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Positive Parenting Tips for Healthy Child Development
Middle Childhood (6-8 years of age)
Middle childhood (ages 6-8 years) brings many changes in a child’s life. By this time, children can dress themselves, catch a ball more easily using only their hands, and tie their shoes. Having independence from family becomes more important now.
Events such as starting school bring children this age into regular contact with the larger world. Friendships become more and more important. Physical, social, and mental skills develop quickly at this time. This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, schoolwork, and sports.
Positive Parenting Tips
Here are some positive parenting tips that you, as a parent, can do to help your child during this time:
- Show affection for your child. Recognize her accomplishments.
- Help your child develop a sense of responsibility—ask him to help with household tasks, such as setting the table.
- Talk with your child about school, friends, and things she looks forward to in the future.
- Talk with your child about respecting others. Encourage him to help people in need.
- Help your child set her own achievable goals—she’ll learn to take pride in herself and rely less on approval or reward from others.
- Help your child learn patience by letting others go first or by finishing a task before going out to play. Encourage him to think about possible consequences before acting.
- Make clear rules and stick to them, such as how long your child can watch TV or when she has to go to bed. Be clear about what behavior is okay and what is not okay.
- Do fun things together as a family, such as playing games, reading, and going to events in your community.
- Get involved with your child’s school. Meet the teachers and staff and get to understand their learning goals and how you and the school can work together to help your child do well.
- Continue reading to your child. As your child learns to read, take turns reading to each other.
- Use discipline to guide and protect your child, rather than punishment to make him feel bad about himself. Follow up any discussion about what not to do with a discussion of what to do instead.
- Praise your child for good behavior. It’s best to focus praise more on what your child does (“you worked hard to figure this out”) than on traits she can’t change (“you are smart”).
- Support your child in taking on new challenges. Encourage her to solve problems, such as a disagreement with
another child, on her own.
- Encourage your child to join school and community groups, such as team sports, or to take advantage of