Children off to school.

Milestones In A School Aged Child’s Life

Middle childhood brings many changes in a child’s life. While the influence of parents remains vital, friendships start to become more important to the child. Children come in contact with an ever-widening community. Your child’s confidence is growing in many ways; through your guidance, friends, schoolwork and sports.

Check Early Check Often to Support Your Child’s Transition to School

Five is often the age when our little ones are transitioning from the pre-school age period and into Kindergarten. When we check our children’s development early and often through the pre-school years, we can support children entering the school system, as we have a clear picture of their gifts and any areas where they need a little extra support. This video discusses how early screening can help parents and school district staff to support their children’s transition to the school system.

This video, produced by FAN features early childhood professionals and parents talking about their experiences with early childhood developmental screening.

School Aged 6-8 Years – What most children do at this age:

Social and Emotional

  • Shows less dependence on parents and family
  • Is able to think about the future
  • Understands more about his or her place in the world
  • Pays more attention to friendships
  • Wants to be liked and accepted by friends
  • Relies on guidance from parents and other adults for problem solving and for moral development

Thinking and Learning

  • Shows rapid development of mental skills
  • Learns more ways to describe experiences and talk about thoughts and feelings
  • Has less focus on self and more concern for others

When to Ask Questions:

  • Child is experiencing or participating in ‘bullying’
  • Child is not able to play with other children
  • Child shows ongoing challenges with managing the routine of school and daily activities

School Aged 9-12 Years – What most children do at this age:

Social and Emotional

  • Starts to form stronger, more complex friendships and peer relationships
  • May start to experience more peer pressure
  • Becomes more aware of his or her body as puberty approaches
  • Continues to rely on parents and other adults for guidance around decision making, problem solving and moral development

Thinking and Learning

  • May become more challenged with school work
  • May become more independent from the family, yet still enjoy being connected
  • Starting to see and be aware of other people’s points of view
  • Developing a variety of interests

When to Ask Questions:

  • Child does not communicate about their activities at school or outside of school
  • Child is encountering significant challenges in learning or ‘keeping up’ with school work
  • Child is experiencing or participating in ‘bullying’
  • Child consistently does not want to attend school or participate in any activities outside of school
  • Child is not able to adapt to the routines of school and/or manage transitions of his or her average day

Parent Links

Healthy sleep habits are important for school-aged children. The quality of a child’s sleep can affect their ability to learn.

https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/good-sleep-habits-10-tips-children
https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/sleep-and-learning-children

The reduction of screen time and increase in ‘green time’ is critical at this age, when the framework for life-long habits can be set.

https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/topic/physical-activity-1
https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/topic/child-development

Building confidence is a key focus for parents during the middle childhood years. Staying positive and setting healthy boundaries for your children are also important.

Sometimes children have difficulty coping with school routines. If these challenges are ongoing, help is available.

These topics and a variety of others are noted below:
https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/topic/parenting-child
http://psychologyfoundation.org/index.php/programs/kids-have-stress-too

Child and Youth Mental Health Services – Trail, BC
Call: 250-364-0540

Is it an emergency? Call 9-1-1

As your child is exposed to an ever-widening circle of influence, including the media and peers, helping your child make good decisions and develop an understanding of safety is important.

Safety Links:
https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/topic/child-safety
https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/bullying-how-spot-it-children