Expert Speak: Support Your Child's Intellectual Development
Here are techniques that you can use to support your child’s intellectual development as well as their overall development
Children are born curious. They explore, experiment, and build their knowledge as they interact with more and more of the world around them. Much of this is down to their intellectual and cognitive development. In the simplest sense, intellectual development refers to a child’s ability to think and reason. It is what lets children make sense of this strange, old world we live in.
Is There An Age When They Start To Develop These Skills?
Children are like mini scientists. Right from the time they start becoming aware of things around them, they try and make sense of them. Once a baby plays with a rattle, they try and shake everything they can find to see if it makes a sound too. That’s them trying to join the dots to make sense of things. And, as they grow older, the basic pattern remains, it’s just the complexity of understanding that changes.
Where Do You Come In?
While children will naturally build their cognitive skills through a combination of self-discovery and assisted discovery (that’s mainly your answers to their gazillion questions!), you can encourage positive and healthy cognitive growth by incorporating a few simple activities into their everyday regimen.
Few things build cognitive skills at the rate of knots like reading does. Get your child to read, or read to them, and they’ll be developing everything from vocabulary and language patterns to attention spans, memory, listening skills, and even imagination skills!
Talk to your child all the time, at every opportunity you get. Talk to them in the car, while preparing meals, and even while playing. Engage them in conversation and discussions on current events and happenings.
Ask questions. Welcome questions. Questioning is the most natural way to feed your child’s curiosity. So the next time they ask a question, give them the answer. And, if they follow up with another question, smile and answer that too!
Be it drawing, painting, moulding, or even creating something with cardboard cartons, children spend much of their time naturally engaging in creative activities. Encourage the creative process. It’s simply building their cognitive skills.
Puzzles combine concentration, effort, and perseverance to build intellectual capacities in children. Choosing age-appropriate puzzles ensures that you’re pushing your child but in the right way. A puzzle should be challenging but doable. It encourages children to seek out bigger, more complex puzzles when they manage to solve the easier ones.
Nothing teaches children as well as play. Everything that children will learn before the age of six will primarily be through play. It’s their way of questioning, discovering, and then understanding things. So ensure they have time to play. That they have the freedom to play.
And, perhaps, the most important of all, expect effort, not perfection. Each child develops at their own pace. It’s not an exact science. Build these activities into their day-to-day life and just trust the process. We turned out fine, didn’t we?
Also Read: How Screen Time Affects Your Child’s Cognitive Skills Development