Actually, children are natural philosophers. They keep asking questions and that’s a good thing. They wanted to know and learn about just everything that catches their attention.
But why should parents need to encourage their kids to learn about philosophy? Is it okay to start them early? I mean should we really teach them philosophy the way they would be encountering it in college?
Teaching philosophy to children is simple. Start by asking questions because philosophy, as what the famous ancient Greek philosopher Socrates had said, begins in wonder. It is when questions are asked that answers would be generated.
From out of such a simple act of asking questions, not by just asking one’s own self but others, could lead one to understand more about what it is he or she would like to know in particular. When you bring your kids to engage in philosophical dialogue about philosophical issues, then that’s it.
Don’t expect them to be acting like specialists in the said field but as long as their performances are in line with the rules or standard practices of the discipline, then that’s just what it is. Philosophy teaches critical thinking skills and it is best to start it early with every child. Once the child fully developed his critical thinking skills, he or she becomes a “critical thinker.”
A critical thinker is someone who knows the right thing to do, how to achieve it, and to be sensitive to the context and others involved in the situation. Failure to make our children become little philosophers may find them becoming expert at anything else, but they would be not so very good at creating a civil society.
Conclusion: Let us encourage our children to get into dialogue with other children and even to people much older than them. That is the key, the very foundation by which we’re making them philosophers in the process. All philosophies begin in wonder which eventually leads to understanding and wisdom. When we make them better thinkers, through intellectually rigorous dialogue of course, we’re making them become better citizens when they grow up.