The Pre-educational Age and Cognitive Development

Topic: Child Psychology
Words: 2332 Pages: 8


Experiences had in our first few years of life are crucial in how one develops into adolescence and late adulthood. It has been proven that by the age of six, the brain has already reached 90 percent of its weight. The pre-educational age stage is crucial in how one develops into a young adult. Yet, parents, guardians, or caretakers may not understand how they play a major role in what and how a child takes in knowledge as it pertains to the rooting of their initial cognitive development. A pre-operational brain requires a great base for developing what foundation is truly required for a lifetime of good mental function and health.


During the pre-educational years of a child’s age, the brain is not fully developed, and full development eventually occurs with age. By the age of 5 years, a child’s brain has attained 90% development, according to research (Commons & Miller, 2007). During the years leading up to the development, the brain is considered immensely flexible and ready for education. These years are vital for the direction of children in imparting values and education that determine the rest of their lives. The pre-educational years are also characterized by minimal conflicting information amongst children, ensuring that the knowledge imparted by parents is received effectively. The presence of minimal resistance by these children to the information is also vital in ensuring the process is effective.


During the pre-educational years, children are accustomed to regular contact with very few people. These individuals include their parents and close family who take care of their needs. In most cases, it is the mothers who ensure their children are fed, clothed, cleaned, and put to sleep. This kind of relationship with the caregiver leads to the development of strong bonds with their parents (Commons & Miller, 2007). Various instructions delivered to the children by these people are perceived as correct. Children with these formative years take instruction from these close relatives and these guidelines are vital in influencing their whole lives. The ways they are taught during this age are difficult to depart from because they form a crucial part of their behavior system.

Trust Mechanisms with Mother

Trusting mothers is a common feature children display within the pre-educational years. Present mothers are usually a common feature in the lives of their children, meeting all their needs. The first few weeks after birth are usually spent with the infants, ensuring they are breastfed and kept warm. This type of proximity makes the neonates develop trust with their mothers (Commons & Miller, 2007). When the children start growing and exploring their environment, they have their mothers for safety when they make mistakes. This makes children appreciate their mother’s care for their wellbeing and develop a realization that their welfare is of primary concern to their mothers. The trust informs the attitude of listening to the lessons from their mothers.

Emotional Foundations

Emotional foundations in children are massively influenced by their parents. Children born to parents who gave their emotions sufficient concern are usually emotionally stable individuals. Adults whose parents were emotionally distant present with massive challenges in dealing with their feelings. Emotional foundations are set whenever these children present their concerns to their caregivers and the guardians address them with care (Commons & Miller, 2007). A dismissive parent sets the stage for the development of emotionally unstable children. It follows that children whose emotions were given sufficient attention care about the emotions of other people. The emotional foundation also involves the tender care parents accord their children and the careful modes of correction employed to offer guidance whenever the children err.


The awareness of the environment around that children display is immensely dependent on the surroundings their parents expose them to. Children are naturally dependent on their parents during the first few years of their lives and the guardians essentially dictate all their moves. Awareness amongst children can include noticing other people or situations that require their intervention (Commons & Miller, 2007). Children largely learn skills such as observation and empathy depending on the extent their caregivers display them during their formative years. Parents must point out things in the environment for their children during these years to boost their awareness. They must also let them explore the environment around them so that they can learn more and become aware of their surroundings.

Impacts of Television

Television is a popular device in most homes in the modern world and one of the earliest forms of media children are exposed to during their pre-operational stage. Television is fashioned in a manner that ensures content is provided for all ages, including children (Rhodes, et al., 2020). The shows generated by the media stations for children include cartoons that depict both real and fictional material. Television helps children build imagination and improve their creativity by giving them new concepts to build their thoughts around. Television also enables children to build their emotions and reactions by presenting them with both sad and positive situations to react towards. Negligence in the management of television may lead to the development of inappropriate creativity, imagination, and emotions in children, leading to the growth of dysfunctional adults.

