Your child is now seven and showing improvements in his physical, cognitive, and social development. It may be tempting to think he’ll get most of the support he needs at school. While he is practicing and developing vital skills there, you still have an essential role in helping him progress. So how can you do this?
At seven-years-old, he’s enthusiastic about physical activity; it may be an obsession with a particular sport or just running around. Thanks to practice, he’s proficient at riding a bike, swimming or gymnastics and can master more complex moves such as running and kicking a ball.
Your child’s balance and coordination are better. He’s more prone to risk-taking, especially when he’s out of your sight, so now is an excellent time to educate about basic safety precautions. His appetite can frequently vary as he goes through growth spurts.
His fine motor skills have developed, and he’s more accurate when drawing and writing; this is especially noticeable if he’s had plenty of practice.
At age seven, your child might be thinking of the future and have ideas about what he wants to be when he grows up. He understands more about the world and his place in it and may grasp the concept of community and neighborhood. It’s about this age when he realizes Santa isn’t real if he hasn’t already.
Your child’s cognitive skills are developing rapidly as he becomes more creative in his problem-solving strategies, and he enjoys sharing his new knowledge and understanding with others. You’ll notice his communication skills have improved, and his vocabulary has increased. He’s better able to explain himself, and his confidence in his reading ability will lead to him picking up books for pleasure. Your child’s written stories are typically more complex and engaging. His numeracy skills have improved to the point he can add, subtract, measure, make estimations, and tell the time. Don’t be surprised if your child develops an obsession—particularly with collecting things—though he may move on from sticks or stones to more mature subjects.
Socially, a seven-year-old is better at talking about his feelings, controlling his emotions, and showing empathy and respect towards others. He has a strong need to be liked and accepted by his friends and is more able to work through interpersonal conflicts to make his relationships successful.
He may develop adult relationships outside the family, for example with teachers; you can make this a more positive and safer experience by supporting him and arming him with the knowledge and strategies to identify and respond to inappropriate behavior from an adult. You may need to steer him away from making assumptions that lead to stereotyping, especially about gender.
He’s more independent, and it’s a good time to give him some extra responsibility to channel that independence positively. Your child needs boundaries and a consistent approach to discipline to help him learn to judge appropriate behavior in himself and others, so knowing why as well as what’s wrong is important, as is ensuring fair play. Peer pressure is a powerful influence, and he needs self-esteem to enable him to make the right choices, so it’s vital to help build his confidence and self-image.
There are other ways you can help your child; you can encourage him to set goals, praising effort, persistence, and patience rather than just achievement. Provide him with the opportunity to help those less fortunate, enabling him to learn a sense of citizenship, and foster a sense of curiosity about the world and his place in it.
You have a valuable role to play in helping your child on his way to becoming a well-rounded adult equipped with the skills he’ll need in later life. Fortunately, this is simple when you know what you need to do.