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The Mind of a Child
Before the 20th-century, children were generally thought of as dumb or poorly formed. They did not know how to educate children or how to develop them well until people like Piaget, Erikson, Harlow, Bowlby, and Ainsworth, amongst others, transformed the way we think about children. Developmental psychology researchers have long known that children aren’t merely mini-adults – their minds and brains work in fundamentally different ways. Exploring those differences can help us understand how kids think and behave and can provide insights into how the mind and brain develop and change over time.
Here are some of the latest researches involving children;
Proposed Stages of Cognitive Development in Children
Cognitive development means how children think, explore, and figure things out. It is the development of knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and dispositions, which help children to think about and understand the world around them. Progressions between stages are driven by needs to balance assimilation and accommodation. Conformity to them is taking the world and bringing it into your point of view, while accommodation is them taking your world and changing it.
Children experience the world through actions, representing things with words, thinking logically, and using reasoning. Cognitive development is how children perceive, feel, and gain an understanding of their world through the relations of genetic and learning factors.
There are four stages to cognitive development information development, reasoning, intelligence, language, and memory.
These stages start when the baby is about 18 months old, they play with toys, listen to their parents speak, and they watch TV, anything that catches their attention helps build their cognitive development. Children construct an understanding of the world around them, experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment, and then adjust their ideas accordingly.
Stage One: The Sensor Motor Learning Stage
The sensor motor learning stage [takes place from birth to 2years old]; within this stage, children use this system of learning, which is a phrase like; ‘I see the world; I interact with the world and learn from things around me.’
Learning at this stage in life happens through experience –a beautiful and fun thing to watch.
The sensor motor stage is the first stage of your child’s life, according to Jean Piaget’s theory of child development. It begins at birth and lasts through age 2.
- During this period, your little one learns about the world by using their senses to interact with their surroundings. They touch things, lick them, bang them together, and put them into their mouths. They also begin to develop excellent motor stage. Children use their personal experience to build their knowledge about the world.
- Children can learn on their own, even when they aren’t taught or influenced by other children or adults.
- Children have an internal motivation to learn, so rewards for learning generally aren’t necessary.
Your baby will begin to make specific movements for their enjoyment. If they make a particular sound or movement without meaning to and enjoy how it feels, they’ll try it again and again.
Behaviours common to this stage include thumb-sucking, kicking, smiling (intentionally this time!), and cooing. We know you’re sleep deprived — but enjoy these adorable milestones.
Stage Two: Pre-operational Stage
Preoperational scene [from age 2-7years old]; the preoperational step is the second stage. This stage begins around age two and lasts until approximately age seven. During this period, children are thinking at a symbolic level but are not yet using cognitive operations.
The child’s thinking during this stage is pre (before) operations. This means the child cannot use logic or transform, combine or separate ideas
The child’s development consists of building experiences about the world through adaptation and working towards the (concrete) stage when it can use logical thought. During the end of this stage, children can mentally represent events and objects (the semiotic function) and engage in symbolic play.
Preoperational children can generally count the blocks in each row and tell you the number contained in each. However, if you ask which row has more, they will likely say that it is the one that makes the long line because they cannot simultaneously focus on both the length and the number. This inability to decenter contributes to the preoperational child’s egocentric
Stage Three: Concrete Operational
Concrete operational [age 7-10]; the real operational step is the third stage. This period spans the time of middle childhood—it begins around age seven and continues until approximately age 10—and is characterized by the development of logical thought. Thinking still tends to be very concrete; children become much more coherent and sophisticated in their thinking during this stage of development.
Children in the concrete operational stage were reasonably good at the use of inductive logic (inductive reasoning). Inductive logic involves going from a specific experience to a general principle.
An example of inductive logic would be noticing that every time you are around a cat, you have itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a swollen throat. You might then reason from that experience that you are allergic to cat
On the other hand, children at this age have difficulty using deductive logic, which involves using a general principle to determine the outcome of a specific event. For example, a child might learn that a=b, and b=c, but might still struggle to understand that a=c.
While this is an essential stage in and of itself, it also serves as a critical transition between earlier stages of development and the subsequent scene where kids will learn how to think more abstractly and hypothetically.
Kids at this age become more logical about concrete and specific things, but they still struggle with abstract ideas.
So now we have established the stages of development that children go through before the age of 10. So let’s see why it’s important to groom them early.
