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Raising an Independent Thinker (page 2)

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Updated on Jul 17, 2009

Write

Writing practice doesn’t have to be just about putting words to paper, although it can if your child is old enough; otherwise, get her telling her own made-up tales in the ancient verbal story-telling tradition.

Mancini-Wilson suggests making up a story together, taking turns coming up with the next few sentences, instead of reading a bedtime story to your child. You could also pick three random words, and let your child write or tell you a poem about those words. Remember, poems don’t need to rhyme!

Another idea from Mancini-Wilson is to pause during a book or movie to ask your child what he would do or say to the character in the plot if he just walked into that scene. This is a fun way to get kids thinking for themselves, and you can discuss the potential outcomes if it were handled one particular way or another. “I like to think of this as a sort of dress rehearsal for real life. If kids play out various situations with characters that they have already bonded with in a book or movie, they are more likely to suggest something out of compassion instead of going with the crowd. And as a result, I have seen this play out the same way in real-life situations,” Mancini-Wilson says.

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