Critically thinking about the choices we make is something that we have to work to develop. 

It’s important for every child’s health and safety that kids can think critically about the actions they make. 

Below are exercises to help foster the skill of critically thinking. 


These Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) exercises are meant to be a resource that helps children critically think about choices people make.  

This SEL resource can be used during a conversation with a child about hypothetical situations or when a child is in the middle of a real life situation where they made a choice that wasn’t healthy or safe. 

First: Set The Stage

During this SEL conversation with your child, it is important that the adult is calm. This will help the child not feel attacked. Also, it allows them to feel safe and comfortable having this conversation. 

Second: Critically think through some situations

Use the social-emotional learning exercises below to walk a child through practicing critically thinking for themselves. If introducing this SEL skill during real-time problem solving, then wait until there’s another quiet time to practice the hypothetical situations.

Finally: Ending the conversation

End the conversation by praising the child on their ability to critically think about situations. This helps foster their confidence in their ability to think critically and make good choices in real life.

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