Every generation faces its own unique challenges. In the digital age of smartphones, social media, and artificial intelligence (AI), today’s students have to up their critical thinking game. It’s also essential that parents and teachers get aligned on how best to guide the next generation when it comes to discerning and understanding complexities.

Critical thinking is more than a modern buzzword. It is a vital component when it comes to surveying an intellectual landscape. Students need reasoning skills, an open mind, and a willingness to analyze before reaching conclusions. Deep, reflective thinking can guide any of us to make wiser, more inclusive decisions. It also allows us to attain peak performance when problem solving is required.

Possible Threats to Critical Thinking

The obvious antagonist here would be anything that limits a student’s ability to gather information. These days, that typically falls into two categories:


We live in a time when AI controls algorithms and thus can control what content we encounter. In the name of data-collecting and profit-making, individuals are herded into small groups based on what they read, watch, and search. This can be convenient at times but it also can be dangerously limiting. People have their interests and ideas reinforced without challenge.


It’s understandable to protect children from seeing content that is not appropriate for their age. But beyond that, you’d be hard-pressed to justify barring students from encountering certain viewpoints. Some may balk, mentioning disinformation risks, but that’s where critical thinking is most crucial. A lifeline commitment to thinking critically is how we avoid curtailing freedom of speech or expression.

The Role of Parents in Critical Thinking Education

The earlier critical thinking is introduced in your child’s education, the more it takes hold. Research shows that students learn better in a collaborative setting. So, start to see yourself as a critical-thinking partner with your children.

Initially, a child may take a reflexive position based on what you seem to think or want. But if you take the lessons seriously — and challenge yourself to broaden your perspectives — the environment becomes more fluid and open. It can be a delicate balancing act but you want to avoid stifling your child’s thought process and give them room to develop deep, nuanced opinions.

Thinking Critically Is Thinking Creatively

When we are comfortable creatively expressing ourselves, we are less vulnerable to groupthink and echo chambers. The artistic mindset seeks alternatives and does not blindly accept conventional wisdom. This makes it imperative to encourage your children to embrace creative pursuits as part of their overall education.

What About “Harmful” Content?

As mentioned above, there are instances when anyone under 18 should be guided away from certain content, e.g. pornography, violence, etc. But this does not give parents — or society at large — permission to censor thoughts and ideas that are unpopular. Especially, we must avoid the seductive trap of highlighting our beliefs at the expense of everything else. This is the path toward an informed individuals and populace.

Thus, to answer the question posed in this post’s title, critical thinking is a far more democratic and creative method for encouraging ensuing generations to exercise their faculties for open-minded debate and discussion. It also works as a bulwark against scare tactics and propaganda in the name of an agenda. To prepare your children for a brave new digital world, critical thinking is a non-negotiable tool.

How Do You Get Started?

There’s no shame if you discover that all of the above is far more challenging than you expected. If you find yourself getting defensive when it comes to helping your child be open-minded and discerning you can address this perspective with the help of an experienced therapist. Let’s connect and talk soon. To learn more about our approaches in training the brain’s readiness for engaging in and fostering critical thinking follow the link Liliana Sacarin – Neurofeedback – Seattle, WA

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