Why critical thinking is so important for kids

I don’t normally delve into religion or politics in this blog – but, I think recent events make an excellent case for why as parents; we need to ensure that our kids learn how to think critically. And this goes for all parents of all backgrounds and not just for humanist parents.

Recently a 19 year old boy was arrested at the airport as he tried to leave to go to Syria to aid ISIL. His parents are horrified. This is not what they taught him to value.  They are upset that ISIL is brain washing kids in this way.  They make a pretty good case that – look – he’s a kid – he’s stupid – he really didn’t understand the consequences of what he was planning to do and he came under the influence of a really bad cult.

I want to provide a quote from the interview Anderson Cooper did with his parents at (http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/01/16/ac-intv-khan-durkin-isis-teen-parents.cnn) I want to draw your attention specifically to a comment made by his mother. This is not an exact quote because I left out the ums and you know, but it’s mostly correct.

When asked what she would say to other parents whose kids are watching these ISIL recruitment videos who may be unaware of the risk, she basically said,

 “Maybe the mistake we made. We were trying to protect our children. We were trying to protect our culture and our values.  But maybe that was a mistake. I would tell them to expose their children more to what is going on in the world. Help them develop critical thinking skills, to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys.”

Why is this important?  Because her son was recruited by a violent cult and she had not prepared him properly to differentiate between good religion and bad religion.  She had taught him – to protect the culture and the values of that culture in the form of their religion – and THAT’s what made him vulnerable to recruitment by the cult.

The solution – learned too late to help her son – is to be more secular. Do not insulate yourself within your community. Expose yourself and your children to different ways of thinking – so they know what’s out there and so they learn – not to believe everything they are told.

And mostly – teach them that it’s not faith that makes you a good person. It’s how you choose to act.

1 comment:

  1. Well-said. I can identify with that in my upgringing. My religious schooling taught me what to believe, and didn't teach me how to evaluate ideas.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...