Why Are Cognitive Skills Important For Children?

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Cognitive skills include the capability to think, reflect, explore, perceive, and understand. For our kids, cognitive skill set development is the growth of knowledge, understanding, and problem-solving abilities and the child’s potential to make sense of the world surrounding them and work out things by themselves. These pivotal skills help children in processing sensory information and gaining an understanding of so many new things. Cognitive skill development kicks off in the formative years of the child (Or you could call it as the early childhood, specifically the period from birth through the age of five.) In spite of the fact that cognitive skill development is dependent, to a certain degree, on the genetic makeup of the individual, it is also, to a great extent, related to the quality of learning that takes place in their initial years. A child’s thinking and learning skills can be refined with exercise and the right training. For this reason, a great deal of significance is given to the development and enhancement of cognitive skills in early childhood itself. Here is a list of some of the cognitive skills of paramount importance- Attention and response, language learning, memory, thinking, information processing, problem-solving, simple reasoning, understanding cause and effect, pattern recognition. The ever-changing pattern of development in children, from the very birth till adulthood, was a disregard for the most part of history. Interest in child development and psychology set about in the first few months of the 20th century and was inclined towards abnormal behavior. However, in 1952, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget coined the theory of cognitive development. As stated by Piaget, the environment never shapes the child’s behavior; but, children and adults actively seek to understand their environment and adapt. His theory is the most inclusive and far-reaching theory of cognitive development in children. The theory also claimed that one could acquire as much regarding a child’s mental development from his wrong answers to test questions as we can from their accurate answers. He outlines four clear-cut stages in cognitive development in children: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and formal. •The sensory-motor stage begins right from birth to continues until the age of 2, where the child learns to differentiate between himself/herself and the environment. •At the preoperational stage (age 2–7), the child needs concrete physical situations. For example, various objects are classified in simple ways according to their unique features. The child, however, remains unable to conceptualize in an abstract form.

Tips for the Guilty Working Parent

Almost all parents experience some form of guilt regarding their parenting skills and tend to wonder whether they are doing the right thing for their children. Going to work provides for a healthy break from children and also allows you to pursue your dreams and aspirations – but it also complicates matters. We always face a load of expectations, not just from work and home, but also from extended family, friends, and other commitments – no wonder we at times feel that we are falling short, and that is exactly when the guilt sets in. All of us have different methods of dealing with the guilt we feel; however, it is important to have a balanced, productive response to the inevitable guilt most working parents feel. Some tips which can help are: It is essential to understand that children only need ‘good enough’ and ‘happy’ parents and not parents who hover around them all the time. Also, there are significant positives for children who see their parents’ work, children view working parents as good role models, and this helps them foster independence at an early age. Ensure to come up with rituals or home routines that you will prioritize at any cost. Some examples are, being home for bedtime on certain nights, a movie night with the kids during weekends, or a family activity on certain days. Select your priorities with the school your child attends. As you are busy with office/work and may not be able to attend all of the school events, enquire with each child which events they feel are most important for you to attend. You can also work out a schedule with your partner, where each of you can take turns to take the children to school at least one day a week.

•At the concrete operational stage (age 7–11), the child starts to think abstractly and conceptualize things, forming logical structures that describe the child’s physical experiences. •The stage from age 11–15 years is known as the formal operational stage wherein the cognition reaches its concluding form. The child’s abstract thinking process becomes akin to that of a fully grown adult, and he or she has the potential to of deductively and hypothetically reason. Sometimes, young children may suffer from a number of developmental delays or challenges that can be easily pointed out and addressed if noticed at the right time. Therefore, it is suggested that the parents, guardians, teachers, and caretakers of the children must keenly observe and look out for any developmental issues and attempt to address them as soon as practicable. This can play a huge role in preventing the child from struggling at a later stage in life. To enhance a child’s cognitive capacity, it is vital for the parents to actively engage in quality interconnections with their son or daughter on an everyday basis, beginning early in childhood. Below are some of the ways in which parents can enthusiastically contribute towards their child’s cognitive development from the very start of his or her life: ✓Talking to your little one: You can start with this right from your pregnancy. One prime aspect of a child’s cognitive development is language acquisition. Studies have shown that children start picking up the language long before their birth. At birth, babies identify their mother’s sound and can differentiate between the mother’s language and foreign ones. ✓Helping your munchkin with learning the names of objects: Once your baby is delivered, keep on talking to him or her and sharing the names of the most commonly used items. Research has proven that having a hearty talk with babies boosts their brain power and helps them in learning their languages quickly. ✓Singing and reading to your child: Studies have also shown that music fastens the process of developing healthy skills in children, as it calms them and creates a positive environment.

Letting your children explore and observe: Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them, and they should be permitted to explore and grasp with the help of observation. Overly protective parenting styles may, in fact, be a hindrance to the child’s natural growth and learning.

✓Answering your kid’s endless questions: As your child begins to grow up and starts volleying you with questions, answer them precisely and calmly. Since children are naturally inquisitive, parents must whet their children’s curiosity, since it helps them learn and evolve.

Also read:
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