Importance of Early Grooming
upbringing and grooming of children take the effects of nature, environment, situation, observation, education, and the following of others. Parental impact on the childhood of the child is undeniable and the most important.
If ethical, moral conduct and honesty are taught right from the beginning, their impact remains over the long haul; however, the effect is carried into adolescence. The early age period of children should be exploited to get better results and moulding them to become better adults. Their thinking pattern should be made on productive and positive lives to instill ethical and positive habits in them.
Children get used to those things to which they were tuned to in their childhood. It is rather challenging to give up and change those habits which have been instilled at an early age.
Childhood is the most essential and critical stage of a person’s development, and it is also the stage where children are active and are very eager to learn.
Every great Nation today can boast of having a sound childhood for most of its citizens. For children to develop and become assets to their nations, there is the need for them to be groomed to enable them to acquire skills, attitudes, and values that will position them to contribute meaningfully to their Nation. In the early childhood classroom, therefore, children are to be taken through various activities that will prepare them to learn and acquire these competencies. These activities are best taught in songs and rhymes.
Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse.
The 10 Most Important Things a Child Should Learn Before the Age Of Ten
- Teach Your Child Honesty
Honesty, in itself, is a virtue. One of the best ways to encourage truthfulness in your child is to be a truthful person yourself. Consider this story: Joyce decided to limit the number of playmates between her 3-year-old son, Chris, and his friend Paul. The boys had been fighting a lot recently, and Joyce thought they should spend some time apart. So when Paul’s mother called one afternoon to arrange a get-together, Joyce told her that Chris was sick. Meanwhile, Chris was eavesdropping. Later that day, her son asked, “Am I sick, mommy? What’s wrong with me?” Joyce, taken aback by her son’s frightened look, told him she had only said he was sick because she didn’t want to hurt Paul’s mother’s feelings. Joyce then launched into a complicated explanation of the distinctions between the various types of lies, and Chris was confused. All he understood was that fibbing is sometimes okay-and that it’s what people do.
Children often learn from authority figures, so you must try to avoid any kind of deception, even a seemingly innocuous one. (Never, for instance, say something like “let’s not tell daddy we got candy this afternoon.”) Let your child hear you being truthful with other adults. Joyce would have been better off, saying, “this isn’t a good day for a playmate. I’m concerned that the boys were fighting so much last week. I think they need a break.
Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want, and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty promotes openness, empowers us, and enables us to develop consistency in how we present the facts. So the earlier you teach your child this, the better for you.
- Teach Your Child Determination
Encourage them to take on challenges; determination is a value that you can encourage from a very young age. The easiest way to do so is by avoiding excessive praise and by providing children with honest feedback, delivered in a gentle, supportive fashion.
Another powerful way to help kids develop determination is to encourage them to do things that don’t come easily-and to praise them for their initiative. If your son is shy, for instance, quietly help him to approach kids on the playground, even if it makes him feel nervous and scared. If your daughter is quick to blow a fuse, teach her strategies (such as counting to ten or taking a deep breath) for holding back a temper tantrum. Congratulate kids when they manage to do things that are difficult for them. The child who hears “good for you, I know that was adamant!” is bolstered by the recognition and becomes even more determined to keep trying.
Determination is the ability to continue trying to do something. Although it is challenging giving a child this mentality from an early stage will prepare that child for a victorious mind that never sees defeat.
- Teach Your Child Justice
Insist that children make amends. At a recent family gathering, Amy and Marcus, 4-year-old cousins, were building castles out of wooden blocks. Suddenly, Amy knocked over Marcus’s palace, and he started to cry. Witnessing the scene, Amy’s father chided his daughter and ordered her to apologize. Amy dutifully said, “I’m sorry.”
The father’s reaction was similar to that of many psychologically savvy parents. In essence, he wanted his daughter to identify and express her feelings and to understand why she behaved as she did. That’s okay, but it isn’t enough. To help children internalize a real sense of justice, parents need to encourage them to take some action to remedy a wrong. For example, Amy’s dad might have suggested that she help Marcus rebuild his castle or that she bring him some cookies as a gesture of apology.
