The Importance of Independent Thinking in Child Development

Picture your children navigating through situations that do not have pre-made solutions. Independent thinking is a necessary skill that can help children navigate these situations. 


Independent thinking is the ability to make sense of the world around you. It involves considering a variety of perspectives and finding flaws in arguments. It also means defending your beliefs, even if others disagree.

Children develop self-awareness at incredibly early ages. They can recognize themselves in mirrors, reference themselves by name, and express self-conscious emotions. Children with strong self-awareness can better understand their behavior and how it affects others, manage their emotions, make healthy choices, and engage in responsible social behaviors.

Parents can encourage self-awareness by creating a safe space for their kids to try on new ideas and identities. They can also help their kids navigate social situations responsibly by modeling these skills. As a parent, it’s crucial to exercise patience and allow your children to solve problems independently, even if it takes them longer than expected.


To encourage independent thinking in your child, you must teach them that achieving goals takes time and discipline. Whether learning to play a new instrument, trying new food, or getting into college, they must push themselves past their comfort zone, even when it feels daunting.

In today’s world, being a self-disciplined thinker is crucial. It is important to teach kids that when faced with a difficult task, they can overcome it by controlling their emotions and disciplining themselves.

Developing independent thinking also means teaching children to be open-minded and receptive to different worldviews, cultures, and experiences. One way to broaden children’s horizons is to encourage them to play with kids from diverse backgrounds or to expose them to different cultures through travel. Teaching children to be receptive to differing viewpoints will help them grow into independent thinkers who can solve problems with creativity.


Creative thought is a necessary part of the learning process. Children who think creatively often surprise their parents and teachers with a non-conforming or unpredictable response to a question. Adults need to let a child go through their creative process without interrupting them with simple answers or solutions.

Encouraging children to explore their creativity at home and in school is crucial. Creativity is a great way for kids to build self-esteem and confidence. Giving them opportunities at home or in a classroom setting to make independent choices will help them build their decision-making skills. Individuals understand that it is permissible to try again in the future should things not go as planned. It will also teach them they should not give up on an idea because it hasn’t worked the first time. This is a very valuable lesson for life. Children who are independent thinkers make the right life choices and stay away from nasty temptations.

Critical Thinking

Children must learn how to think critically. This is because it enables individuals to resolve issues on their own and shields them from harmful relationships in the future. Independent thinking skills are learned through inference. As educators, it is important to teach children how to become self-sufficient instead of providing them with all the answers.

Research has emphasized the importance of teaching students to become independent thinkers, and there is extensive literature on critical thinking and education. However, definitions of critical thinking differ widely, as do conceptions of the process. “critical thinking” encompasses a wide range of abilities, attitudes, and habits that contribute causally to careful thinking directed toward a goal.

Cognitive scientists agree that one must have a knowledge base to think critically. This is why it is important to start teaching kids to think for themselves early — even as young as toddlers. Giving them responsibilities and opportunities to make decisions will help them develop these skills, including picking out their clothes, choosing what to have for breakfast, or selecting art projects.