There are times when we as adults consider decisions or paths that we may think of as minor, yet our children see them as major life issues.

This is the birth of critical thinking – a vital part of a child’s development.

What exactly is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is defined as “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.” A tall order for a small child.

However, it creates wonderful opportunities for children and allows them to learn, explore, and solve problems.  When a child is given the opportunity to investigate a matter, it allows them to develop their abilities.

Our responsibility as parents and teachers.

As parents, we can help our children to build their critical thinking abilities.  Solving problems for them, instead of allowing them to develop creative ideas for themselves, puts them at a disadvantage.

We may find that our children need different windows of opportunity to find their own balance for critical thinking –with much of this dependent on their age and level of understanding.

For instance, a Grade 2 child may experience pressure to join her friends in teasing another child; will she give in to the peer pressure or decide not to follow their bad behaviour? A pre-schooler, on the other hand, may face challenges when he wants to build sand castles that continuously fall down.

The book “Mind in the Making” by author Ellen Galinsky, rates critical thinking as an essential life skill for children.

We as adults should not rush them to come to a decision. Rather let them draw conclusions and make decisions in their own time.  By doing this, we are helping them instead of holding them back, and allowing them to buture this life skill.

At Waldorf, we believe that helping a child to learn critical thinking is empowering them to cope with the challenges that they will face later in life.

We work hard to help children develop these essential skills.  Please contact us and find out how we can help your child.

Angelique Laaks