We’re in the kitchen together. Cypress, my three-year-old, seems clueless as he asks if he can have some goldfish. I think to myself, it’s breakfast and this kid thinks he’s getting some cheese crackers. No way. Does he not realize it’s 7:30 a.m?
As silly as his request seems, this is the perfect opportunity to practice the third component of the T.H.I.N.K method. I is for inferences. Equipping our children with the ability to make a good guess what to expect in any given situation will prepare them for a lifetime of making good decisions and thinking critically.
In scenarios like the above, we can use this as an opportunity to get our children to start practicing making inferences. I could say, ” Hmm Cypress we just woke up, is it breakfast time?” Then ask, ” Do we eat goldfish for breakfast?”
Letting our children come to their own conclusions about how things should go in our daily routines does two things.
Number one, they start learning the patterns. This is where the T.H.I.N.K method gets really good. When we’re practicing making inferences, our little ones really do the work of connecting the dots between what is happening at any given transition.
The second thing this does is it allows them to have ownership in the flow of the day. Take my above scenario as an example. If I would have just told Cypress no that he can’t have goldfish for breakfast he would not understand why. Because he doesn’t understand why he continues to ask the question day in and day out leaving us both flustered. Children seek to understand in early development which means they ask A LOT of questions. If we can guide them to draw their own conclusions we teach them to not only answer their own questions, but they take ownership in the process and have less rebuttal in daily interactions. Less rebuttal means smoother routines for the entire family.
When scenarios ensue with your children and you find yourself asking what in the world is this kid thinking, take the opportunity to guide them in making inferences. Two things are accomplished in this aspect of the T.H.I.N.K method. Children learn to make sense of the patterns of routines and connect the dots as well as take ownership in the arriving of their own conclusions about those routine patterns. When children can make inferences and connect dots they no longer need to plague parents with incessant questioning and routines will flow more smoothly as families interact.
Take the next week to let your child’s questions or silly requests to prompt you to lead them in the process of making inferences. Remember to compound your knowledge from the first two components. SO this week practice talking to your children, hiding God’s word in their heart, and prompting them to make inferences. Give us some examples in the comments of the silly things your kid requests and how you are going to redirect them with a question.