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5 Developmental Milestones: 7 - 8 Years Old


Learn about the social, emotional, physical and intellectual milestones of children in your child's age group.

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Developmental Tasks

Elementary school children between ages 7 and 8 are coming into their own as they learn skills for socializing and school. These kids begin to establish a sense of competence in school and with peers. They have greater physical strength and develop the capacity for self-control.

Physical Growth

Traits: Stronger ability to coordinate hands and eyes can lead to more interest in drawing and printing. Experiences minor accidents. Can be excited about new baby in family. Appetite decreases. May develop nervous habits.

Advice for Parents: Stock up on band-aids. Encourage child-infant relationship between siblings. Be patient with annoying habits.

Cognitive Development

Traits: Eager to learn. Solves complex problems with logic. Increased attention span. Enjoys collecting things and talking about personal interests. Likes a challenge. Works hard and takes time on tasks.

Advice for Parents: Foster thinking with riddles, stories, thinking games, and discussions. Encourage hobbies and interests. Give challenges appropriate for ability level.

Social Growth

Traits: Reacts strongly to teacher. Craves responsibility and independence. Concerned with self and others' reactions. Prefers to play with same sex. May use aggression to solve problems.

Advice for Parents: Show understanding. Assign appropriate tasks and praise child's efforts. Try to prevent conflicts. Encourage activities for all genders.

Emotional Characteristics

Traits: Complains often. May not correctly hear directions or respond promptly. Forgets. Easily distracted. Can withdraw or not interact with others in effort to build a sense of self.

Advice for Parents: Attend to complaints within reason. Remind about forgotten directions or information. Reassure and support.

Moral Maturation

Traits: May feel guilt and shame.

Advice for Parents: Discuss child's standards and expectations. Are they reasonable? Encourage child to be self-forgiving. Focus on child's worth, not the behavior. Then work on changing the behavior.

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Possible Setbacks?

Young elementary school children are slowly but surely building confidence in their abilities. Difficulties can result from: Over-dependence on parents for age-appropriate tasks (like combing hair or tying shoes). Teasing. Whining. Nervous stomach. Lack of friends. These difficulties are generally present for children 7 to 12 years old.