Seven is heaven! Your child has passed through all of the challenges of the toddler years, is comfortable in school, and still loves to spend time with you! This should be a calm and fun period – enjoy it by spending lots of time connecting with your seven-year-old. They’ll be enthusiastic and curious. They’ll enjoy sharing the new skills they’re mastering in school with you.
You can encourage school success in several ways. Help them unwind after school with a cuddle and snack. Set up firm routines for preparing for school in the morning, and doing homework in the afternoon. Choose a fixed time and place for homework and be nearby to answer questions and share in their new knowledge. Above all make learning important and fun by showing your interest, having lots of books and games at home and letting your child see you reading and learning.
Most children by age 7:
- Grow about 2.5 in. and gain about 7 lb in a year.
- Lose about four baby teeth each year. These are replaced by permanent teeth.
- Have a solid sense of time: They understand seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, seasons, and sometimes years. However that doesn’t mean they’re exactly timely – it may still take them years to get ready for school in the morning.
- Can solve simple math problems using objects (such as counting beads).
- Tend to talk a lot in situations where they’re comfortable.
- Pronounce words correctly. For example, most children don’t substitute the sound “fr” for “thr” in words like “through.”
- Are becoming better readers, but sounding out vowels often can still be difficult.
- Are becoming more coordinated in activities that use the large muscles, such as swimming and climbing.
- Use safety scissors easily.
- Use a pencil to write their name.
- Become more aware of and sensitive to the feelings of others. This trait is called empathy.
- Develop friendships, usually with other children of the same gender. They may even have a “best friend,” but it’s normal for this person to change even from week to week. You can help your child understand that they can have many different good friends at one time.
- Overcome some fears they had when they were younger, but still can be terrified of the unknown. For example, going to a new school can be stressful for a 7-year-old. Many children also fear being in trouble with their parents or other adults. They’re generally worried about the opinions of others.
- Play in larger groups occasionally, but also need time alone.
Children usually progress in a natural, predictable sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. However, each child grows and gains skills at her own pace. Some may be advanced in one area, such as language, but slower in another, such as motor development.
Enjoy watching your child learn and develop, but try not to worry too much. They are their own person with unique strengths and challenges. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, talk to your pediatrician at your next well-child visit, make a video or telephone appointment, or send an email with your questions.
Resources for parents:
My Doctor Online app
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