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. Cognitive skills include the ability to listen, read, understand, analyse, relate, remember, and therfore be able to create or have a personal 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 through to adult stage. Just like everything else, brain too takes time to learn, 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 below 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 and explore everything and anything. They like to grab things and put them right into their mouths! This is where they start to develop habits and begin to get aware of themselves and their immediate surroundings.

Ages 2 to 7

Here, children learn to speak and understand words, images, gestures and so on. Hence, they love role playing or play pretend which helps them gain experience. When they are 3 – 4 years old, their reasoning starts to develop and this is when they ask with tons of questions which helps them gain knowledge.

Ages 7 to 11

By this stage, ‘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 and thoughts. It is at this stage that the child becomes more self-aware. He / she starts accepting that others can also have a point of view which might be different from theirs.

Ages 11 onwards

At this stage, children begin to understand abstract concepts like success, failure, love, hate, compassion etc. They start making assumptions and are also capable of philosophical 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.

To check out our blog on: Why Listening to your child is important click here

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