How to improve your child’s “non-cognitive” abilities and expand his/her possibilities for the future


“Non-cognitive” ability is attracting attention as an important ability to acquire to succeed in life. Research shows that children acquire “non-cognitive” ability in early childhood and it is important for adults to provide an effective learning environment for them to have fun and acquire a variety of abilities. In this article, we will explain the importance of developing “non-cognitive” abilities in early childhood and how to develop specific “non-cognitive” abilities.

将来の可能性がどんどん広がる! 子どもの「非認知能力」の育て方とは

Some “non-cognitive” abilities that are easy to acquire during early childhood

“Non-cognitive” abilities are invisible and difficult to quantify. Unlike visible abilities like test scores, “non-cognitive” abilities like motivation, patience, self-control, sociability, and imaginative abilities are difficult to grasp numerically. However, whether you have these abilities or not will have a big impact on a person’s life. Having a high “non-cognitive” ability is directly linked to the fulfillment of life and social success. Children have the power to take in and absorb new things so early childhood is a good time to acquire “non-cognitive” abilities through learning.

4 Ways to Improve Children’s “Non-cognitive” Abilities

Since forcing children to do things is often counterproductive and can have negative impacts, it is best for parents/teachers to allow children to develop abilities through play. Next, I will introduce how to support the development of “non-cognitive” ability in early childhood.

Provide an environment that keeps children’s interest

When children get in absorbed in something they tend to forget the time. In such cases, parents should not interrupt their child and let him/her continue until he/she is satisfied. Being immersed in what you like helps develop concentration, patience, creativity, and self-affirmation.

Encourage your child to help daily

When children help with daily chores (meals, laundry, cleaning, etc.) they acquire the ability to act independently and considerate. Thanking them will help them develop self-affirmation.

Teach them importance of failure

It is common for children to experience failures in play and learning. When your child makes a mistake or fails to reach their goal, instead of denying it, it is a good idea to suggest other options or give hints on how to solve the problem. Experiencing failure is a unique opportunity for children to develop patience, resilience, and the ability to go through to the end.

Creating new relationships is also important

Children improve communication skills by developing relationships with various people. Parents should encourage their children to interact with relatives, neighbors, and friends. Engaging, collaborating, and playing with friends/relatives helps children develop their “non-cognitive” abilities.

“Non-cognitive” ability is an important ability which affects the future and life of children so parents should try their best to support their child in developing it. It is not necessary to do anything special just add a little ingenuity to your daily family life. Attending Mommy & Me classes and preschool programs are effective ways to encourage your child to develop “non-cognitive” abilities naturally.