Young Children: Child Development (6-8 Years Old)
- What are milestones in physical skills development for young children 6-8 years of age?
- What are milestones in cognitive skills development for young children 6-8 years of age?
- What are tips for parents caring for a young child 6-8 years of age?
- How can parents ensure the safety of their young children 6-8 years of age?
- Find a local Pediatrician in your town
What are milestones in physical skills development for young children 6-8 years of age?
Arriving at the 6- to 8-year-old time frame, gross- and fine-motor skills have become much more sophisticated and integrated when compared to the previous two years. One of the most impressive changes is related to a child's coordination. They will now have the ability to finely coordinate independent movements of both the upper and lower extremities into a synchronous motion. Successfully riding a two-wheel bicycle requires reciprocal leg motion (for example, one side applies pressure to the pedal while the other leg relaxes) coupled with arm movements to maintain a desired direction all while maintaining the balance necessary to avoid falling. Some sports require these upper- and lower-extremity skills to be developed in tandem (gymnastics, ice staking, or hockey). Other sports have an emphasis on upper-extremity (baseball, basketball) or lower-extremity (soccer) skills. It is worthwhile for children to experience a number of various sports to allow experimentation in as many avenues as possible. Enjoyment over success should be the focal point.
What are milestones in cognitive skills development for young children 6-8 years of age?
In Piaget's stages of cognitive development, the 6- to 8-year-old child
has entered the "intuitive phase." Speech patterns have matured, and long and
complex sentences are to be expected. Occasional stuttering or stammering may be
noticed and should not be considered abnormal unless its existence interferes
with academic or social activities. Thought processes are less egocentric, and
the child begins to recognize that his/her actions have consequences (both
desired and undesired). Children of this age range are still concrete in
One area that may present itself during this period may be the designation for the first time that the child is gifted, either academically, athletically, or in the arts. It is important to investigate and quantify possible academic superiority with formal testing. Such scales as the Stanford-Binet IQ Test or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -- Revised (WISC-R) are commonly administered by an educational psychologist on retainer by the local school district. It is important for parents to understand that a gifted child may imply either a global intellectual superiority or a more focused enhancement (for example, math) while other academic areas are age appropriate. While it is exciting for parents to have such an intellectually advanced child, there may be strains in family dynamics as a result. The child may feel different, and siblings may suffer misinterpreted praise for their brother/sister as denigration and lessening of their aptitude. The gifted child may adopt perfectionism as a mantra and suffer a demotion in self-esteem if academic success stutters. Families may invest large sums of time, emotion, and money to nurture such a child only to discover that he/she would prefer to play with friends. It is important for parents to realize that assignment of a child as gifted does not eliminate the possibility of a focused learning difficulty, ADHD, and possible personality disorders associated with these areas.
Parenting and Pregnancy
Get tips for baby and you.