Examples of Children’s Negative Simulations

Rhodes et al., (2020) researched the impact of fantastical television shows on children at their pre-operational stage. Fantastical content is responsible for impaired executive function in these children. These unrealistic programs impact the planning performance in children, slowing it down with diminished accuracy. Children in the pre-educational stage also devote their cognitive resources to encoding the unrealistic events witnessed in fantasy shows, hence hampered working memory (Rhodes, et al., 2020). This kind of information also causes inhibition in the young viewers while hampering their cognitive flexibility. The children show rigid thinking which interferes with their ability to understand new knowledge from their instructors.

Language/Sensorimotor Stage

The development of language is the basis of communication for all human beings and parents are vital in teaching language to their children during the pre-operative stage. Understanding various languages is easiest during the first 5 years of life due to the elasticity exhibited by the brain. Language is not just about being able to speak but being capable of communicating with the words uttered. The message intended must be passed in a respectful, clear, and understandable manner (Commons & Miller, 2007). Parents play the role of guides regarding language by exercising vigilance when around their offspring. This ensures that they do not utter words that are inappropriate such as cursing to prevent their children from picking such distasteful habits.

Motor Skills

The development of motor skills is most profound during the pre-operational stage when children begin discovering the environment around them. With the development of awareness of their surroundings, children begin engaging in activities similar to those in their vicinity. They begin making structures similar to those around them, although at a smaller scale in a game of imitation. Society and parents play a crucial role in determining the extent to which the motor skills their offspring develop (Commons & Miller, 2007). They offer the materials that make the development of these motor skills possible and additionally provide the encouragement necessary for children to attain creativity. Fine motor skills are developed in children who are exposed to special devices such as musical instruments which enable their minds to perfect coordination and movement of their fingers.


Socialization during the pre-operational years is a predictor of the social relations children are poised to have in the future. Parents who relate with many people in the presence of their child are likely to raise a social being who understands interaction with other humans (Commons & Miller, 2007). Children born to secluded families and societies that discourage interactions with other people are likely to grow as socially dysfunctional people. Children with poor social skills are likely to encounter difficulties making friends with their peers. They also face challenges when trying to relate with people of the opposite gender later in life hence impaired sexual lives.

Development of ToM

Theory of Mind (ToM) refers to the ability of people to understand the internal mental state of others and their influence on these people’s behavior. Children are capable of inferring these people’s beliefs and predicting their actions based on these mental states (Miguel et al., 2018). Parents largely influence the ToM of their children through the caliber of people they associate with during formative years. Children study these people and make immense generalizations on human behavior and expected conduct.

How to Help

Parents and guardians, in general, can ease the process of growth and development of their pre-operational children into functional adults through involvement in their learning process. This entails ensuring their children are not exposed to danger, in an effort that ensures effective emotional development for emotionally stable adults (Miguel et al., 2018). Parental involvement should also involve preventing exposure to trauma which tampers with the process of learning. Parents should also regulate the environment of their children to ensure they are around the right people and materials which promote their growth. This involves preventing access to people with foul language and who have the capacity of deterring the development of communication skills for these children.

Television and Education are Interconnected in Factors That Parents Often Overlook

Television and education are intricately related as both forms are immensely informative to the minimally developed brain of a child. Parents must not overlook this relationship and let the content consumed by their child through the television go unchecked. The children may be exposed to television shows that display adult content or fictional information that tampers with the development of their cognitive faculties (Rhodes, et al., 2020). The shows should be restricted to those with a rating coincident with the age of the child. Parents can also incorporate the content they desire their children to learn into the television for easier learning.

Executive Functioning and Behavior in Children

Executive functioning and behavior in children is a process that gradually develops with increased exposure to new content. This changes the mind of the child to a new state that ensures greater understanding (Boudreau, et al., 2018). The role of the parent, guardian, and society is that of an overseer in the entire process. They must ensure children are protected in inappropriate situations and deliberately directed to scenarios that positively impact their executive functioning. This ensures that the neurotransmitters produced by the children are not preoccupied with processing information that minimally contributes to their growth.

