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Every parent will be anxious about their child’s development and growth. Development refers to constant changes in various aspects of the child’s life and his ability to gain independence in daily tasks, whereas growth refers to the physical increase in size. A seven-year-old child will always be brimming with energy and curiosity to explore the world around him. The following article aims to act as a guide in helping you identify various types of developmental milestones for 7-year-olds.
Physical or Motor Development
Once your child reaches the age of seven, their advancement in motor skills development will be more than their general physical growth. The following are the few aspects to consider with regard to a 7-year old’s physical development:
- Children of this age group will learn to combine their motor skills with other activities. For instance, moving around while dancing.
- They will be able to perform easy household chores like brooming, making their bed etc. in a more skilled manner.
- They will have more balance and coordination at this age. These skills will facilitate them to ride a bicycle, spin and twist while standing, somersaults etc.
- Their hand-eye coordination will also be well developed.
Seven-year-olds are naturally inclined to questioning and curiosity, to know more about the world around them. They display an unending quest for knowledge. A 7-year-old’s brain development is something that happens rapidly and dynamically. It is common for parents to wonder if their children are developing at the correct pace. However, it is beneficial to keep in mind that milestones are meant as guidelines, not rules. The following aspects outline some of the key features of cognitive development.
- Children may demonstrate signs of self-awareness, especially when it comes to skills. They compare their skills with that of their peers.
- They become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and start to form perceptions around them.
- They can learn to accept a difference of opinion or a conflicting viewpoint.
Seven-year-olds show the ability to concentrate for longer durations. The following guidelines underscore some of the elements of language and literacy development:
- Dimensions of language such as sounds and patterns become discernible.
- The child continues to build and expand vocabulary and speaking skills (literacy skills).
- Reading is pleasurable for most children, and they enjoy participating in dramatizations.
- They can understand that one word can have more than one meaning and tend to enjoy humour and puns.
- They would be able to compose complete sentences on their own.
Learning & Educational Development
These are some of the learning and educational milestones of a seven-year-old:
- The will be able to read more fluently.
- They would have typically mastered basic math skills such as addition and subtraction, and would understand the relevance of this by applying it to word problems.
- Some students move ahead quickly when it comes to academics, while others are slow learners.
Social & Emotional Development
Children at the age of seven tend to show heightened concern for others. Their social horizons will expand at this age. They will expect acceptance from their peers and relatives. There might also be emotional outflow wherein they have scuffles with their friends. At this stage, parents need to guide their children to self-regulate their emotions. The following are some of the milestones:
- Seven-year-olds can typically talk about their emotions freely and have more emotional control, especially in a public setting.
- They will know the difference between right and wrong.
- A seven-year old’s emotional development will result in strong emotional reactions.
- Children of this age tend to complain, feel guilty, shameful etc.
At the age of seven, the typical 7-year-old becomes very conscious of his image i.e. the way he is perceived by his friends. Children in this age group tend to be highly influenced by friends and can make behavioural changes solely based on peer pressure.
- They typically tend to show independence from their family and start nurturing thoughts about the future. Some children have vivid pictures of how they see themselves as adults- professionally as well as personally.
- Their developing self-image gives them a picture of how they see themselves in the world.
- They pay attention to team building and group work.
- It is common for seven-year-olds to become naturally inclined towards adults other than their parents such as a teacher or a coach.
- They show a capacity to be mindful of other’s feelings and emotions.
- Some children may be inclined to spend more time by themselves. This is not a cause for concern, as this may be driven by an inclination towards a solitary hobby such as reading.
Tips for Parents to Help Development in a 7-Year-Old Child
- Kids of this age need all the boosts of confidence they can get, so it is a good idea to constantly offer encouragement.
- Parents should not blurt out false praise, as the child can very well perceive this. Praise should be towards the effort, not at the outcome.
- Be patient and understanding towards mood fluctuations.
- Encourage thinking games such as Scrabble and open-ended questions.
- Bring math into everyday life by generating discussion about real-world mathematical problems. This can help alleviate the fear of the subject.
- Always be mindful of child safety. Encourage children to openly discuss issues when it pertains to the safety of themselves or their peers.
- This is the perfect age to cultivate healthy eating habits. Model good practices by eating healthy and eating on time, rare exceptions aside.
- Limit screen time (including programmes watched on mobile devices) to not more than one hour a day- this has to be carefully monitored.
- Seven-year-olds might still need constant reminders about personal and oral hygiene, so there need be no qualms about giving them.
When to Worry?
Every human being is fundamentally different from one another, so it is important for parents to understand that different children develop differently. Some may be fast paced when it comes to learning, whereas some may be slow to grasp new concepts. Struggles in academics can be attributed to a wide range of factors such as the inability to follow instructions, shorter than average attention spans, or a more serious learning disability.
More often than not, troubles related to academics can be nipped in the bud by giving some extra time with the teacher. It is imperative that caregivers are quick to address problems rather than postponing them.
Improved physical development also means that the seven-year-olds are increasingly exposed to physical activities such as competitive sports, and there is always a risk of injury. It is vital to teach children about safe practices concerned with any activity and to always follow safety guidelines.