Cognitive development is very important but not many parents are aware of what it is and why it is so vital to their children’s development.
Cognitive development is very important but not many parents are aware of what it is and why it is so vital to their children’s development. Cognitive development is the building blocks of thoughts and processes including decision-making and problem-solving as well as recognition.
This begins from the time your baby is born regardless of their inability to speak at that young age. Essentially, kiddies learn from the beginning and can form ideas before they learn language skills.
Babies always learn quickly, and they develop thinking and how to sort, gather and progress through all the things they come across in their young lives. It heralds the beginning of their intelligence, reasoning and language development as well as memory and recognition.
The history of cognitive behaviour and development
Jean Piaget was a Swiss developmental psychologist who studied children in the early 20th century. His theory of intellectual or cognitive development was originally published in 1936. The method is still used in education and psychology areas and it concentrates on children, from birth through to adolescence, showing different stages of development that include, language, morals and values, memories and reasoning/problem-solving.
Jean Piaget believed that children build their own knowledge based on their life experiences. He also said that children learned things on their own without outside influences (like parents or siblings). He believed that children are self-motivated by nature and their surroundings instead of motivated by reward systems. Not everyone believes his studies and some parents support him whereas others don’t.
Regardless of where you sit on the side of the arguments here are some more details about the stages of cognitive development:
1. Sensorimotor takes place between birth to 18–24 months old and it involves object permanence. Object permanence includes motor activity without the use of symbols and things learned are based on experiences. At this stage, kids learn that an object exists even when it is not in clear view. The understanding is existing objects and things that disappear are still obtainable.
2. Preoperational which takes place between 2 to 7 years old, involves symbolic thoughts. Symbolic thoughts include the development of language, memory, and imagination. Memory and imagination are developing at this age but as kids are young, they may struggle to understand things that are not of their own opinion. Symbolic thought and thinking are vital as it represents a child’s ability to feel emotions and care about simple objects because they symbolise something important to them.
3. Concrete operational takes place between 7 to 11 years old and it involves operational thought. Operational thought includes more logical management of symbols. It allows children to be more considerate and aware of the world around them. Kids learn to solve problems without physically encountering things in the real world.
4. Formal operational which takes place from adolescence to adulthood, involves abstract concepts. Abstract concept includes the use of symbols. People learn to use symbols to understand abstract concepts. Piaget believed that once a person reaches the formal operational stage, then it is the person’s opportunity to build on their unique knowledge and enjoy learning.
The role of parents in cognitive development is to support their learning, teach them to believe in themselves and provide guidance. Parents are vital teachers in children’s education and therefore, they must pay attention to their child’s learning and abilities.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.