There are many typical milestones of child development for every age group. Understanding what is normal and expected to change for a child at any given age is very important in understanding how to best parent and discipline. Here are some of the typical developmental changes to expect with your 6 – 8 year old.
- Slow gains in height and weight continue until adolescent growth spurt.
- Gradual replacement of primary teeth by permanent teeth throughout middle childhood.
- Writing becomes smaller and more legible. Letter reversals decline.
- Drawings become more organized and detailed and start to include some depth cues.
- Organized games with rules and rough-and-tumble play become common.
- Dominance hierarchies become more stable, especially among boys.
- Thought becomes more logical, as shown by the ability to pass Piagetian conservation, class inclusion, and seriation problems.
- Understanding of spatial concepts improves, as illustrated by conservation of distance and ability to give clear, well-organized directions.
- Attention becomes more selective and adaptable.
- Uses memory strategies of rehearsal and organization.
- Regards the mind as an active, constructive agent, capable of transforming information.
- Awareness of the importance of memory strategies and the impact of psychological factors (attention, motivation) in task performance improves.
- By the end of this period, makes the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
- Uses informal knowledge of number concepts and counting to master more complex mathematical skills.
- Vocabulary increases rapidly throughout childhood.
- Word definitions are concrete, referring to functions and appearance.
- Metalinguistic awareness improves.
EMOTIONAL / SOCIAL
- Self-concept begins to include personality traits and social comparisons.
- Self-esteem differentiates, becomes hierarchically organized, and declines to a more realistic level.
- Self-conscious emotions of pride and guilt are governed by personal responsibility.
- Recognizes that individuals can experience more than one emotion at a time.
- Attends to more cues — facial, situational, and past experiences — in interpreting another’s feelings.
- Understands that access to different information often causes people to have different perspectives.
- Becomes more responsible and independent.
- Distributive justice reasoning changes from equality to merit to benevolence.
- Peer interaction becomes more prosocial, and physical aggression declines.