Have you or your child ever made errors in decisions that other people wouldn’t make?
That is when you are lacking what is called “common sense – a sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts”.
In another way, it is a form of practical decision-making and the ability to realize the consequences for every action you take.
Having common sense will prevent you from making mistakes and help to make the right choices in your life.
How many times have you heard the phrase: “Do you have any common sense?”. To be frank, common sense is something that even adults are short of regularly, let alone children.
That is the reason why common sense should be developed over time, the sooner your child learns to have common sense, the better the person he becomes in the future.
Along with good behaviors, teaching common sense is also considered to be a challenging task for every parent to embark on.
Are parents still having a vague idea about how to teach your child common sense? Let’s find out some helpful guides in our article below
1. Understand where common sense comes from
According to Quora, common sense derives from elements such as experience, applied knowledge or intuition.
However, a child could not acquire a wealth of knowledge or undergo enough experience at such a young age.
Therefore, what your child already has when he was born is intuition or awareness.
Some people are born with natural awareness while most people are not.
On the other hand, whether common sense is something we are born with or it can be taught is still controversial. Refer to Physician’s Weekly to understand their opinion on this matter.
Don’t worry if your child was not born with common sense, because it should be developed over time.
And parents are recommended to teach their children common sense at an early age.
Throughout a sequence of actions that a child took part in, it will lead to the perception of everything happening around him.
Parents will play a pivotal in helping children to understand the consequences of their actions, or navigate them to think and to act in the most suitable way.
Common sense also comes from our daily activities such as looking both ways before crossing the road, or not to touch the kettle after boiling water and so on.
Those activities seem to be very “common” to us as adults, but children hardly know how to react if they come across the same situation.
Therefore, understanding the basis of common sense will facilitate parents in teaching their children to develop it.
What parents have to do next is to guide your children to some specific skills that they need to gain in order to have common sense.
Below are some tips to make the process of teaching at ease
2. Let them make their own choice
The purpose of this is to build confidence in your children when they have to make a decision.
It is a natural instinct that parents tend to protect their children, make them stay away from troubles or decide anything that does their best.
However your child can be over-protected through time, and as their world widens when they enter school, it will be more difficult for children to make decisions on their own.
Instead of shielding your children from as many pitfalls as you want, starting with small, simple steps will boost their responsibility as well as independence.
For example, your children are allowed to pondering and deciding whether they want what kind of cereal to eat in the morning, or choosing between 2 dresses to wear to school.
Basic questions such as Banana or Grape? Chocolate or Vanilla? Car or Plane?… can be very effective when it comes to triggering your children to think before making any final decision.
Parents should also encourage children to weigh between the pros and cons before any important decision is made.
Children need to fully understand the effect of their decisions by explaining the reason why they chose this option instead of the other.
Parents can help them answer this question by initiating open conversations about their choice.
Don’t be too stiff, or else children would think that they are criticized and judged by parents.
After having those necessary conversations, help them make their final choice by evaluating both negative and positive outcomes that are expected to happen and guide them to make the best of their choices.
Another way that could make it easier for children to decide is narrowing down the number of options.
Children may get overwhelmed when you hand her a wide range of options because they will not want to reject so many things.
For example, make your children choose among 15 types of ice cream flavor and it may take them forever to decide which one they want.
Accordingly, limit those choices to a few and help your child pick.
Children need time to excel at decision making and parents should help them to practice so that they can become wiser and smarter at choosing the optimal option in the future.
It is suggested that parents tell children to learn the different levels of decisions so that children will not consider it a big deal when making small decisions in daily life.
Parents should remind their children that small decisions such as deciding which food they want for breakfast should be made quickly, and more essential decisions such as choosing what subjects to learn at school should take more time and effort.
Remember that children may have some arbitrary decisions at first, but it is not a big deal at all as long as it is not a matter of health or safety.
Allowing children to make poor decisions will help them to learn from mistakes and think carefully before deciding thereafter.
Failure is a stepping stone to future success, your children should be exposed to mistakes and have the opportunities to try again.
For more information on how to help your child make wiser decisions, check out this article from All Pro Dad.
3. Teaching your child to reflect
In today’s fast-paced world, the “reflection” phase is usually ignored by most people.
Apart from listening, comprehension and reflection are one of the most effective ways to empower children as brilliant thinkers.
It also allows them to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills, because not only do they learn from doing, but they also learn from thinking about what they do.
Parents can help children to rethink or contemplate what is being said.
They need to know about how one thing they said or did can have an impact on others so that they can rearrange their life in a way that makes sense.
Parents can refer to The Ot Toolbox’s article on some Self-reflection Activities for Kids.
For school children, here are 3 ways to promote reflection, conducted by Kids Discover.
4. Make children become more observant of their surroundings
Parents can do this by simply practicing with their children. It can be by looking, listening and staying aware of your surroundings all the time.
Children should be encouraged to pay more attention to people’s reactions to specific actions.
For example, by watching parents’ facial expressions, children should understand what that means and the reasons why you reacted like that.
By being a great observer, children will develop their common sense and behave nicely.
They will understand that it is disruptive to run around, scream or cry continuously while inside establishments.
It is a difficult task to force your children to pay attention to tiny little things since they are sometimes lack of concentration.
However, observing skills could be taught over the course of time. Parents just need to be patient and show them the right way to focus on other people’s reactions.
Children are like sponges, they absorb nearly everything they see and hear. As a result, they can comprehend a large amount of knowledge even at a young age.
Therefore, once your children are deeply focusing, instilling those crucial skills into their minds is not a big deal after all.
For more information, here is the method on How to Observe a Person: Things to Look For.
Overall, parents often want their children to be reliable, confident and intelligent individuals.
Developing common sense is considered one of the essential ways to help your children succeed and become better.
Because children grow at different rates, parents should also need to adapt and customize, as well as implement suitable methods to teach your child common sense.
Along with lessons and theoretical knowledge, remember that “Practice makes perfect”.
Parents are also advised to practice with your child to set a good example of using common sense in real life.
Although some people already have natural awareness, most of them are taught thoroughly and carefully over time to develop common sense.
The key takeaway for parents is to be patient, have a well-prepared plan, put more time and effort to invest in your child’s development and the outcomes would come as expected.