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Why Younger kids pick up new skills faster

A young kid is studying programming on his laptop.

How many times have you tried to absorb new information and failed to do so easily? Do you recall that you used to be able to learn quickly when you were young? In the early childhood years, your brain can absorb a great amount of information in a very short time. What happened? What’s wrong?

We aren’t talking about extraordinary minds here, just about regular minds that process information at a normal rate but that tend to find it more difficult to absorb information as they grow up.

You can encounter this setback while learning a new language, a new programming language, or a new scientific topic. It can extend to other things as well, like music or dancing. Below are some reasons why this happens and note that it is completely natural.

Is there a biological difference?

Children’s brains are wired to absorb as much information as much possible. There are two factors that cause their brains to perform better than an adult’s in retaining new information.

The first is that the children’s brain can absorb information subconsciously, meaning that they can memorize words by listening to them few times even if they’re not paying attention. That is why language comes so naturally to kids.

The second factor is that younger children don’t overthink every single new word they are introduced to and whether it fits their existing world view. The process of perception takes a lot less time.

Fearless you should be

Let’s shed some light on another reason to why children’s brains behave this way. How many times have you been afraid to try something new because of the risk of failure? You may skip a conversation session in a new language class or pass on a coding competition in your school or coding club just because you are afraid that you will get low scores or sound a bit weird to your colleagues.

Children don’t behave that way because they don’t consider those complexities. They just do what they have to do without caring about sounding silly, pronouncing something wrong or getting low test scores.

This fearlessness helps them attempt new challenges with no concern for failure. Kids give themselves more time to practice and more time to try new things. In return, their minds retain a lot of information.

Life coaches

If you think of this phenomenon in reverse, you will understand popularity of all the self-improvement sessions and life and career coaches out. They tend to include these facts in their sessions. You must try without fear and you must keep trying to learn more and advance yourself.

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