CHILDREN (6-8 Yrs) DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES

Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping).

What happens to kids in childhood shapes who they become as adults. Children who are nurtured and supported throughout childhood are more likely to thrive and develop into happy, healthy and productive adults.

Children (6-8 Years)

Middle childhood brings many changes in a child’s life. By this time, children can dress themselves, catch a ball, and tie their shoes.

Developing independence from family becomes more important now. Events such as starting school bring children this age into regular contact with the larger world. Friendships become more and more important.

Physical, social, and mental skills develop quickly at this time. This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as friendships, schoolwork, and sports.

Middle Childhood Children 6-8 Years Positive Parenting American SPCC
Middle Childhood Children 6-8 Years Positive Parenting American SPCC

Emotional/Social Changes (6-8 Years)

Children in this age group might:

  • Show more independence from parents and family.
  • Start to think about the future.
  • Understand more about his or her place in the world.
  • Pay more attention to friendships and teamwork.
  • Want to be liked and accepted by friends.

Thinking & Learning (6-8 Years)

Children in this age group might:

  • Show rapid development of mental skills.
  • Learn better ways to describe experiences and talk about thoughts and feelings.
  • Have less focus on self and more concern for others.

Positive Parenting Tips (6-8 Years)

Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your child during this time:

  • Show affection for your child. Recognize his/her accomplishments.
  • Help your child develop a sense of responsibility—ask him to help with household tasks, such as setting the table.
  • Talk with your child about school, friends, and things he/she looks forward to in the future.
  • Talk with your child about respecting others. Encourage him to help people in need.
  • Help your child set achievable goals and learn to take pride in himself/herself and rely less on approval or reward from others.
  • Help your child learn patience by letting others go first or by finishing a task before going out to play. Encourage him to think about possible consequences before acting.
  • Make clear rules and stick to them, such as how long your child can watch TV or when he/she has to go to bed. Be clear about what behavior is okay and what is not okay.
  • Do fun things together as a family, such as playing games, reading, and going to events in your community.
  • Get involved with your child’s school. Meet the teachers and staff and develop an understanding of their learning goals and how you and the school can work together to help your child do well.
  • Continue reading to your child. As your child learns to read, take turns reading to each other.
  • Use discipline to guide and protect your child, rather than punishment to make him feel bad about himself/herself. Follow up any discussion about what not to do with a discussion of what to do instead.
  • Praise your child for good behavior. It’s best to focus praise more on what your child does (“you worked hard to figure this out”) than on traits she can’t change (“you are smart”).
  • Support your child in taking on new challenges. Encourage her to solve problems, such as a disagreement with another child, on his/her own.
  • Encourage your child to join school and community groups, such as a team sports, or to take advantage of volunteer opportunities.
Middle Childhood Children 6-8 Years Healthy Bodies Positive Parenting American SPCC

Healthy Bodies (6-8 Years)

  • Parents can help make schools healthier. Work with your child’s school to limit access to foods and drinks with added sugar, solid fat, and salt that can be purchased outside the school lunch program.
  • Make sure your child has 1 hour or more of physical activity each day.
  • Limit screen time for your child to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day of quality programming, at home, school, or afterschool care.
  • Practice healthy eating habits and physical activity early. Encourage active play, and be a role model by eating healthy at family mealtimes and having an active lifestyle.

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Click for Reference & Sources

  1. Information Courtesy of CDC.
  2. Positive Parenting Tip Sheet for Children 6-8 Years CDC.

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