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4 Great ways to get your child to think critically

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Edifa - published on 04/29/21

A few ideas to help you and your family discuss important subjects on a daily basis.

Deciding, formulating one’s own judgment, and taking responsible actions are all choices that a child will face during his or her time at school and in life. To help them develop their critical thinking skills, there is nothing better than deciphering an ad or something on the news with them. In this way, they will be able to put into words what they may be feeling.

Here are a few ideas that will help you and your family discuss these subjects on a daily basis and thus form your own opinions, rather than being swayed by the opinions of others, while also taking the opportunity to debate and exchange ideas.

  1. Watch a TV show or movie together 

After watching a movie with your child, you need to talk about it to get beyond “it wasn’t very good/it was good.” Asking questions such as “Did you notice that the character changed in the movie? What do you think of his or her decision? How does the movie create that feeling?” can be very interesting. 

If a child has seen a bad movie and has been shocked by certain images, it is always possible to heal the impact of evil with good, by taking the time to show them some good stories. Comments can be useful, such as “True love is not violent, it’s gentle, it’s when they respect each other.”

  1. Follow a current event together 

It is also possible to follow how a current event progresses over the course of a week, and see what the media say about it. What do they want to show? Where is the truth? Could the information have been presented differently? Compare different newspaper articles on the same topic.

  1. Analyze an advertisement

It is interesting to observe with your child how advertising brings us into the story, how it appeals to our senses (greed, sensuality, fantasy) in order to sell a product. What motivates those who made the ad (marketing, morality)? What image of women do they portray? What role is given to men? How is love presented? Happiness? Friendship? 

  1. Discussing readings 

Even if it is sometimes difficult (due to lack of time), it is good to read at least three books a week with your child and have them be a source of discussion. Why not suggest that the child grade the book and then explain why he or she gave it a good or bad grade? The little ones can explain it orally, and the older ones can put it in writing by analyzing the book at the same time. 

Bénédicte de Saint-Germain


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