How do you teach rationality to small children?
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Children do not understand the idea of rationality. They think that if they make up their own rules, or if they follow their friends, then this will make them good.

They think that if they don’t care about their teachers’ ideas, or listen to the TV programs the teacher tells them not to watch, then this will make them smart. And they are completely right!

Source: Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash 

Why do children act irrationally?

There are several reasons why children act irrationally. Children’s beliefs about the world are usually irrational. Children’s actions are not rational because there is no clear idea of what it means to be rational.

Parents do not explain rationality to children because it would be impossible for a child to understand. Children believe that irrationality is okay because they see it as part of life.

But actually, living an irrational life can be very dangerous and can lead you into all kinds of trouble later on in life! Children cannot understand the concept of personal responsibility.

In other words, a child cannot understand why someone else might choose not to do something she wants her parents to do for her!

For example: a child wants her parents to buy her a bicycle, but her parents say no. The child cannot understand why the parents would do this.

Do children understand rationality?

No, children do not understand the idea of rationality. But, if you explain the concept of rationality to them in a clear way, they will probably become rational adults.

But if you don’t explain it to them at all, then they will probably grow up and become irrational adults.

What is rationality?

Rationality is the ability to think rationally about things. It is about thinking rationally and not just doing what your friends do or what you want to believe in.

It is about thinking and not just following rules or listening to others. Rationality means thinking for ourselves, and thinking before we act!

It means that we choose how we act based on our own understanding of the situation and based on our knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work in life.

For example: “We can get into lots of trouble if we do this.” or “If I jump off this cliff, I will die.” These are not good reasons for jumping off a cliff!

Or if you hear that something will help you, but it might hurt someone else instead: “I should help this person because it will help me, but it might hurt this person.” This is not a good reason to help someone!

The idea of rationality is the opposite of irrationality. Irrationality means acting without thinking or without making decisions based on what you think.

Irrationality means doing things that are not good for you or other people. For example: taking candy from a baby, making up your own rules about what is right and wrong, telling lies, being greedy, being lazy, breaking promises, not working hard at school or work. Or if you think that you are good enough to get away with something just because you are really smart or really cool or have lots of friends.

The concept of rationality is difficult for children to understand because it involves thinking about yourself and other people instead of just doing what everyone else does.

The idea of rationality involves making decisions based on our own understanding and knowledge instead of doing things just because they are popular or what everyone else thinks.

And the idea of rationality means making choices about how we act based on our own ideas and knowledge instead of following rules and copying others.

How can we teach our children rationality?

Source: Photo by Kuanish Reymbaev on Unsplash

First, we must start teaching our children rationality from when they are very young (before they even know what rationality is).

We must also realize that the basic difference between us and our children is that they have not yet learned to use their reason, whereas we have already learned to use our reason.

They have not yet learned to use their imagination and emotions properly, whereas we have already learned to use our imagination and emotions properly. We are now in a position where we can help them become more rational than they are now.

But, we must realize what it is that they need for their development. And the first stage that they need to do is to learn how to use their reason properly (how they can think logically).

They need to learn how to use their imagination and emotions properly (how they can make decisions based on their imagination and emotions).   But how can you teach your child how to think logically? How can you teach your child how to use his reason? And what should you do if your child does not want or cannot learn how to think logically?

In order for your child to be able to understand what it means to him or her, not only using their reason but also using their imagination and emotions properly, we must first make sure that they know what a logical argument looks like.

And we must make sure that they know why this kind of argument works in order for them not to get confused when they are told to use their imagination and emotions properly. There is an example of a logical argument for small children. This argument is very simple, but the concept of logic is very difficult for small children.

Imagine that you are playing with your favourite toy. You find it in the toy box, and you want to take it out and play with it. But your mother comes in and says, “No! You can’t take that out of the toy box.” So you look at her and ask, “Why not?”

Ask your child what would happen if they disobeyed their mother’s orders. What would happen if we said, “No, I’m not going to play with my toy.”? They should say that we would be unhappy, and we would not like it when our mother says no.

So, in order for them to learn how to think logically, we must show them that obeying their mother’s orders will make them happy and that disobeying their mother’s orders will make them unhappy. 

To teach rationality to small children, it is best to start with simple key concepts. These simple concepts should be reinforced regularly and regularly reinforced, until the child has internalized them. Give children task-based scenarios that require making good decisions in an environment that allows them to act rationally. 

Start learning more about development stages, how to improve your loved one’s cognitive skills, and brain power on Mindfulparent blog. Browse now!