statement is showed in the craving to intentionally bolster a specific thought or to make a compliment, some of the time in courteous quietness talking about difference, now and then in declining to grin at a revolting joke.
It is not always possible to voice all your thoughts, but this is not required. But what is really needed is to have your own point of view and remain natural.
Discuss this thought with the child and ask him to complete the following statements as an exercise:
Self-affirmation means to me …
If anyone told me that my wishes are important …
If I was ready to say “yes” or “no” when I want it myself …
If I were ready to voice my thoughts and opinions more often …
In the event that I let individuals hear my “internal music” …
When I hide who I really am …
Talk to your child daily about what is happening in his life. regardless of whether you are an extremely bustling individual.