Children Should be Taught How to Think not What to Think:  The role of Parents

“Children should be taught how to think not what to think” this famous quote by Margaret Mead needs to be made into practice for creating innovative minded Children.

As parents we won’t be with them when they face that world, so the most important 21st-century skill we can teach our students is how to think for themselves. A child’s mind is tabula rasa ( Blank slate) where experiences , learning , knowledge will be written on it to grow up and adapt to the environment in harmony. This as a slate should not be used to program them like robots to specify the operations on what to do, what not to do or what to think  and what not to think ,rather they should be imbibed with a mechanism which enhances“ how to think “ . Teaching children to believe blindly in alleged truths without questioning them, teaching them what to think, means stealing one of their most important skills: the decision-making ability. Logical thinking, critical thinking and reasoning are the skills that need to be developed in children from their young age, kindle the curiosity of the children and enable them to think on their own from various dimensions. This will enable them to face and handle any situations in their life.

Decision making is one of the most important skills your children, teenagers in particular need to develop to become mature adults. It is crucial because the decisions your children make dictate the path that their lives take. Teaching your children to make their own decisions has several benefits. When they make a good decision, they can gain the greatest amount of satisfaction and fulfillment because they chose it and when they make bad ones, they may suffer for it, but they can learn from the experience and make better decisions in the future.


Overprotective parenting has become a lifestyle for many families. Overprotecting your Children can be as detrimental as not protecting them enough. It might seem safer for your Children to spend all their time in supervised, structured activities, constantly observed by qualified, caring adults. But in this 21st Century researchers are discovering that Children, teenagers in particular need more than supervised exercise: they need freedom. They need to organize their own activities and not just follow adult direction. They need to solve their own problems, negotiate the social world of other children, and regulate their own actions without adult interference in order to learn and grow. These things can’t be prevented, no matter how much you hover near your child on the monkey bars, at some point they are going to take a fall. You need to be understanding instead of ordering, have patience instead of over confidence, don’t always try to play a decisive role rather an active and supportive role. Don’t in anyway compare your child with others, as your child is yours and others have their own. We are to hatch the egg not smash it

As Parents you can encourage your children to work toward developing a level of self-understanding, which is a powerful influence on human behavior and is a crucial component in children reaching their full potential. Set time aside to talk with them and be fully present, children need to feel they are being listened to, provide the opportunity for them to become involved in activities they enjoy, allow them to have a voice in the activities they engage in, in order to encourage their individuality and to develop their own interests and passions. Help children set goals, and celebrate when they reach them. If reaching their goal takes longer than expected, keep encouraging them. If plans need to be renegotiated, let them know it is OK in order to enhance their self-confidence. Always encourage them to do their best and be proud of them for doing so. If they receive an A or a C in school, be proud of them for the effort they give. Despite the circumstances, let children know they deserve to be loved and accepted.

Therefore I urge every parent to listen closely and carefully to what your child is saying, don’t interrupt the child with your own interpretations.  Rather, reiterate what they are seeing and experiencing. Be flexible and ready to change your agenda to accommodate growing interests because our job as parents isn’t just to protect our Children, It’s also to prepare them for life.


Encouraging discipline doesn’t mean stifling a child’s free will. Children need to be able to have opinions and to express their individuality, all human beings, Children in particular, have a basic need for potency, a sense of control over their environment, and an affirmation of their significance. We can’t wait until they’re adults to start practicing; they need to start now to learn the skills they’ll need to thrive and succeed by  thinking  for themselves and drawing  their own conclusions.  Teaching children how to express themselves is one of the most important life skills you can give them. As Katy Perry so rightly says, “Be yourself and you can be anything.” When kids feel comfortable expressing who they are, they can make their dreams come true!






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