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Jean Piaget's Object Permanence: Theoretical Outline, Modern Critique and Parental Advice!

Cute picture of happy baby holding a rattle
  • Get a thorough definition of Jean Piaget's theory of object permanence along with a description of his different stages of young children's cognitive development!
  • Also read about recent research's criticism of Jean Piaget's age specificity in his cognitive theories!
  • And finally find inspiration for games that you may play with your infant. Games that aim at stimulating and training your baby's cognitive development!

Picture of baby in diaper at his back looking at something.Connecting to Our Children

As adults we have all acquired the necessary skill of abstraction that is characteristic of object permanence.

We know that objects continue to exist even when we cannot see, hear, or touch them!

Understanding the fascinating process of intellectual and emotional development will help us to 'step into our children's shoes so to speak, and to see the world through their eyes and consequently help us connect to their needs.

Jean Piaget:
The Father of Object Permanence

Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, conducted studies to show that object permanence plays an important role in cognitive development.

As adults is interesting and almost incomprehensible to realize that young infants do not believe that objects exist separate from their actions or perceptions.

Picture of father holding his crying baby.Young infants do not yet possess the ability to remember or even think about things they cannot see. And this ability actually goes beyond 'out of sight, out of mind' because to them, if they cannot see it, it simply does not exist.

In other words, their entire world is only what they can see at any given moment. Or to use a spiritual terminology, young infants live completely in the NOW. Past and future doesn't exist as conscious concepts.

This is why we may take a toy away from an infant and then infant will not react. The infant will not even cry or even try to look for what has disappeared. It's just gone as if it's never been there!

The Milestone of Object Permanence

Object permanence is a very important milestone in the social and intellectual development of our children, and as parents or caregivers, we can help our little ones progress through the series of stages in their thinking so that they gain a strong sense of trust and security.



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