Monday, April 18, 2011

Discovering Answers for Themselves

In the role of teacher-parent, it is normal to become enthused and engaged in the process of educating your children.  If you are like me, you want to be helpful and quick to assist.  But, when helping a child develop individual thought and thinking skills, it is important to resist the impulse to become someone who supplies answers to questions instantly.  Instead, we should guide children toward discovering the answers for themselves.  We should as them what they think and encourage them to explore the reasoning behind what they say they think.  Active discussion between parent and child is important in this case.  Asking them questions and guiding them through the discovery process is a growth producing experience for them.  After a time, they may realize that they have been reflecting the thoughts of someone else rather than thinking on their own.  Answering questions too quickly when they could think for themselves is one cause of this.  They may also discover that they have few thoughts of their own because they have avoided mental exercise in the past.  Probing questions on your part work as a tool in guiding them along in the through process.  

* Encourage them to begin thinking their own thoughts now.

* Reward their mental efforts with words of praise ad encouragement.

* Acknowledge that thinking is hard work.

* Help them discover that it is also very satisfying.

Remember to let them do their thinking as much as possible.  Encouraging the exercise of thought is important in the role as teacher-parent.

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