The Ages 6-10 years: Stages of Development of Children

A Guide to Developmental Considerations at Various Ages and Stages of Development of Children.

Part Six: Six to Ten Years

Child’s Developmental Considerations

  • Learning and school become the central focus of their day.

  • Increasing importance of relationships with other children.

  • Expanding their experiences outside of the family, such as playing sports or going to camp. Developing a sense of what they enjoy and what they are good at.

  • Understanding and following rules.

  • Increasing ability to manage different rules and parenting styles in each parent’s home. Expressing preferences and advocating for themselves.

  • Beginning to develop a sense of personal responsibility, such as organizing their backpack. Using play and games to explore feelings, ideas, and interests

  • Continuing to learn to manage feelings, fears, and anxieties.

  • Expanding their understanding of other people’s feelings.

  • Imitating their parents and other important people in their lives.

  • Saying what they believe each parent wants to hear.

  • Tending to be concrete in their thinking, such as a six year old child saying “I was home alone,” when the child was alone in a room while the parent was in another part of the home. Understanding of time concepts such as “hour,” “day,” or “week” becomes more reliable. Stating preferences without understanding the meaning or impact. For example, a child may say they want more time with one parent without understanding that will result in less time with the other parent.

Parenting Time Considerations

  • Children need patient, consistent, loving and supportive care by creating an environment with clear structure and consistent, predictable routines.

  • Some children will do better with longer blocks of parenting time and fewer transitions, while other children will do better with shorter blocks of time and more frequent transitions. When stressed, child may return to using behaviors from an earlier age or be unable to learn new skills. For example, a child who is toilet trained begins having accidents.

  • Children may say what they believe each parent wants to hear and may be saying something different to each parent.

  • Some children may express a preference to spend longer periods of time with each parent and to have fewer transitions between their parents’ homes, while others may express a preference for greater flexibility and more frequent transitions.

  • Moving between parents’ homes may be difficult for some children and they may become upset. This does not necessarily mean that the other parent isn’t a good parent or that the child doesn’t want to be with the other parent.