Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Growth and Development, Ages 6 to 10 Years - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development

Although your child between the ages of 6 and 10 may seem very independent at times, he or she still needs your constant guidance. Being present is the most important thing you can do to help your child grow in healthy ways. Knowing that you are "around" and available provides him or her with a sense of security. Although your child's world is expanding, you remain his or her primary influence.

You can do many things to help your child grow and develop.

Recommended Related to Children

Talking With Kids About Disasters

Your child comes home from school in a state. He or she is panic stricken. The reason? Take your pick. In today's chaotic world, he or she may be worried about anything and everything from natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and global warming to terrorism and the Iraq War. So what's a concerned parent to do? "Today parents need to have an ongoing preemptive awareness of what the kids in school could be talking about," says Glenn Kashurba, MD, a child psychiatrist in Somerset, Pa. From...

Read the Talking With Kids About Disasters article > >

  • Promote physical development by encouraging and modeling healthy eating habits. Also, foster a healthy body image by talking about and showing how it is important to accept people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. For more information, see the topic Healthy Habits for Kids.
  • Promote cognitive development—thinking and reasoning skills—by being involved in your child's school. Volunteer if possible, cultivate good relationships with teachers and other staff members, and show your interest in what your child is learning. Also, work on skills at home, such as simple math problems, money handling, reading, and writing. Age-appropriate workbooks are widely available. But be careful not to pressure your child. Simply spending time with him or her is an important part of setting a foundation for cognitive growth.
  • Promote language development by reading to your child every day. Make reading a routine, even as he or she gets older and seems to lose interest. Set aside time that you and your child can look forward to and talk about stories, words, and ideas. Visit your local library and try finding books with new subjects that you think might interest your child.
  • Promote social and emotional development by being aware of sibling rivalry, which can become a problem around this age. Also help your child learn social skills, such as by showing your acceptance of others and not gossiping or saying mean things about other people.
  • Promote sensory and motor skill development by encouraging exercise every day. It doesn't have to be highly structured: the main point is to move around and limit TV time and other screen time. Practicing somersaults, playing catch, going to the park, or riding a bike are all helpful in developing muscular skill and endurance. Also, encourage your child to create art projects, such as drawing, cutting with safety scissors, gluing, and stringing beads. These and similar activities help improve eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. For more information, see the topic Physical Activity for Children and Teens.

Also, you can help your child in other general ways.

  • Deal with fears. Understand that your child may become extremely interested in scary subjects or images as a way to overcome fears about them. Help your child as much as you can by answering questions and providing reassurance as needed.
  • Discourage physical violence and show your child ways to deal with anger without being violent. Protect your child from violent media as much as you can. Some TV programs, movies, video games, and websites show a lot of violent acts. Children who watch a lot of this violence may come to believe that such behavior is okay. This can make them more likely to act violently themselves. It can also lead to nightmares, aggression, or fears of being harmed.1 Music lyrics affect children's behavior and emotions, too.2 Monitor the type of music that your child is exposed to, and be aware of the music your child buys.
  • Establish limits. Set limits for your children to show them that you love and care about them. Make sure your rules are reasonable and that your child understands them. It is important to follow through on any consequences you have established for failing to follow rules.
  • Recognize and develop special talents. Help your child discover interests and practice skills. For example, kick a soccer ball around the yard with your child or help him or her practice printing letters.
  • Recognize his or her curiosity about the body and sexuality. You can help your child gain basic knowledge and a healthy attitude toward these issues by showing a willingness to listen and discuss them.
  • Before your child starts middle school, teach him or her how to resist using tobacco and other drugs.
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool