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By Anne A. McGrady
Seven-year-olds are becoming more and more independent and enjoy and want to make many significant choices and decisions.
They take great pride in deciding extracurricular activities and assuming more responsibilities at home and school. This age group child is in a transitional phase, no longer a kindergartner, but not yet a middle schooler. As we briefly discuss the milestones of a seven-year-old, we must remember each child may reach these developmental milestones within a given period of time. All children do not fit into a given time frame.
As this seven-year-old matures, you will find that constant supervision is no longer needed and guidance and reminders are needed rather than close supervision.
Ten to twelve hours of sleep is recommended. Parents should encourage good sleep habits as well as establishing healthy eating habits.
Chores establish with your child a feeling of contributing and handling more responsibilities for the family.
This age group loves collecting toys, is obsessed with games and loves to interact.
Here are a few characteristics of a seven year old:
• Growth spurts now and then – growth 2 to 2.5 inches
• Gone is chubby and long-limbed appearance
• Teeth care – child can use dental floss- fine motor coordination. Baby teeth will be gone – permanent teeth emerge late and awkward looking since mouth and face are not full grown.
• Baths and hair washing can be completed
Coordination Motor Skills
• Hand-eye coordinations more defined – write and draw with more control
• Combining motor skills like running and kicking ball
• more time is spent on sports and physical activities
• Eats with fingers, talks with mouths full, loves peanut butter
• Suffers more cold exposure at school
• Will get better when able to handle the unexpected and changes.
• Can handle transitions and finds comfort in routines
• World is open to things and people.
• Being able to read more independently has opened up his world.
• Can become unsure of self in regards to peer pressure.
• Will accept hugs but not around his friends.
• Alone and down time become important.
• Child is center of his own world and can become boastful.
• If not a winner, may say that others are cheating.
• Curious about world around them. Thirst for knowledge, curious and excited about learnings.
• Continued rapid language development. Writing and reading skills develop.
• Can tackle more complicated math/word problems, 3 digit numbers, fractions, greater understanding of mental math.
• Understanding of money.
• Friendships, social networks important, bonding peers, teachers, classmates.
• Interested in and cares about opinions and thoughts of other people.
• Developing empathy and strong sense morals and fairness.
• Important to teach child what it means to be a good citizen- being charitable – helping environment.
• Must be a winner, changes rules to fit own needs.
• Morals – strong sense right and wrong.
• May tell on others who they think are cheating.
As your child enters second grade, a feeling of confidence, responsibility, school routines, sharing stories, being independent and transitioning to second grade will come naturally. Enjoy your seven-year-old and remember “There is no one like your child”.
References: Your Seven Year Old; School Age Children, Katherine Lee – 2012
GREAT SUMMER READS:
“Lady Bug Girl at the Beach,” David Somar & Jacky Davis, Dial Books, 2010, 4-7 years. Lula who likes to wear ladybug costume, goes to the beach for the first time and makes castles, flies kites and deals with her fears of the ocean.
“Fancy Nancy & The Mermaid Ballet,” Jane O’Conner, Harper, 2012, 4-7 years. Adventurous Fancy Nancy and her girlfriend have a dance show about mermaids and many things happen.
“Superchick,” Kristy Dempsey, Abrams Books, 2012, 4-7 years. A great seaside read about chick who is finally going to learn how to surf by her Dad.