Cognitive skills in children -It’s ‘what’ and ‘when’

Cognitive skills in children -It’s ‘what’ and ‘when’

What is cognitive skill?

Well, apart from the physical differences, what makes us human, has much to do with advanced cognitive skills. The skills to listen, read, understand, analyse, relate, remember, and based on all this to be able to create or have a point of view. In a nutshell, cognition is all about our brain in action.

When do children develop cognitive skills?

Cognitive skill development is a gradual process that transpires right from the birth. Just like everything else, brain too takes time to learn and relate and yes, practice makes cognition flourish! According to Jean Piaget, a renowned theorist, there are 4 stages of cognition, which may vary from child to child. To give you the gist here are the 4 stages:

Ages 0 to 2: At this stage, children explore their five senses i.e. see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Therefore, you see them eager to touch everything and anything, grabbing it and putting right into their mouths. This is where they start to develop habits and begin to get aware of themselves and their surroundings.

Ages 2 to 7: Here, children learn to speak and understand words, images, gestures etc. Hence, they love role playing or play pretend which helps them gain experience. By ages 3 – 4 onwards, their reasoning develops and this is when they are loaded with tons of questions which helps them gain knowledge.

Ages 7 to 11: By this age ‘logic’ becomes clearer. A child’s brain begins to sort and rearrange information and starts building concrete mental structures. He / She starts applying these in conversations, actions, thoughts. It is at this stage that the child becomes self-aware. He / She starts accepting that others can also have a point of view which can be different from theirs.

Ages 11 onwards: At this age, children begin to understand abstract concepts like success, failure, love, hate, compassion etc. They start making assumptions and do philosophic thinking.

So, now that you have an idea of what and when cognitive skills develop in children, stay tuned for the next blog on ways of improving cognitive skills in your child.

Check out the blog on: Why Listening to your child is important click here

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