Common Sense

Photo Jan 17 12 02 17 PMOne of the most common complains of adults working with younger generations is the lack of common sense. This is something that we take for granted until we come across or have to work with someone that lacks it. And yet is imperative to human survival. Having common sense makes life easier and makes you a better rounded more functional adult. It’s also an important tool to excel in for any endeavor.

Teaching this to our kids is not difficult. It just takes a bit more thought. Using everyday occurrences you can teach a child to work through possibilities before choosing an action. Critical thinking will come into play when you don’t provide them with an answer right away. A child may approach you with a problem like “Mom, the book bag is too high and I can’t reach it”. Yes, the easiest thing would be for you to grab it for them and hand it over but instead, propose to them what they could do for themselves, without your help, to reach the book bag. At the beginning some coaching might be required. Guiding them along with a few easy options that they could have potentially organically thought about and letting them choose. If they have difficulty choosing, help them think through what the outcome of using each option would look like. Using our out of reach book bag example, you could suggest getting a foot stool and then ask them what the outcome of getting a foot stool would be. Or just trying to reach it with their hand instead of assuming that it cannot be reached. Take them through a few options for retrieval and get them to work the scenarios in their head, creating a cause and effect.

Also, letting them physically work the whole scenario through is a helpful tool, even if it wouldn’t be your more experienced choice. They will get a firsthand look at what their choice entails and how effective it was. Sometimes they might have to try a few plans before actually reaching their goal. This might not be possible or productive in every situation. Say if the goal is to eat their vegetables and the child hates vegetables, they may not be very excited about trying their hardest to accomplish their goal, so pick and choose carefully, keeping in mind that the more they want something, the more effective the lesson will be. Just don’t give up as this will be a great tool for creating an independent child.

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