The art of thinking about thinking is something that most people do on a daily basis, according to the Child Mind Institute. It is known as metacognition. When kids participate in metacognition, there are several benefits they gain from doing so. This is because, according to Resilient Educator, metacognition helps kids to "understand how they learn best." When kids can grasp this concept and can recognize the best way to learn and study for them, they are better able to retain information. Most importantly though, the art of resilience is discovered. And learning to be resilient is something that will benefit kids not only when young but when they age as well.
Looking at tackling new tasks as a positive, rather than a negative is something that can take some time to learn to do. This is especially true for kids where so many things in their lives prove to be new consistently. And when this happens, kids can take a negative approach and shut down, thinking it is too hard to always have new things to learn. Or, they can see these opportunities as positive experiences and ways to grow. Helping kids to mature in so many aspects of their lives as a result.
Here is why thinking about thinking will benefit kids.
Thinking About Thinking Helps Kids Better Handle Frustration
Dealing with feelings of frustration is one of the biggest things that will stop kids in their tracks when it comes to learning. This is because if things become too hard and there does not appear to be an easy answer, giving up becomes the easiest thing to do. But, if kids are taught metacognition, this situation unfolds much differently.
According to Advanced Psychology, when kids are taught to think just a bit differently when it comes to how they learn, even the most frustrating scenarios become easier to tackle. This is because, through metacognition, kids determine "why they are stuck" and how they are going to "rise above" the most frustrating part of the task at hand.
When kids are able to change their mindset, they take a situation where they normally would have shut down and turn it into a positive. This positive, according to the publication, makes for a "can-do attitude." An attitude that helps kids face just about anything thrown their way with success.
Kids Are Better Able To Find Solutions To Problems
When a problem is given to kids to handle, they can choose to frame their thinking in one of two ways. They can either think problem-solving is too hard or they can use the opportunity to find a solution. Those who frame problem-solving in a positive light are using metacognition.
According to Kidpillar, having a mental "proactive statement" that automatically pops into the head that says, "How can I solve this problem?" stops any "defeatist" attitudes from ever happening. This keeps kids' brains in constant problem-solving mode.
As such, even if the first approach to solving the problem at hand fails, kids will not give up. Instead, failure is looked at as a learning experience. Kids move on and try a different approach. That is done until a solution is found. Showing that some very strong problem-solving skills have been developed, indeed.
Feelings Are Better Managed When Kids Think About Thinking
Having positive feelings about learning is related to becoming a more effective learner. Something that metacognition can teach children to do by becoming in tune with their emotional states before sitting down to attack new concepts with gusto.
According to The Global Metacognition Institute, the "emotions and moods" that kids carry have a direct impact on their ability to learn. While kids are entitled to how they feel, being able to channel their emotions positively is necessary to retain information. That can be done even if kids are just able to recognize that they have an upset demeanor. This is because it shows kids have emotional maturity.
Emotional maturity leads to a better ability to regulate emotions. And a better ability to regulate emotions leads to better learning. All of this is made possible just through the process of thinking about thinking.
Self-Esteem Is Boosted In Kids
Many kids do not realize that there are different ways to tackle problems based on how people learn. As such, when a learning style is found to be successful for kids, they gain confidence. Something that would not have been learned if told there is only a one size fits all approach to solving problems.
According to Getting Smart, when a learning style is found to work for a child, they instantly gain a boost in confidence and self-esteem. This is because recognizing that everyone processes information differently can help kids to see that there is not always just one way to find a resolution to a problem. And when this happens, according to the publication, students feel empowered to take the reins of their learning. That makes them overcome any learning weakness they may have and become better students for it.
Thinking About Thinking Helps Kids Quiet Negative Self-Talk
It is very easy to listen to the voice in the head that tells people things are too hard. That giving up is the best thing to do because the information is never going to be understood. But when that self-talk is quieted, cognitive performance increases, according MantraCare. Showing that a positive outlook truly does affect just about every aspect of life, including learning.
When kids talk to themselves positively, they have a can-do attitude that makes them want to "take on challenges" they may not have when they saw themselves in a negative light. By using metacognition, kids see learning as an opportunity to grow rather than to be frustrated. And when frustration is not a constant factor in the learning process, kids see the progress they make.
This boosts self-esteem and, in the process, shuts down negative thoughts because of the success being achieved. Something only made possible by learning to think about thinking.