Cognitive Development In Middle Childhood: More Than Just The “Terrible Twos”

Cognitive development refers to a particular model of the development of human intelligence. It is mainly developed in middle childhood. This article will discuss the cognitive development in middle childhood in detail. Along with emphasis on the different types of skills that develop and how they are influenced by a child’s life.

Let’s delve into the details of cognitive development in middle childhood. Learn each concept one by one.

What is Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood?

Middle childhood considers as a time of best cognitive development. From roughly age 6 to 12, children’s brains are growing and changing rapidly. It makes new connections and builds on existing ones. This is the time when children learn best and when they master many important skills such as reading, writing, and math.

During middle childhood, children’s thinking becomes more logical and organized. They start to see cause and effect and understand complex ideas such as time and space. 

They also begin to think abstractly, which means they can see relationships between ideas that are not physically present. This allows them to understand concepts such as justice and morality.

As children’s cognitive skills develop, they also become better at problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. These skills continue to develop throughout youth and into adulthood.

Also Read: Physical development in middle childhood

What are the Critical Skills Maturing Children need to Learn?

As your child enters middle childhood, they are growing and changing rapidly. This development happens both physically and mentally. This is a time of great cognitive development, as they learn more about the world. Especially, around them and how to think and reason. 

While it can be a trying time for parents (the infamous “terrible twos” and beyond), it’s important to remember that this is a crucial period in your child’s life when they are learning critical skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.

Some of the key skills maturing children need to learn during this time include:

• How to think abstractly

This is a big one. Middle childhood is when kids start to really understand concepts. That is like time, money, and math. They start to see the world in more complex ways. This can begin reasoning and problem-solving.

• How to control their impulses

Along with thinking abstractly comes the ability to control impulses and delay gratification. Children learn that they can’t always have what they want when they want it. Also, that sometimes they have to wait or compromise.

• How to plan and organize

As children’s thinking becomes more complex, they also start overthinking. Planning is the solution.

What are the Warning Signs of Possible Problems?

It is important before thinking about cognitive development in middle childhood. Most parents are familiar with the “terrible twos,” that time when toddlers seem to test every limit. But middle childhood is also a crucial time for cognitive development. Here are some warning signs that your child may be having difficulty in this area:

  • Your child has difficulty following simple instructions.
  • Your child has trouble paying attention or seems easily distracted.
  • Your child seems to be behind others his or her age in reading, writing, or other academic skills.
  • Your child has trouble making friends or gets along poorly with others.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to talk to your child’s doctor or another professional who can help assess the situation. Early intervention is key to helping children overcome any difficulties and reach their full potential.

How do we Play our Role as an Educator to Support Developmental Growth?

As an educator, it’s important to understand cognitive development in middle childhood and how to support it. Development during this time is more than just the “terrible twos.” It’s a time of great growth and potential.

During middle childhood, kids are starting to think more abstractly. They’re beginning to understand that things can exist even when they can’t see them. This is a big step in their cognitive development.

As an educator, you can support this cognitive development by providing opportunities for exploration and discovery. Ask open-ended questions that encourage kids to think deeply about what they’re observing. 

Create opportunities for hands-on learning, where kids can experiment and explore different concepts.

With your support, kids in middle childhood will continue to develop their cognitive skills, opening up new worlds of possibility.

The 3 Stages of Cognitive Development in Childhood

Cognitive development in middle childhood is characterized by a rapid increase in the ability to think abstractly. This enables children to understand concepts such as time, space, and numbers. 

They can also start to think about other people’s points of view and make inferences. Additionally, they begin to use language more effectively and learn how to plan and organize their thoughts.

During middle childhood, children’s cognitive abilities begin to develop rapidly. They learn to think more abstractly and can understand concepts such as time and space. 

They also begin to see the world from others perspectives. It can take into account other people’s feelings and points of view. As their cognitive abilities continue to develop, children become increasingly able to reason and problem-solve.

Unique Facets of Cognitive Development in the Middle

There are several unique facets of cognitive development that occur during middle childhood. One of the most important is the development of what psychologists call “executive function”. This refers to the ability to plan, organize and execute complex tasks. 

Another key facet of cognitive development during middle childhood is an increased ability to think about abstract concepts. For example, children at this age begin to understand that people can have different beliefs and points of view.


Cognitive development in middle childhood is an important time for children. That is to learn and grow. During this time, they develop the ability to think more abstractly and logically. This helps them understand concepts like cause and effect. 

They also begin to see the world from different perspectives. Also, they learn how to solve problems more effectively. By encouraging cognitive development, we can set children up for success in school and in life.

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