The concept of cognitive skills refers to a person’s ability to learn and gain knowledge from experiences. This type of development is often linked to various age-related milestones.


So, why is cognition important?

The ability to think critically and effectively about new information is called cognition. It also involves using the knowledge acquired to apply it to other previously acquired information.

As children get older, they start to develop the ability to process information more effectively. They can also make connections between various pieces of information.

Developing cognitive skills is very important for children as it can help them improve their focus, memory, and ability to think critically. It can also help them develop their analytical skills. Developing cognitive skills can be incredibly beneficial outside of the classroom as well as inside it. 

Being able to understand the relationship between the effects and causes of a certain activity can help children avoid making poor decisions and giving in to peer pressure. For example, it can also teach them that playing video games instead of doing homework can affect their performance on a test they have the day after.


Nature v. Nurture

Although genetics play a role in the development of a child’s cognitive skills, it’s generally not the case that these skills are caused only by genetic factors. Instead, they can be taught through regular practice and training. For instance, a child who doesn’t have ADHD can start developing the ability to pay attention in a relatively short amount of time. Think of it like this: if a preschool-aged child has a short attention span of around 15 minutes, a third grader should have a longer attention span. 

To help children develop their cognitive skills, teachers and parents can encourage them to focus on their tasks by removing distractions, such as TV, toys, and talking when doing schoolwork or homework. They can also help them think critically and creatively by asking them questions related to their experiences, such as a story they read, a show they watched, or a field trip they participated in. Thinking and reflecting can help them engage in critical thinking. 


What happens when these milestones are missed? 

Sometimes, children fail to reach age-appropriate cognitive skill milestones– though it’s not always a sign that they have a learning disability. Having a clear understanding of the progress that your child is making can help you identify if there are any concerns. Though if you are concerned, you should talk to your teacher or pediatrician. 

If the development of your child’s cognitive skills seems to be delayed, then you should talk to a specialist about a possible learning disability. It’s important to get help immediately if your child has a learning disability, as the disorder can hold back their academic advancement and create psychosocial issues.

Getting the right help when children are still young can help them develop their cognitive skills and eventually achieve their academic goals.


Dr. Edward S. Thalheimer is the President and Founder of The Tutoring Center® Franchise Corp. For our part, we here at The Tutoring Center® are continuing to provide one-to-one instruction combined with The Rotational Approach to Learning® to prevent children from slipping through the cracks academically. Our programs help children achieve long-term success, build concentration and focus, and, with our outstanding instructors, find the love of learning. Don’t let your child fall behind this school year. If you’re interested in learning more, or you are interested in opening The Tutoring Center® in your community and joining a team of more than 120 franchise locations nationwide, please visit our website at