Parental Goals and Duties to Their Pre-Operational Children’s Brain

The role of protecting children by the parents in the pre-operational stage also includes ensuring the brain develops at the desired rate. This means parents must not rush their children to achieve massive milestones above the expectations or lag them to cause slow progression. Attaining the crucial balance for parents involves employing mechanisms of reinforcement of behavior that are per the various milestones (Boudreau, et al., 2018). Parental goals must be based on their crucial responsibilities as providers, protectors, and leaders of their children. Whoever is granted access to children by the parents must be well interrogated to ensure their impact positively contributes to the development of the child’s brain and cognitive functions.

Acknowledgment to Stigmas, Curses or Faults Pertaining to the Generational Backgrounds

Stigmas experienced during childhood affect how people relate to others during their entire lives. The pain of being secluded is a factor that determines how one creates meaningful bonds with other people, including friendships and relationships. Stigma experienced by individuals during adulthood is associated with a specific feature they exhibit that is considered undesirable (Boudreau, et al., 2018). There is a need for people to understand that these undesirable features are acquired as part of the behavior reinforced during the pre-operational stage of development. Instead of sideling people for unique characters and treating them as outcasts, society should accept these individuals and focus on reorienting them towards a positive trajectory.

Awareness of How Education Impacts Executive Functioning and Behavior in Children

Awareness of the role of education on executive function and behavior in children is a critical lesson for society in general and influences how children are raised. Acknowledgment that the pre-operational stage is essential for the development of a person to a critical member of society is an important realization. This knowledge is likely to guide how society raises children and the type of information they expose them to during these formative stages (Boudreau, et al., 2018). Such censorship is crucial in filtering the knowledge available and sifting adult content from childhood information. Executive functions such as decision-making, cognitive flexibility, planning, and inhibition make the core of a person and the type of life they build for themselves. These functions must be protected from an early age to prevent unnecessary confusion and the development of poorly functional adults in future.


In conclusion, the pre-educational age is massively influenced by parents and influences the lives of children in the future. The age is considered formative and includes the creation of bonds, emotional foundations, trust mechanisms, and awareness. Television is an immense educative tool and influences behavior and cognitive development, especially fantastical shows which dampen these faculties. Language, motor skills, socialization, and the development of the ToF are prominent features of the pre-educational stage that affect a child’s entire life. Parents must assume a primary role in the upbringing of their children that involves the control of essentials such as television. Executive function and behavior must be regulated through reinforcement mechanisms and should form a crucial part of the parental goals formulated. Stigma affects children and adults in equal measure and is an indicator of developments during the pre-educational phase. Awareness amongst parents is a crucial component in ensuring that the safe and effective educational development of their offspring occurs. The role cannot be sidelined and parents must assume their responsibility in controlling the growth and development of their children for effective emotional and cognitive development.


Boudreau, A. M., Dempsey, E. E., Smith, I. M., &Garon, N. (2018). A novel working memory task for preschoolers: sensitivity to age differences from 3-5 years. ChildNeuropsychology, 24(6), 799–822. Web.

Commons, M. L., & Miller, P. M. (2007). How early negative caregiving experiences relate to stage of attachment. Behavioral development bulletin, 13(1), 14-17. Web.

Miguel, B. E.-S., Gandasegui, V. D., & García, M. T. S. (2018). Family Policy Index: A Tool for Policy Makers to Increase the Effectiveness of Family Policies. Social Indicators Research, 142(1), 387–409. Web.

Rhodes, S. M., Stewart, T. M., &Kanevski, M. (2020). Immediate impact of fantastical television content on children’s executive functions. British journal of developmental psychology, 38(2), 268–288. Web.

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