It is never too early to teach rhetoric & critical thinking. Kids think tricks are funny on TV. They understand the whole concept of tricking and manipulating.
Before you think that this is all too grown up for your kids, let me tell you little story.
My daughter Athena is a girl who knows what she wants. This has always been true. When she was two, this naturally involved wanting toys. There was someone else in her life who would try to trick her into buying different toy… probably because it was cheaper or “a deal.” She (this other person) would put on a great show (browse “emotive force”) about how wonderful this other toy was and try to get Athena to change her mind.
I didn’t want to raise my kid to be trickable. I was raising her to accept “NO” if I wasn’t buying what she wanted, but I wasn’t raising her to be malleable and passive. So I gave Athena the scoop and taught her to say “Please don’t try to manipulate me.”
Now, all these years later, I am thinking of how awesome it would have been to have taught her “Please don’t try to manipulate me. I won’t be swayed by the emotive force of your words!” It is never too early to teach critical thinking! Kids think tricks are funny on TV. They understand the whole concept of tricking and manipulating.
We explore rhetoric, or the Art of Persuasion through 3 proofs: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos. The art of persuasion is not a bad thing! On this site you can learn about this art and also learn how to deconstruct messages, so as not to be tricked by the emotive force of the words of others. (Rhetoric… it’s a two-way street.)
We are happy to share an ever-growing list of rhetoric resources on this site.
Why not brag about your little critical thinkers on our Facebook page?
Recommended link: How to Teach a Child to Argue
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