It is undoubtedly a challenging task to raise school-age children but it can also prove to be an awesome experience. The parents are required to be well aware of their child’s growth and development stages. The reason for this is simple! It has been proved that from the age of 6 to 12, the child grows physically and mentally at a rapid pace. So, parents should arm themselves with all the knowledge of what to expect.
While the preschoolers need supervision and appropriate attention, the school going children don’t require as much supervision as they tend to become independent with time. The parents must appreciate and encourage their child’s decisions but on the other hand, sometimes they should help them learn their mistakes and face the natural consequences. Watching children learning new activities and achieving new goals, and cheering them on various events including both curricular and extracurricular will not only make the parents happy but also instil a sense of responsibility in them to keep the child going.
The pace of growth may vary from child to child; following are the common child growth and development stages:
Child Growth And Development Stages AGE 6-8
- The child may have some adult teeth, the milk teeth will start to break and new adult teeth will start growing.
- Increase in height of the child, the legs will grow longer in comparison to the total height.
- Increase in strength, as the muscles will develop and the bones will get stronger.
- In some cases the process of puberty may also begin, especially girls tend to develop breasts and hips at the age of 8, which is normal, there’s nothing to worry about.
- Speech gets clear by the age of 6, the child starts to talk more and more and slowly and gradually the speech gets clear.
- They will start asking the meaning of different words, they will get curious about the words they hear in their daily life and tend to mimic the people around them.
- The vocabulary gets doubled, as the child keeps asking the meanings and understands more.
Emotional and Social Development:
- Develops a sense of humor, begins cracking jokes and understanding the jokes, but may not understand sarcasm.
- Can now judge what is right and what is wrong and what is good for them and what is not.
- Learns to handle emotions, can control their feelings now.
- Gains a sense of competition and badly wants to be better than the children of the same age.
- Learns to make decisions, can make small decisions on their own.
- Wants more and more friends and to be liked by other children.
- Starts becoming independent, as they learn to manage their own stuff and their mother no more needs to run after them all the time.
- Wants to participate in group activities but may not show loyalty because a child of this age is self-centred and wants to prove that he is the best.
- Starts making future plans, starts thinking of what he or she wants to become in the future, maybe a pilot or a doctor or an engineer.
The children will now have a command over numbers and alphabets, they can count backwards, they will start doing small operations like addition and subtraction. They will be able to read age-appropriate books and will enjoy reading, writing and drawing. They can name months and days of a week in serial order, and will learn to tell the time by looking at the watch and will know the date. The child will want to learn more and more new things and will curiously ask questions about the things in the surroundings.
In this stage of Child Growth And Development Stages, the parents should do the following:
- Help children to build a sense of responsibility by making them do small household tasks such as keeping their toys nicely in the cupboard, cleaning their shoes etc.
- Make strict time tables for them to follow. Set time to study, to play, to watch television etc. and stick to it. Teach them to obey the rules.
- Help your child to know what patience by giving them a task to complete before going to play. They will have to patiently finish the task and then they will get to play as a reward.
- Never discourage your child. Teach them to fix their own problems and even if they do something wrong, encourage them to do the right thing.
- Try to give appropriate answers whenever the child is curious about anything. No question is stupid; answer all their questions with patience and love.
- Encourage your child to take up new challenges.
Child Growth And Development Stages AGES 9-12
- The girls may start having periods, and it is very much normal, the parents don’t need to worry at all.
- Girls grow 10-12cm every year for about two to three years making them taller than the boys of the same age group.
- For boys, the puberty usually starts around the age of 11 and may start as late as 14.
- Boys grow 4-5cm per year for two to three years, making them shorter than the girls of the same age.
- The skin becomes oily and may develop pimples.
- Hair grows on the armpits and for boys on face and chest.
- Confidence level rises and the child can now talk with more confidence and is not afraid of speaking in front of a group of people.
- May start using slang as the children of this generation tend to use.
- The previous chatty child who used to speak all day long will now become quiet and will know when to speak and what to speak in this child growth and development stage.
Emotional and social development:
- Starts to form stronger friendships and friends are everything for them, and they get emotionally attached to people and start making friends of the same sex.
- Will experience peer pressure and may get involved in wrong things (parents beware).
- Gets curious about the changes in their body and will badly want to know what’s happening. The girls will have mood swings when on periods and their emotions will boost up.
- May engage in group activities and are now loyal to their friends, as their friends are now an important part of their life and they have learnt the importance of teamwork.
- Boys tend to become aggressive, they feel that they are always right and their temper breaks if someone tries to offend them.
- Enjoys talking to others and will develop an interest in the opposite gender. Earlier they were more comfortable with children of the same sex, but now as the child growth and development stages progress, the child will develop an interest in the children of opposite sex.
- Will like and respect parents and will love to be around them.
The child will start writing stories and would love to write letters. He or she will be able to read properly and will read more and more books (maybe comics). The child will be more engaged in using gadgets like mobile phone, laptop and would want to learn about them. The child will get homework from school and projects that will teach him/her to be punctual.
Child Growth And Development Stages Tips for parents:
- Spend more and more time with your children. Talk to them about each and everything.
Talk to them about their friends, the school life, and the challenges they may face in their relationships with friends and in studies.
- Be aware of how the child is performing in the school. Keep going to school and meet the teachers on a regular basis. Also, encourage your child to read daily. Keep asking him or her about homework and the grades, but never put pressure on them to score good grades.
- Encourage the child to participate in group activities like dance performances, drama and also keep him or her involved in some sport activity, so that your child learns the importance of team work and being active in sports will keep your child fit.
- Help your children to learn to figure out what is right and what is wrong. Make them aware of the fact that their friends can pressurize to do wrong things such as smoking or drinking alcohol, teach them to stay away from people like these.
- Instead of punishing your child, keep him or her in discipline to guide and protect him/her.
- Talk freely with your child about the changes that happen after puberty.
The pace of the child growth and development stages may vary from child to child, the parents should keep full care of their children in order to let them grow and develop in a proper way.
The rate of growth and development of a child depends on the following factors such as:
- Genetics- A child inherits the physical characteristics such as height and weight from the parents. Several disorders and diseases like diabetes, obesity etc. can also be passed genetically and may prove to be a great problem to the child’s development.
- Nutrition- Children need sufficient amount of carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins etc. for proper growth and development. Proper nutrition will keep the child healthy and also strengthen the immune system to fight against diseases.
- Environment- The surrounding of the children should be neat and clean to keep the child healthy. Pollution may affect the child physically and thereby decreasing their physical growth.
- Nutrition- Unhealthy food and improper nutrition can also affect a child mentally. Deficiency of Iodine, iron etc. can cause mental disorders.
- Environment- Lead, manganese and other harmful elements can also affect the brain which will ultimately affect the child’s learning and will lead to memory problems.
- Social and emotional environment- Screaming, punishing and shaming can have a very adverse effect on the child’s mental growth and may hinder the proper stages of child growth and development. On the flip side, loving, caring and appreciating can help build an emotionally mature individual.