Cognitive Skills Development

What are cognitive skills?

Cognition can be defined as a person’s ability to act in a certain situation with the proper understanding of the problem/happenings and how the brain reacts to observe or solve the issues immediately without any delay. For improving cognition one should have skills like observing, learning, reading, understanding, recalling, logical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

These skills can be called cognitive skills, cognitive abilities or cognitive functions.

Read More – Improve Processing Speed in Children

How do these skills help kids in their early childhood days?

 Childhood is the most important phase of every individual’s life as this is the starting of mental development of the person and will help in the future. The ones who have these cognitive skills can acquire knowledge from all the sources they have and all the situations they face. If our kids do not have this cognitive abilities, then they may not be able to learn, understand, remember, read, write, think, react, pay concentration or solve problems. Cognitive abilities play an important role of learning a language for communication.

This Cognitive processing is the main function of the Brain, as it includes improving short term memory and long term memory, and this helps one to recall and recognize things, and also helps in logical thinking and reasoning as they visualize plans and solutions for taking the right decision on time.

Read on How To Build Fine Motor Skills in Children

What happens to a person in the absence of cognitive skills???

In the absence of these skills, a person cannot learn anything quickly with thoroughness and due to this, he may not lead his life in a proper way, he may not succeed in his academics, he may not be innovative, he may not be bale to apply what he learnt practically or he may be unable to solve problems in tough situations. Further, he may suffer from low confidence, he may not be able comeback in life after a great fall or failure, and he may end being negative about his life and future.

So improving these cognitive skills from childhood is one of the biggest responsibility of parents towards their children as it is a pathway to  leading their life with fulfillment.

Can we give train the children as early as 2-3 years for improving these skills?

 Definitely Yes!!!

 The important cognitive stages of Childhood development.

According to Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, a Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development, there are four stages.

  • Sensorimotor stage (Age: Birth – 2 years)
  • Preoperational stage (2-7 years)
  • Concrete operational stage (7- 11 years)
  • Formal operational stage (11+ years )

However, our Indian Vedic Heritage divides a human life into eight stages.

1st Eight – Birth – 8 years:

This is the first stage and also the most important stage where we can learn through observing the surroundings, nature, food, language, listening and primarily elders and their activities. 

Here a child is applying the skills like observing, learning, speaking, walking, imitating the activities of others and different living beings around us and also will make his choices of favourite food, person, smell, colours etc. Here the human brain learns through touching and listening where his motor skills gets developed, and also starts to learns the language(s) to communicate with others, and also telling stories by imagination and visual thinking skills where his cognitive skills gets start getting developed.

2nd Eight- 9 – 16 years:

 In this stage, a child may learn half of the skills of observing, learning, reading, thinking, imagination, language etc.

And now his brain neurons start to use their ability of memorizing and storing information and also differentiate the memories stored as short term and long term memory. In this stage, the child can train his brain how to recall the memory/learning and where to apply that, how to take a right decision on the right time (decision making skills) and also how to solve a problem by applying the analytics (problem solving skills). Our brain attunes to approach a problem with logical reasoning abilities. This is the stage where the Gross Motor Skills are completely developed.

These first two stages of life from birth to 16 years are the most important years with regards to learning and for brain development.

Read to Know How to Make your Kid Smart

How to improve cognitive skills in children?

There are many ways to enhance the cognitive skills to sharpen brain processing and improve the memory quality according to their age.

2+ years – Early stage practices to improve cognitive abilities

  •  Encourage the kids to listen to music
  • Keep their activities close to daily and practical life
  • Teach them planting and watering
  • Let your kids to ask more questions
  • Educate more about colours from nature
  • Let them understand the shapes of things from daily life
  • Engage them to create art from left over items out of waste

4 + Years – Growing stage to improve cognitive abilities

  • Make them an Early Bird
  • Introduce different taste of uncooked fruits, vegetables.
  • Make them completely occupied in playing and learning.
  • Teach them to sing aloud and concentrate on pronunciations
  • Let them learn to count from nature and daily life
  • Practice regular and sound sleep on time
  • Introduce writing and drawing with colours.

8+ years – Learning stage to improve cognitive abilities

  • Practising mental mathematics
  • Educating on staying focused
  • Practising to listen
  • Imagination and story telling
  • Differentiating reality and fiction
  • Learning to live close to Nature

12+ years – Understanding stage to improve cognitive abilities

  • Learning to organize their belongings
  • Comparing and correcting
  • Improving concentration and avoid distraction
  • Learning more language
  • Learning extra-curricular activities
  • Learning to discover the nature
  • Being truthful and honest

16+ Years – Final Stage to improve cognitive abilities

  • Should practise to react right and fast in critical situation
  • Can train oneself to face any bad situation and come out of that
  • Positive and Logical thinking
  • Fight for the Right
  • Question on What, Why and How without fail
  • Applying the learnings in practical life
  • Visualize the problem and take steps accordingly

Strength of being an Expert in Cognitive skills lies in the fact that it prepares one to lead an intellectually successful life.

Happy Parenting!!!

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