Your 7-Year-Old Child's Development

For 7-year-olds, independence is not just about dressing themselves or brushing their own teeth anymore. Many 7-year-olds may enjoy making significant decisions that are important to them, such as choosing extracurricular activities or taking on more responsibilities at school and at home. They are in a period of transition—no longer wide-eyed kindergarteners but not yet worldly middle-schoolers either.

Here is an overview of milestones you can generally expect to see in a 7-year-old. Some children may experience these phases of development sooner while others hit them later. Every child is different: there is no one formula that fits all children.

7 year old child development - kids doing dishes
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Parenting a 7-year-old child is less about close supervision and more about guidance and reminders. Seven-year-old children are growing more self-sufficient and are better able to take care of their own daily routines. They may also express an increasing desire to make more decisions and choices for themselves, such as picking out their own clothes or deciding what activities they want to be involved in.

Routines are still appreciated at this age since predictability makes kids feel secure. Charts can work well to motivate kids to do follow their routines, do their chores, and exhibit good behavior. 

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7 year old child development - kids in school gym, girl jumping
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For 7-year-old children, physical development will be more about refinement than major changes. Seven-year-olds will continue to grow into long-limbed and lanky versions of their former chubby preschooler selves as their motor skills become more precise. At this age, kids will also develop better coordination and balance and can learn to do more combinations with their motor skills, such as moving around while they're dancing. The more physically active they are, the faster these skills develop.

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7 year old child development - girl hugging grandfather
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For 7-year-old children, emotional development will become noticeable as they become better at handling the unexpected and weathering changes. Seven-year-old children may still lack the self-control of, say, a middle-schooler, but they will be much more adept at handling transitions and surprises than younger children. They're also learning to understand other people's feelings better.

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7 year old child development - boys doing homework
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Seven-year-old children are curious about the world around them. They will ask questions and seek answers about the things they encounter and the people they meet, and will take pride in sharing what they know. Kids at this age will display a formidable sense of adventure and thirst for information and will love being mentors to younger siblings and other children as they show off their newfound knowledge and skills. Their math and reading skills are steadily expanding too, as is their ability to recognize words and do simple word problems.

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7 year old child development - friends hugging
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Friendships and social networks are important to 7-year-old children, who are continuing to form bonds with peers, teachers, and teammates. They may even start trying to handle those relationships on their own. They will begin to care more about the opinions and thoughts of other people. The downside of this natural phase of child development is an increased susceptibility to peer pressure. Seven-year-old children will also continue to develop empathy and a strong sense of morals and fairness.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Middle Childhood (6-8 years of age). Updated January 3, 2017.

Child Development Tracker: Your Seven Year Old. PBS Parents.

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