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Child Development: 6-8 Year Olds

By Edited Mar 27, 2016 0 0

Though the growth of your child is not stopping and they are learning more everyday, the developmental milestones they are achieving are getting fewer and fewer.  This does not mean they are not of great importance.  They are just growing at a steady pace.  For this reason, I have started grouping ages together.  Another reason to do this grouping is because during this and subsequent ages the rate of growth is starting to vary more and more depending on gender, culture, social, environmental, and psychological reasons.  That is not to say they were not before, but you can more attribute it now. 

 Physical Development


There is so much variance between different factors; we are going to stop talking about height and weight.  You should still monitor these and talk to your doctor about them.  Generally as long as they are proportional between height and weight this will not be a problem.  With that being said, childhood obesity is now called an epidemic, so you should be cognizant of your child’s weight.

They are not getting better at using tools.  They have mastered scissor and will cut a lot of thing they could not do before, such as complex shapes, alphabet letters, and animal shapes.  In addition to cutting, they will become very good at copying shapes, letters, numbers, and drawing animals and/or people. They can tie their own shoes, even though they will later be untied quite a bit.

Your child will want to show you his or her great gross motor skills.  They are enjoying testing their strength by trying to help pick up things that are usually too heavy for them.  They will be persistent and not give up.  They have a good sense of balance and will trying walking or climbing on things they never did before.  This can be a blessing and curse.  They will be somewhat clumsy because their body is trying to catch up with their arms and legs which are getting longer.   


Mental Development

Dyslexia is over thought of as a writing disorder.  However, it is really a reading disorder.  Some parents of children this age will come and ask me if I can test their child for dyslexia.  There is no test for dyslexia, it is done by observation.  However, when the parents of 6-8 year olds come to me and say their child is turning around letter, it is usually the “b and d” or the “s” or “e.”  Actually, most children will turn these letters around when first learning how to write.  It has nothing to do with dyslexia, but more to do with concentration of trying to stay between the lines and going from left to right on the paper. 

Your child will love to start planning and building things.  It is not usual for forts to be built in the backyard, on empty lots, in ditches, or even in trees.  They will plan out how they are going to get the Indians or how they are going to have all their friends over for a sleep-over. 

Hopefully, in that sleep-over they will want to do some reading.  Generally during this time the child will have a greater interest in reading, because they are getting rewarded for it more at school and they want to impress you at home.  It could be they just enjoy it.  Let’s hope that is the reason with your child. 

Prior to this age, psychologist say, the attention span should be about 1 minute for every year of age.  At this age, that rule is broken.  Your child should be able to pay attention for 30 minutes minimum. 

The collecting that started in the 5 age range, how now increased and some of their collection will be elaborate and you will want it to be taken outside the home.  Find a place for them to

little scientist
have their laboratory.  It should be a place just for them to experiment AND to keep those collections you do not want in the house.    


Social Development

According to Erickson’s stages of Psychosocial Development, this stage is a stage of ego development.  Some call this the latency stage, but that is a through back from the debunked Freudian stages of psychosexual development.  Latency means no activity, but Erickson shows us there is. 

Erickson called this stage the Industry versus Inferiority stage.  The basic strengths gained from successful completion of this are methodology and competence. The results of the unsuccessful completion is an inferiority complex, where the person feels they can not do anything right. 


Friends become increasing important and the role of the parents is somewhat diminished but still very important.  Still girls will still play with girls and boys still prefer their male friends.  They will be able to indentify their “best friend” and will possible have “enemies.” They have developed a general concern and caring for other people, especially those younger than them.  I guess they remember what they went through and want to help others. 

They show interest in rules and can start to understand why rules have to be in place. They might not follow them, but they can understand them. Part of this leads to them being able to see thing from other people’s perspective.  They are still very much self-centered.  They still see the world as black and white.  If you asked them why they should follow the rules, the answer will most likely be “so you will not get into trouble” instead of because the rule is there to protect us and others.  They have the all or none way of thinking. 

They show a desire to have better performance in all that they do.  They want to succeed instead of just doing something.  They will take criticism hard at time.  They will also seek attention constantly.  If you ignore them they will become visibly upset. 



The school age years are getting really started now.  They are learning a lot in school and are generally interested in learning new thing.  They want to grow up and be teachers themselves because they are thrilled with the education they are receiving.  They might want to be scientist because they are genuinely interesting in how things work.  They want to be police and firemen because they respect the rules and like the excitement.  They want to be doctors and lawyers, usually because daddy and mommy want them to be.  They want to be sports stars because they like the attention and usually they have a little bit of talent for the sport. 

Take care of yourself and each other.  Make today and everyday a great day. 

Next article in this series:  Pending

Previous artilce in this series


Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant
Amazon Price: $15.00 $4.49 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 27, 2016)
Your Seven-Year-Old: Life in a Minor Key
Amazon Price: $15.00 $3.00 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 27, 2016)
Your Eight Year Old: Lively and Outgoing
Amazon Price: $15.00 $2.45 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 27, 2016)


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