The six to eight year old child goes through many changes. At this stage, the children know how to take care of themselves in some ways. This includes dressing themselves, tying their shoelaces, and catching balls with their hands only. The focus now is to develop independence from parents. As school starts and friendships become more significant, children learn to interact with the big world. During this time, social, physical, and mental skills develop at a quick pace. Children have the opportunity to develop confidence through schoolwork, sports, and friends.
The child experiences many changes on many levels. Emotional and changes include growing independence from parents, awareness of the future, desire to be admired among friends, more attention to teamwork, and a stronger understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Mental changes during this period of development include mental skill development, increased ability to talk about feelings, growing concern for others.
Because of the many changes, parents need to be aware and act accordingly. This is what you can do to support your child during this stage of middle childhood.
- Talk with your child about his or her friends and school.
- Encourage your child to respect and help people in need.
- Give your child affection.
- Help your child set attainable goals.
- Recognize your child’s accomplishments.
- Help your child develop responsibility through helping with household chores.
- Establish clear rules and follow them.
- Participate in fun things as a family. Play games and attend events together.
- Get involved with school. Meet your child’s teachers and classmates.
- Use discipline as guidance for your child, not as punishment.
- Encourage your child to reach solutions independently (when appropriate).
- Support your child when he or she wants to set new goals.
- Encourage your child’s patience by permitting him or her to play only after finishing a certain task.
- Always read to your child. When your child knows how to read, take turns reading to each other.
As your child becomes increasingly independent and physically active, he or she becomes increasingly prone to injuries. Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of death from unintentional circumstances for children in this age group. Many other forms of accidents also exist. To avoid harm, take these precautions.
- Teach your child about traffic safety, including crossing streets, walking to school, etc.
- Make sure your child complies with safety regulations while in the car.
- Keep an eye on a child that is engaged in potentially dangerous activities, like climbing.
- Let your child know how to ask for help from others when he or she needs it.
- Make sure your child knows about water safety. Always be near and available when he or she is in or around a swimming pool.
- Make sure that no possibly dangerous products are within reach of your child in the house. Your child should not have access to firearms, chemicals, tools, and more.