Developmental Milestones and Your Eight Year Old Child

8-Year-Olds Are Expanding Their World

Eight-year-olds are becoming more confident about themselves and who they are. At age 8, your child will likely have developed some interests and hobbies, and will know what they like and don’t like.

At the same time, they are learning more about the world at large, and are also better able to navigate social relationships with others more independently, with less guidance from parents. At home, 8-year-olds are able to tackle more complicated household chores and take on more responsibility for taking care of themselves and even helping out with younger siblings.

In general, according to the CDC, these are some changes you may see in your child:

  • Show more independence from parents and family.
  • Start to think about the future.
  • Understand more about his or her place in the world.
  • Pay more attention to friendships and teamwork.
  • Want to be liked and accepted by friends.

Behavior and Daily Routines

8 year old child development - girl holding baby sibling
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Eight-year-old behavior and daily routines are shaped by unique, individual tastes, interests and personalities. Parents and other significant adults in an 8-year-old child's life should keep in mind the importance of being good role models since this is a time when children are figuring out the world and who they are and how they fit into it. At this age, your child may get involved with more complex social activities and behaviors that help define his or her sense of sense.

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Physical Development

8 year old child physical development - children running
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For 8-year-old children, physical development will continue to be more about refinement of skills, coordination and muscle control rather than huge changes and leaps in development. Eight-year-old children who have natural athletic ability may show their skills at this developmental stage as physical skills become more precise and accurate. In fact, this is often the age at which children decide whether they are athletic or not, and choose to participate or avoid sports. Either way, it's important for parents to encourage physical activity. Even your child isn't an athlete, she can still enjoy running, swimming, biking, and many other types of non-sports-related physical fun.

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Emotional Development

8 year old child emotional development - boy hugging dog
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Eight-year-old emotional development may be growing at a deeper level than in younger years, and an 8-year-old may show more sophisticated and complex emotions and interactions. For instance, an 8-year-old may mask true thoughts or emotions to spare someone else's feelings or work through a problem without an adult's close supervision or intervention. This is the point, too, when your child may be developing a more sophisticated sense of himself in the world. Her interests, talents, friends, and relationship with family all help her to establish a clear self-identity.

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Cognitive Development

8 year old child development - girl reading book on sofa
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Eight-year-old children will be able to pay attention for longer periods of time. You can expect 8-year-old kids to be able to concentrate on an activity for up to an hour or more. Eight-year-olds will also be able to think more critically and express opinions using more complex and sophisticated vocabulary and language skills.

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Social Development

8 year old child social development - children on grass outside
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Many eight-year-old children love being a part of sports teams and other social groups and will enjoy close friendships with select friends. In general, eight-year-old children enjoy school and will count on and value relationships with friends and classmates. Parents of 8-year-olds should be on the lookout for problems such as school refusal, as this may indicate learning difficulties or being bullied at school.

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What If My Child Is Different?

Developmental milestones provide professionals and parents with a tool for comparing children to a norm. No child fits the ideal norm perfectly, and each child will have his or her personal quirks, strengths, challenges, and preferences. With that said, however, if you feel your child is far behind or ahead of the norm, it's well worth discussing the issue with your pediatrician and your child's teacher. If there are issues or opportunities, now is the time to learn about and address them.


Anthony, Michelle. The emotional lives of 8-10-year-olds. Scholastic Publishing. Web. 2017.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Middle childhood. Web. 2017.





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