Developmental milestones: Your 7-year-old child
Knowing what to expect as your child grows can reassure you that your child is on track with his peers or alert you to potential concerns. Below are some milestones to watch for in your seven-year-old.
By Joyce Destefanis, M.A. , Nancy Firchow, M.L.S.
In the early school years, you won't see dramatic changes in your child's motor skills because this is a period of refinement, when coordination improves and fine motor skills are sharpened. But you will notice remarkable changes in his social and thinking skills. Your child is now building on the base of skills he developed during early childhood and moving toward greater independence, both intellectually and emotionally.
Here are some of the milestones you can expect of a 7-year-old:
- hand-eye coordination is well developed
- has good balance
- can execute simple gymnastic movements, such as somersaults
Language and Thinking Development
- uses a vocabulary of several thousand words
- demonstrates a longer attention span
- uses serious, logical thinking; is thoughtful and reflective
- able to understand reasoning and make the right decisions
- can tell time; knows the days, months, and seasons
- can describe points of similarity between two objects
- begins to grasp that letters represent the sounds that form words
- able to solve more complex problems
- individual learning style becomes more clear-cut
Social and Emotional Development
- desires to be perfect and is quite self-critical
- worries more; may have low self-confidence
- tends to complain; has strong emotional reactions
- understands the difference between right and wrong
- takes direction well; needs punishment only rarely
- avoids and withdraws from adults
- is a better loser and less likely to place blame
- waits for her turn in activities
- starts to feel guilt and shame
Tips on Parenting a 7-Year-Old
Now more socially aware, your child thinks about the world around him.
- This is a time of fragile self-esteem, so offer frequent encouragement and positive feedback.
- Help ease the tendency for self-criticism by stressing what he's learned rather than how the final product looks.
- Be patient and understanding of volatile emotions and moods.
- Take advantage of his eagerness to learn by asking open-ended, thought-provoking questions, doing puzzles, and playing thinking games.
- Initiate discussions about right vs. wrong.
- Provide opportunities for independent decision-making.