The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

John Piaget’s learning theory: A practical guide for parents

Saifullah Muslim

We all want the best for our kids. It is because of our Islamic obligation as well as our best wishes for them. Kids’ personalities can be grown by giving them the appropriate learning experiences at the appropriate time to help their little minds grow. Unfortunately, the majority of parents in Afghanistan believe that educating their children is only an obligation of the teachers in educational institutions; parents do not consciously raise and engage their children according to their age-appropriate knowledge and skills. One way we can do this is by using the theory of a Swiss psychologist named Jean Piaget. He came up with four stages of how kids learn and develop. In the following subsequent paragraphs, Piaget’s theory is discussed to help our parents help their kids learn in the best way possible. First, we have the sensorimotor stage. This is from birth to around 2 years old. At this stage, kids are all about exploring the world through their senses and physical interactions. So, as parents, we can help them out by providing lots of hands-on, sensory-rich activities. Parents should give their babies safe household objects that they can touch, taste, and move around. For example, give them a bin filled with different objects like rice, sand, or water. Babies will explore the differ ent textures, pour and scoop, and start to understand cause and effect. Moreover, babies should not be prevented from moving and exploring the things around them; they should be allowed to crawl, climb, move, and manipulate the things around them, so they can enhance their motor skills. Next, we have the Preoperational stage, from 2 to 7 years old. This is when kids’ language skills and symbolic thinking really start to take off. It’s a great time to engage them in imaginative play and storytelling. You could act out stories with puppets or dolls, which can help them link symbols to real-world concepts. When students are linking symbols to real life, it helps them to improve their creativity and imagination. Besides their creativity, parents should also consider their language development by asking open-ended questions from their sweet kids and engaging them in different role-plays. Parents can also set up a make-up play area such as a kitchen, shop, or other scenes and encourage them to be chefs, customers, or superheroes. It’s a fun way to boost their imagination and language skills. Then, we have the Concrete Operational stage, from 7 to 11 years old. This is when kids start to develop logical reasoning abilities. To support this, we can give them hands-on activities that build kids’ classification, organization, and sorting skills. For example, parents can ask their kids to categorize their toys by size, color, or type. Moreover, parents engage the kids in age-appropriate puzzles, riddles, or math games that challenge their cognitive and logical thinking skills. Finally, when our kids reach the Formal Operational stage, from 11 years and up, they start to be able to think abstractly and solve problems. We can help them develop these skills by discussing current events and asking them to suggest solutions to societal issues. Parents can ask their children to think and answer questions about the household and everyday life problems. This not only gets them thinking critically but also helps them consider hypothetical scenarios. For example, parents can ask their children what they can do if he/she is given school homework which she/he does not know or if she/ he gets lost in the city. This will encourage the child to suggest possible solutions, think about the consequences, and really get their brain working. In conclusion, it is a quick guide to using Piaget’s learning theory in parenting. We should remember that every child is unique and develops at their own pace. But with a bit of guidance and a lot of love, we can help them on their learning journey.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.