Mind in the Making: Skills 5 & 6

Courtney Keating, Education Coordinator

Courtney Keating, Education Coordinator

We’re continuing outlining the 7 essential life skills in our blog. This week, I will focus on skills 5 and 6, which happen to be two of my favorites!

Skill 5 – Critical Thinking:  For those of you who know me, you know I’m big on critical thinking. I have dedicated an entire workshop on activities to promote critical thinking! Critical thinkers are better able to process information. What does that mean? Well, if you can think critically, you are able to make better decisions, and be a bit less naïve. In an age where we have endless amounts of information available to us 24/7, it’s important for us to be able to sift through that information and come to a logical conclusion. Critical thinking allows us to use reason and logic to form our opinions, beliefs, and draw conclusions based upon our prior knowledge (which directly builds upon making connections!). This skill is paramount for functioning as an adult, and teaching it is really fun! Get in touch with me, and I’ll send you some fun games to play to boost critical thinking.

Skill 6 – Taking on Challenges: When was the last time you had to try at something? Like really, really try? I witnessed my daughter, a girl who was afraid of grass the previous year, recently master this skill. My daughter is four, and she really wanted to learn to ride a horse. So, my husband and I got her cute riding pants, boots, and a half hour at a barn on an adorable pony named Buddy. She was so excited; she could barely sleep the night before.  When we got to the barn, she helped brush Buddy and clean his shoes. Then, it came time to get on him. She climbed a little ladder and just stood there shaking her head. She was frozen with fear. She was not getting on that pony. After some soothing words from her trainer, ten minutes, deep breathing exercises, and reassurances from me, she let me lift her onto Buddy’s back. It didn’t take long for her to get incredibly comfortable, and she shooed me away so she could focus on her lesson. Fast forward a couple of lessons, and she’s already trotting! At any point, she could have given up and not have gotten on that pony. But, she didn’t. That single action of her getting on Buddy helped her realize that she can do so many things if she just tries. She tackled that challenge and now has an activity that is building her confidence to continue to try other things that will help her grow to be independent.

If you’ve been following the blog this month, you might be saying, “Yes, I know these things are important.” Of course you know! However, Mind in the Making isn’t about teaching you new information. It’s about helping you take the information you always thought to be correct, proving it with scientific research, and then working through how to help instill these skills in yourself and the people you are around. Mind in the Making isn’t just a teaching method; it’s a way of life. Let’s embrace it.

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