One area of human growth that should not be neglected is cognitive development. Early childhood is basically defined as the years between birth and age 5. Early childhood cognitive development takes place the minute an infant is born.
Even before children can speak, experts have shown that the brain picks up a significant amount of information regarding words. This occurs within their first year of existence. By the time infants speak or understand their own first sounds, they are already familiar with the specific tones. These tones make up their language.
They will also be familiar with the ways in which those sounds can be joined to form words and the pace and pattern of sentences.
Dimensions of Early Childhood Cognitive Development
Infants and Babies’ Cognitive Development
Learning and problem-solving abilities develop at the age of two months. Infants could also work on a variety of cognitive development benchmarks in their early years of life. Here are some examples:
- Observing people’s expressions
- They use their eyes to track objects.
- Identifying people from a distance
- Trying to put items in their mouths.
- Passing toys from one hand to the other
- Recognizing familiar faces and reacting to affection from a distance
5 Behavioral Dimensions
In early childhood, there are 5 behavioral dimensions or focused areas of expertise and action. As follows:
- Cognitive Development: Cognitive Development is the capacity for learning, thinking, and problem-solving.
- Social-emotional development: The capacity to communicate, identify, collaborate, and fully involve with others is known as social-emotional development.
- Communication and language development: This refers to the capacity to comprehend and use words.
- Physical development: This must deal with the two below:
- Fine motor development: The potential to use smaller muscles, such as hands and fingers, is known as fine motor development.
- Gross motor development: The ability to use bigger muscles, such as a variety of arms and leg movements, sitting in a chair, holding up, etc., is known as gross motor development.
- Early Childhood Cognitive Development includes acquiring abilities like:
- Quantitative skills
Factors that can affect a Child’s Cognitive Development
Young children can start to develop the fundamental skills needed for learning to read when they are given access to a rich environment.
That is, an environment filled with chances for communication and literacy interactions as well as frequent opportunities to pay attention to words. Without these abilities, a child is at great risk of falling behind and failing to catch up.
The environment has a greater influence on personality development or modification than do hereditary characteristics. If given the right atmosphere, anyone can develop into a great person. It is a reality that variations in the environment cause people to change.
Hereditary traits have certain effects on a child’s cognitive development, some of which are given below:
Intelligence: It has been noticed that intelligent parents bare intelligent children while parents who are dull give birth to dull children. How a child develops psychologically is determined by the mental ability they are born with. The way a youngster develops his interpersonal, ethical, and language skills depends on the type of psychological development that the child was born with.
Character: Character qualities are passed on from parents to children. Whatever a person receives from his parents affects how his disposition develops as well.
Low birth weight and growth retardation
According to data on neurodevelopmental disorders from developed nations, people born with low birthweight are more likely to have:
- Worse performance academically
- Cognitive deficits
- Higher rate of mental disorders
- Severe behavioral and emotional issues
- Developmental delays than their healthy counterparts
All vital nutrients are necessary for the human brain to develop and maintain its function while it is still developing. The cognitive development of infants and children depends greatly on proper nutrition. Children who are not getting enough nutrients run a greater risk of developing cognitive problems.
To build and maintain its function, the human brain needs all vital nutrients, including proteins, lipids, sugars, vitamins, mineral deposits, and water. Hence, proper nourishment is necessary for the growth and functioning of the brain.
The parental factor is a very important factor in a child’s cognitive development. The first and most crucial teachers for children are their parents. It is noteworthy that about 40% of youngsters are mostly catered to by their parents. The parental factors cover the following:
- Parenting methods
- Family socioeconomics
- Family mental well-being
- Parental education attainment
- Marital conflict between parents
In conclusion, the level of success a child will experience later in life is closely linked with the early childhood development they go through. For instance, babies who are good at differentiating the components of speech at 6 months also perform better on other. More difficult language tasks at two and three years of age, as well as better on mastering the foundational skills for reading at four and five years of age.
Unsurprisingly, among the best indicators of a child’s reading abilities in the tenth grade is how experienced they are in the alphabet when they were in kindergarten.
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