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When you think of raising free thinkers with kindred hearts, what do you think about?
We are attempting this in our parenting style, raising free thinkers. As parents, we want our children to grow up and become adults who make informed decisions that are based on reason rather than authority. We want them to make real decisions on the big parts of life. One thing we work really hard on, is showing the kids there are many sides to a coin, not just the two obvious ones.
Raising Free thinkers – Reality Based
We seem to really look at reality and show the kids. We like to keep them current and up to date on politics, we talk about religions from all over the world, we discuss abuse and praise, mental health, addiction and suicide. Honestly, whatever the kids have questions about or whatever topics enter our lives, we discuss them from all sorts of angles.
A big thing we teach them is to be incredulous. We want them to grow up and question things and not be easily convinced. Together, we work at making sure they have doubts and reservations. We also teach them to trust in their skepticism. We want them to feel confident in their own instincts and want them to look deeply at the big picture.
Talking is a huge part of our life
As a family, we talk about all sorts of topics and we talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. We love when our kids ask us questions and we attempt to get them to answer their own questions. We try to guide them to reach within themselves for the answers. When we keep the conversation open and moving the kids can start to get a good grasp on how complex this world is. They can understand the vast amount of perspectives that exist in this world.
We have tried very hard to instill a love for reading. Learning to read and dissect information from books is a very important skill. Comprehending a variety of different book styles and also having the means to talk about them is a great way to encourage life long learning. When you teach good reading habits from a young age, you are also teaching your children to seek information in books and encouraging them to learn from different perspectives.
In our journey to teach independent thinking, we also find it is very important to maintain a kindred heart. In our minds this means their hearts are connected to all things and all possibilities. As they learn about all the potential thoughts around a particular subject, we are also teaching them to recognize, respect and appreciate the differences they see.
In order to learn and grow, you must be able to listen intently without judgment to others perspectives. If you are able to open your heart to another perspective you can learn a lot more than if you are combative and argumentative.
Our kids know that we are not experts and that we do not have all the right answers. They know we are human and they understand that we are giving them the best answers we can. More importantly though. they know they are free to be skeptical of our answers. We have been very honest with them from the moment they entered our lives. The only thing we require is that they are honest, respectful and kind in their learning.
We would love to hear your thoughts on raising free thinkers. Do you have any thoughts or ideas you think we should know about?
For more of our thoughts, be sure to read our post A positive parenting style changes everything.
Motherly has a great post about this. If you want, check out their post How Raising Freethinkers is helping Me Raise Humanist Kids