Babies and children develop at their own pace, so it's impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones listed below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect, but don't be alarmed if your own child's development takes a slightly different course.
Middle Childhood: 6-8 Years Old

Middle childhood brings many changes to a child's life. By this time, children can dress themselves, catch a ball more easily with only their hands, and tie their shoes. Developing independence from family becomes more important now. Events such as starting school bring children this age into regular contact with the larger world. Friendships become more and more important. Physical, social, and mental skills develop rapidly at this time. This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, schoolwork, and sports.

Here are some changes your child may go through during middle childhood:


Emotional/Social Changes
  • More independence from parents and family
  • Stronger sense of right and wrong
  • Beginning awareness of the future
  • Growing understanding about one's place in the world
  • More attention to friendships and teamwork
  • Growing desire to be liked and accepted by friends


Mental/Cognitive Changes
  • Rapid development of mental skills.
  • Greater ability to describe experiences and talk about thoughts and feelings
  • Less focus on one's self and more concern for others



Content source: Division of Birth Defects, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention