Children should be encouraged to think independently

Children should be encouraged to think independently


Independent thinking is the practice of forming an opinion through one’s own observation and experiences rather than relying on the word of others. The ability to trust one’s own judgements, acting according to one’s beliefs despite mistakes or flaws make it a part of independent thinking.

An individual’s formative years play a key role in shaping up independent thinking. Since childhood is one of the most critical and essential time of life, fostering independent thinking can go a long way in making them better individuals in life. We are at our creative best, energetically superior and raw at this point of time, hence encouraging to think on one’s feet or nurture habits which ingrain a sense of self sufficiency can lead to lesser problems while growing up.

Why is it essential?

A number of reasons make it absolutely essential that children should be encouraged to think independently.

Advancements in science or medicine have been possible because of some children who dared not to be followers. In fact, it is important to introduce independent thinking in ealy childhood for developing and strengthening the mind. Innovation is the result of independent thinking and without the same, we would be a part of Dark Ages.

Unfortunately, some parents end up shaping up their children’s minds the way they want. If parents are of the view that memorizing a set of questions are vital to do well in examinations, then the same is enforced upon a child without realizing that those answers cannot help children face questions that do not come with ready solutions.
Fostering independent thinking skills in children by parents can be done by allowing them to do something new which would take their minds into creative thought process without fears of being wrong or different.

The pedagogy followed in school is “teach to test” that judges a student on the basis of failure or success. However, creativity needs to be put as a benchmark as independent thinking have been the main ingredients behind innovation.

A number of ways can be followed at home in order to improve independent thinking ability of children. Firstly, they must be encouraged to talk in a descriptive manner i.e how they feel about doing that activity or what they feel about a colour. Secondly, they must be taught how to pay attention i.e acquire listening skills so that he would respect varied viewpoints in life. Besides this, parents can ask children to solve their own problems instead of spoon feeding every time.

Lastly, children must be encouraged to write. Putting words to paper for story or drawing something out of imagination can go a long way in improving their creative ability.

It is ideal if independent thinking is encouraged since childhood else children are likely to fall prey to some unwarranted elements that may lead them into destructive ideologies.

Parents must demonstrate flexibility towards children as they must not unnecessarily pressurize them and understand their limitations. Another manner in which their independent thinking can be encouraged is by asking for ideas in order to make plans. The creativity and enthusiasm of children is unparalleled and hence it can quickly translate into good planning along with providing impetus to their creative thinking.

The simplest of tasks such as cleaning study table, doing laundry, tying shoelaces or doing homework on own without parents' help are common and important responsibilities for a child.

Another huge advantage of independent thinking is that it helps children to learn and master many skills that are needed before they leave home for higher studies. Independent thinking skills also opens up a repository of information and knowledge.

However, everything has pros and cons and encouraging children to think independently too early can have its own flipside. Some of these independent people may find it tough to work in a group or a team. Since the individuals turn out to be far more efficient and somewhat superior, a sense of arrogance with respect to their own self and a feeling of denigration towards others are possible. However, barring a few of these negatives, encouraging independent thinking is far more likely to produce quality individuals who can make a huge difference in the mundane scheme of things.


It is said that “beginning well is half the work done”. This can be best demonstrated with respect to encouraging independent thinking from childhood. Children’s minds are filled with tremendous energy and if the energy is channelized in a constructive manner through nurturing, it would result in producing individuals with better capability along with higher mental toughness. The future of this world rests in the hands of generations who are growing up and everyone from parents; teachers as well as other individuals have a key role to play in ensuring that the children develop proper independent thinking to make a difference.
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  • RE: Children should be encouraged to think independently -niveditha (04/19/16)
  • Fredrick in his words "it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men" expressed that strength should be inundated from childhood itself