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Our brains are significant things that have a world of potential and so much that have yet to be understood. The brain can take a quarter of your life still developing and maturing. It will continue to learn new things even in old age. The capacity of our brains and its potential power is still being revealed to us today. It’s an amazing thing. Let’s dive into the child’s brain development and what doctors understand about brain development thus far.
From the fetus growing in their mother bellies to the first few years of life, the brain is hard at work creating it’s basic functionalities at a very quick pace. By age four the primary senses, vision, and motor skills are fully developed. Walking, feeding themselves, etc.
At age six, language is still being matured and it won’t be fully matured for years to come. The brain is constantly learning and “pruning”, eliminating redundant neural links. During this process, the brain uses it to learn their language and will continue to grow fast in the later years then slow as the child gets older. This is the reason why children can learn so much about speaking and understanding a language at a young age and why adults have such a difficult time learning new languages.
Reasoning at this age is still very immature. Abstract thinking, emotional maturity, and reasoning skills have yet to fully develop. This is the reason why when children get frustrated with too much information or have to juggle too many things at once, they may throw tantrums, etc.
Expect a boost of motor skill development by age eight or nine. By age five these skills are well developed but it is fine tuned at this later age. The parietal lobes start to mature. The learning at this age is enhanced greatly and at a much faster pace.
Reaching thirteen is wonderful. In certain areas, things mature greatly. Whereas at this age children lack the ability to correctly judge risk and make long term plans. The capacity for creating emotions is greatly increased. Unfortunately, this capacity is unrestrained by the prefrontal cortex which lags behind. This is the reason why you may notice your teen emotionally lashing out at times? A thirteen-year-olds intelligence and analytical abilities are expanding rapidly at this age.
At around the age of fifteen, an abundance of neural links are continually discarded and underused connections die down. At this stage for the child, their brains are becoming more specialized and efficient.
At seventeen the prefrontal cortex is maturing nicely, allowing the teenager to deal with far more complexity than a young child. Older teens overcome a heap of new social interactions and emotions. Risk taking, future planning, and self-control become more evident and possible.
We’ve now reached the age of twenty-one where your child is at a very legal age. It may seem the brain is fully developed but there is much room for fine tuning. There is the potential for tremendous gains in impulse control, emotional maturity, and decision making. Give it a few more years for its full maturity in these areas. But do not think the brain will stop there. It will always be learning new things.