ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Child’s Play

Teaching children to plan, exercise self-control and develop flexibility in thinking is as important for helping them succeed and attain goals as is nurturing their intellect.

On the first day of a training session at our child development centre, we show a video of an eight-month-old baby alone in her crib. Through the slats she spots a toy. She whimpers, but neither mommy nor daddy comes to the rescue. In fact, one of them is probably the nasty neuroscientist behind the camera. The child then tugs at her blanket, and the toy moves! Suddenly, she goes still and you can almost see the wheels in her head turning. Tentatively now, she tugs again, and the toy moves a little closer. Then, its a purposeful yank. Voila! She has pulled the toy next to the crib. She reaches out through the slats and grabs it triumphantly.

A hushed silence descends on the room and then all our trainees break into spontaneous applause. Is it possible for an eight-month-old to have done this? Is she some kind of baby genius? She is pretty smart, but not necessarily a genius. The human ability to plan a task with the end in mind and to think about how to solve problems starts early.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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