Saying “I’m sorry” is pretty easy for a child, and it lets her off the hook without forcing her to think. Having a child make amends in a proactive way, conveys a much stronger message. If you’re aware that your child has misbehaved toward someone, help him think of a way to compensate. Maybe he can give one of his trucks to a playmate whose toy he has damaged. Perhaps he could draw a picture for his sister after teasing her all day. By encouraging your child to make such gestures, you emphasize the importance of treating people fairly-an an essential value that will one day help him negotiate the complicated world of peer group relations.
- Teach Your Child The Art of Consideration
Teach them to think about other people’s feelings. Careful, though: the act of thinking carefully about something you will decide about and considering the opinions of others. Anne was frustrated because of her daughters, ages 3 and 4. They always ended up whining and fighting every time she took them grocery shopping. “I finally told them that we needed to figure out how to do our shopping without everyone, including me, feeling upset,” Anne says. Their mom asked the girls for suggestions on how to make the trip to the grocery store a better experience for all.
The 4-year-old suggested that they bring snacks from home so they wouldn’t nag for cookies. The 3-year-old said she would sing quietly to herself so she would feel happy. The girls remembered their promises, and the next trip to the supermarket went much more smoothly. Leaving the store, the younger girl asked, “do you feel upset now, mommy?” the mother assured her that she felt just fine and remarked how nice it was that nobody got into an argument.
Do these small problem-solving exercises help a child learn the value of consideration? You bet. Over time, even a young child sees that words or actions can make another person smile or feel better and that when she’s kind to someone else, that person is nice to her. This feedback encourages other genuine acts of consideration.
Parents tend to think that children are naturally loving and generous with their affection. This is true, but for loving sentiments to last, they need to be reciprocated. It’s chilling to realize that over a typical busy day, the phrase “I love you” is probably the one that a child is least likely to hear.
- Teach Your Child Respect
Respect is one of the most important values in human life. A person must be respectful to other’s life even if he/she doesn’t approve. You need to teach your child to criticize others; however, you need to teach him/her to respect the differences in society as well! Do not forget to make your child respect all living creatures, including animals and plants!
The concept of respect is shaped in your child’s mind with the communication between the family members at home. The use of kind regards and requests by you will make your child learn to respect others, which will eventually lead to the formation of healthy relationships in his/her future.
- Teach Your Child How to be Generous
Generosity is sharing what is dear to you, who can be both material and emotional. The point is giving what is valuable to you without expecting any reward and sharing only for the sake of feeling good.
There is a strong relationship between generosity and empathy, as both of them depend on your ability to care for others. Being generous in the times aside from special days has a nourishing effect for the individuals while making the world a better place to live life with happiness and positivity!
Life is not easy stuff to handle, but handling it is also about our perception. We all will face lots of problems during our lives, but when it happens, we can never give up on trying!
That is why we need to be happy with little things, and we should teach our kids to be satisfied anytime! They don’t need more toys to feel good, they just need your love as a parent, and they need to feel safe while they are living with you.
- Teach your Child the Act of Helping Others
The ability to share is one of the most important values which are based on empathy and kindness; however, you should know that it doesn’t happen automatically. Babies are naturally focused on their own needs; during the first year, they start to playfully hand objects to mom and dad, basking in their parents’ pleased reactions.
- Teach Your Child How to Be at Peace with everyone
It is inevitable to encounter conflicts in our communications as adults. Teaching your child how to keep calm in the face of disputes is vital for their development.
You can teach your child how to look at the problems from different perspectives calmly. For that, your child will learn how to question the reasons behind the issues and the possible solutions for them. As a result, instead of getting angry with the other side of the disagreement, he/she can defeat negative feelings.
- Teach Your Child How to Speak Up
Even if you are with your child in their every failure and success; you also stick out for them and help protect their rights whenever the need arises. However, you should consider that they will be adults one day and you won’t be with them all their life. Thus, you need to teach them how to speak for their rights, whatever the circumstance.
- Teach your Child That Knowledge is more critical than Grades
Parents waste their time scolding children for any score that doesn’t fit their expectations. Although the rating is not necessarily an indicator of knowledge. Perhaps your child is cheating. As a kid, the belief that experience is more relevant than qualification is Paramount.
Every parent wants to raise children who are happy and prosperous. When children are young, they are at their learning sponge, every new experience, every word they learn, every behaviour they adopt is an investment in a more fruitful future. This is probably the best time to ‘configure’ their minds in the way and manner they ought to lead. As the good book says, ‘teach a child the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’