Another possible strong point of cognitive flexibility can be that it assists your child to collaborate and get along well with his friends. Thinking flexibly helps children to switch between options and come up with new ideas and thus, gaining control over negative feelings caused by sudden changes in the predefined plan such as disappointments, sadness, anger, hatred and to change their expectations and deal with unexpected plan.
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For example, if your children have a plan to go out for a picnic in the forest with other kids, one friend may show up late due to his family’ issues and make the entire plan to be cancelled. What to do to save the day? A flexible thinker can quickly adjust to the situation and not be angry with that friend while thinking of another awesome plan for the group such as to go to the nearby entertainment park and play amusing games or go home and arrange a party there.
Another example of the advantage of cognitive flexibility can be shown in doing teamwork. Your kids can meet some different or opposing opinions against him from his team members, if he can think flexibly, he can accept that others can be right and he can be wrong and switch his opinion toward the common goal of completing the task, avoiding argument and conflicts in the team. Thanks to cognitive flexibility, children can be excellent at working with others, maintaining good relationship with friends and living happily with others.
Activities for nurturing cognitive flexibility for kids
Because cognitive flexibility is so important for kids that parents and school activists should arrange interesting activities to stimulate kids to master this skill both inside and outside of the classroom. Skidos would like to suggest some activities for nurturing cognitive flexibility for children from an early age.
#1 Try new things out often
Parents can suggest your children to have an open mind and to try new things always. You and your kids can do something that you all have never done before. For example, together you and your kids to try exotic food, play new sports, listen to new kinds of music or try to play a different, not your favourite games. It is an effective way to encourage your kids to be flexible and thus, boost up your kids’ cognitive flexibility.
#2 Change some plans suddenly
Plan and routine are definitely beneficial for kids but life is always unexpected and full of surprises, it is better that you take chances to teach your kids to embrace unplanned events that life may throw their way. When there is a sudden change in the flow of a moment or a day, parents should act calm, deal with negative feelings and actively welcome the change to model kids to follow.