Why do some children seem to have better ideas than others?
‘Thinking’ and its types is a topic that has interested psychologists and doctors for many years.
This has lead to a lot of research and experiments on this subject.
What exactly makes children ‘CRITICAL THINKERS’?
What kind of thinker is your child?
How can you make your child become an Critical Thinker?
These are questions that are being asked and some answers have been found.
- Convergent thinking is when a person uses a fixed path or the logical sequence to accomplish a task or solve a problem.
- It is a rather ONE-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH which relies on knowledge or evaluative reasoning alone.
- It is this type of thinking that is required for traditional IQ tests.
- On the other hand divergent thinking is when a person uses ORIGINALITY AND CREATIVITY in his thinking.
- The thinker does not necessarily feel that there is only one fixed solution to a problem or only one approach to a task and creativity is used to think ‘out of the box’ and come up with multiple solutions or a unique new way of doing something.
- Divergent thinking is usually associated with spontaneity and speed.
- It is a MULTI-DIMENSIONAL APPROACH.
What makes good thinkers?
People with a unique approach or creative problem solvers, are a combination of both types of thinking.
Coming up with unique or original ideas and seeing them through a logical or sequential pattern is an example of a positive blend of the 2 types of thinking.
Convergent style of thinking is encouraged and honed by the conventional education systems.
However, divergent thinking needs to be cultivated and encouraged from a young age.
This percentage kept decreasing as the researchers studied the children as they grew older.
This shows that INFANTS AND PRESCHOOLERS do indeed, have DIVERGENT THINKING and this thinking should not be ignored and instead cultivated as it will help them in their adult lives.
This kind of early learning must be encouraged by parents.
As a parent, how can you encourage divergent thinking in your child?
- One of the best ways to encourage divergent thinking in your child is to expose him/her to puzzles. They not only help develop divergent thinking, but also help build self-esteem.
WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO
Clinical psychologist, Dr.Niranjan Reddy shares his views on this:
- Give your child lot of props and ask him to tell stories using these props.
Give him some small bowls, a pillow, a spoon and some blocks. Ask him to tell a story using these.
You will be surprised with what he can come up with!
3.BUILD LOGICAL THINKING:
- By the age of 3, your child will start connecting things logically.
- That is, he’ll understand things like: You need to eat to grow, Mommy and Daddy go to office to work etc.
- He starts to put 2-and-2-together.
What should you do?
Child:Look ma! Leaves are falling from the tree.
You: Ya, because it’s windy.
<end of topic>
THIS IS SO WRONG!
You should always keep asking questions to develop your child’s DIVERGENT THINKING.
Child: Look ma! Leaves are falling from the tree.
You: Why do you think they are falling?
Child: (Smiles) I don’t know.
You: Do you think it’s because of the wind?
Child: Yes! It’s the wind.
You: Why are only few leaves falling? Why not all?
<Keep this topic going for as long as you can>
- Encourage the child’s questions and curiosity.
- Children’s imagination is one of their best qualities. Let it run wild. Remember that they do not need a “reality check” at such a young age.
- You can have fun in the kitchen by trying to ask your child to make a whole new recipe with something that he eats every day.
- This shows them how to experiment and gives them new perspective on an everyday object or ingredient.
Rice with cheese spread and ketchup, anyone?
- A fun car game could also encourage divergent thinking.
Ask your child a question such as:
“What would happen if all the cars suddenly turned into loaves of bread?”
“How many uses of a spoon can you come up with?”
WHAT SHOULD YOU BUY FOR YOUR CHILD TO DEVELOP THINKING?
For a 2-5 year old child, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to TRAIN HIS THINKING.
Here is a list of things that you can get your child:
1. UNIQUE BOOKS: Lift-the-flap books, peek-a-boo books, water books, slide books etc.
2. WORKSHEETS: Joining the dots, mazes etc.
3. FLASH CARDS: Perfect way to develop thinking!
4. JIGSAW PUZZLES: Builds pattern and shape recognition.
So what are you waiting for? Go on, LET YOUR CHILD EXPLORE!