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Growth and development (6 to 12 years)

Child growth and development is a very unique and complex aspect in the parenting period. Children may develop in a predictable sequence through the years from birth to adolescence but they may experience or go through these steps in different ways and times. However there is widely held expectations as concerns the expected achievement of a child within a certain years of development (Feigelman, 2007). This is what is normally referred to as school- age children stage.

Physically, during this period, children tend to have smooth as well as strong motor skills with varied degree of coordination of the body parts like hand and eye. They also tend to endure more, tolerate so much negativity that comes with balance as well as physical activities. Depending on the development of the child, motor skill do vary from child to child and can influence the dressing, writing, and even performing particular chores like washing dishes (Bradley, 1993).

Children also begin to develop secondary sexual characteristics e. g. for girls they experience breast development and growth of underarm and pubic hair. On the other hand, boys experience growth of testicles and penis as well as air growth in chest, underarm, and pubic hair. Their language is a bit complicated throughout the early years especially at six to seven and they tend to develop more skills in communicating their mind. At the same time they develop reading skills independently.

It is during this period that a child will transform into a true reader. They learn how to read loudly and likely to develop aggressive behaviors (Ames L et al1988). At age 6, a child should be able to follow 3 commands in a row and at age 10, he or she should be able to follow 5 commands in a row. However, if a child has any form of problem in these areas, they would tend to cover it up because they fear being teased by others (Orford, 1994). Behaviorally, children may develop certain behaviors to belong to some groups.

They tend to accept more peer groups and therefore the parent should be in a position to talk about these groups’ behaviors in an open forum in order to make them aware that the parent understands their plight and can also remind them their responsibilities on those groups. It is at this stage that friendships between them tend to develop more with members of the same sex. However as they approach adolescence, they become less negative about the opposite sex and view them as normal.

The child will also try out some things like lying, cheating or even stealing in order to learn how to negotiate some of the rules put to them at school, home and with friends. This is a tricky part and parents or those responsible should be in apposition to deal with these issues privately so that their peers cannot tease them. A child of six years have been observed to have a long attention periods (about 15 minutes) and that at the age of 9-10 attention period should be for about 1 hour. The child should also learn how to deal with failure at this stage of development in order to boost their self esteem (Opee, 2001)

Finally, proper parenting should be observed during this time because these children are very active and involve themselves in very strenuous physical activities like engaging in more daring and adventurous activities. They will involve themselves in activities that adults will treat such as risky and unnecessary. However, to the children, that would be much fun and the more they are being warned the more they insist on doing the same. This should be treated with caution and they should be guided in every aspect of their physical involvement in such an activity to avoid dangerous situations.

Reference Ames L, Ilgy F, & Baker, S. (1988): learning your Teens: Your Ten to Fourteen Year Old , Chicago, Delta Press Bradley, J. (1993). Textbook of the adolescence: Understanding Your Ten Year Old, London: Tavistock Clinic. Feigelman, S. (2007). Middle childhood: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics (18th ed) Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier: chap 11. Opee, J. (2001): Physical Development in School-Age, New York: Pearson Prentice Hall Printers Orford, E. (1994). Textbook of the adolescence: Understanding Your Eleven year Old, London, Tavistock Clinic.

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