#203 - 2000 Island Hwy
School-aged children grow in spurts. They will have leaps in mental and emotional development.
For the most part, the years between six and ten pass smoothly. Your child will refine physical and social skills, gain some emotional maturity, and develop more complex ways of thinking.
By the time they are five years old, children have usually developed enough emotional maturity to control their impulses – they should be able to share, listen to simple instructions, and understand expectations.
Their behaviour will not always be golden but they are learning. Much of your child’s behavioural development is about learning how to behave and relate in social situations. For example, Grandma smiles when a child says, “Please.” It is not okay to hit. There are five kids and two swings so we have to take turns.
It is important to keep your child’s temperament, current moods and behavioural development levels in mind when deciding whether to go out to dinner at Chez Pierre, or to a birthday party with 12 other children.
If the situation is something you know your child will have trouble with, then either go alone, avoid the activity, or change the environment. At the same time it is important to give children opportunities to face new social situations and learn new behaviour skills, but keep your expectations for good behaviour reasonable.
Set firm boundaries and expectations for behaviour, and establish clear, consistent consequences. For example: “If you refuse to say please and thank you, you will not get what you ask for." Or, "If you don’t wear your helmet, you are not allowed to skateboard.”
When your child misbehaves, explain to them how their behaviour did not meet expectations, why the rules and expectations are important, and remind them of the consequences they face. Make consequences fair and relate them to the behaviour. Then follow through. For example: “You did not follow the rule of no juice in the living room. The reason we have that rule is so the carpet and furniture are not ruined. You spilled your juice. Turn off the TV and clean up the juice.”
Be aware that physical discipline has been shown to cause serious disturbances in mental and emotional development. Avoid physical punishments.
The range of emotional development over a child’s school years will be broad and varied.
The overall goal is for children to have a healthy, strong, and integrated sense of self. This includes positive self-esteem, a belief in their abilities, a healthy sense of sexual development, and appropriate levels of independence and self-reliance.
Build your child’s self-esteem by supporting his efforts. Warmly recognize his attempts and achievements with encouragement and praise.
Healthy Choices is a program developed by Island Health to help parents teach and encourage healthy sexual development in their children.
Six- to nine-year-olds continue to be fascinated by their body and the bodies of others. “Bathroom humour” is very popular and they want to share it with everyone. While learning more about male and female roles, children start to attach values and labels to these roles. They strongly identify with children of the same gender, conform to peer norms, and begin to develop a sense of sexual orientation. They identify with and can be affected by stories they hear, often in the media, about AIDS, sexual abuse, etc. Sex play and masturbation may continue.
Nine- to twelve-year-olds are getting ready for puberty. On average, girls enter puberty between nine and 13 and boys between 10 and 14. Puberty is the second fastest period of growth humans ever experience, infancy being the first. It is a time of rapid physical, emotional, and social changes.
Pre-teens vacillate between feeling excited or embarrassed about their new body, worried about being normal, happy to be growing up, and confused about sexual feelings. This is often the start of the ‘emotional roller coaster’ for both parents and kids. Peers may become more important than parents in some decisions – especially about clothing, language, recreation and music, but parents still greatly influence other decisions.
During the school years, your child’s physical development is mostly about learning and refining large and fine motor skills.
You can help by making sure your child has a wide variety of creative, play and organized activities such as:
As they approach adolescence, your child may start to experience the physical changes of puberty. It’s a good idea to prepare them for this by talking about puberty ahead of time.
Testosterone is the male hormone primarily responsible for the changes that occur in boys during puberty.
Changes include: broadening of chest and shoulders and an increase in overall muscle mass. Scrotum, testicles, and penis grow. Boys experience erections, ejaculations and nocturnal emissions (wet dreams-ejaculations during sleep) as their body practices for reproduction.
Estrogen is the female hormone primarily responsible for the changes that occur in girls during puberty.
Changes include: hips widen as the pelvic bone changes shape, breasts develop, and fat tissue is increasing around hips, thighs, buttocks, and breasts. Girls’ reproductive organs change and the vulva, uterus, and vagina grow, ovaries mature and menstruation starts.
#203 - 2000 Island Hwy