What Child Issues Can Affect Cognitive Development?

By C. Giles
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Cognition is the ability to think and understand. The study of a child's cognitive development focuses on her emerging perceptual, language, problem-solving and information-processing skills. While it was once believed that children had no ability to think or have complex ideas until they began to talk, it is now clear that babies are ready to learn and explore from the moment they are born. Parents and caregivers should be aware of certain issues that can affect a child's cognitive development.

Baby Bonding

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A strong bond between parent and child is crucial for a child's cognitive development. Positive nurturing of a baby from birth lays a solid foundation for him to become a confident child with good social and emotional skills. Early relationships form the framework for a child's cognitive abilities, so a baby who is treated with love, care and warmth is more likely to develop good thinking and learning skills than one who is neglected or mistreated.

Learning Environment

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A secure, dedicated learning environment has an extremely positive effect on a child's cognitive development. Stories and songs are not just amusement for a child; these are important learning activities to increase her brain power. Children are keen to learn from a very young age, and parents should take advantage of this with age-appropriate toys and activities.

Social Life

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Children learn a great deal through play and social interaction. The more young children mix with others, the quicker they adapt to school and other new environments outside the home. Arranging for toddlers to play with their peers helps them develop healthy, secure relationships when they are older. Children who are not encouraged to play with others may take longer to develop cognitive ability, lack social skills or suffer from low self-esteem.


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Nutrition doesn't only impact on a child's physical development; a nutritious diet also improves your child's ability to think, learn and reason. Numerous university studies have found links between nutrition and brain development and cognitive ability. By ensuring your child's diet is rich in fruit, vegetables and protein, and low in sugar, saturated fats and processed foods, you are doing his cognitive development a huge favor.

About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."