The age of 7-12 is usually called the middle childhood years. It is a period of transformation and a child undergoes various physical, intellectual and social changes. All these changes deeply affect a child’s emotional development. By understanding various stages, parents can help their children evolve and mature into responsible human beings.
- Children belonging to this age group develop greater self-regulation skills. By this time they are mature enough to understand when they should control their emotions and when they should express it. Various factors influence their expressivity such as social and cultural behavioural patterns. The same factors now determine their decisions and emotions to a certain extent.
- Children of this age group also have a developed interpersonal skills. Their behaviour pattern changes depending upon the type of relationship they share with the person involved. Apart from that, the age and the gender of the child also influence their psyche to a certain extent.
- In the middle childhood years, children tend to share their negative emotions such as anger and sadness more with their friends rather than their parents in order to avoid receiving a negative response such as teasing and belittling. As they grow older, they share their emotions more with their mothers rather than their fathers because of the same reasons. Usually these emotional regulations are adaptive and children learn more from their experiences and surroundings. It helps them in establishing, building and sustaining their various social relationships within and outside their family.
- Emotional development in children 7-12 years old shows that they have a developed thought process that determines and teaches these children how to cope up with a certain negative emotional event. While doing so, many a times their emotional experience also gets altered. For example, in a situation where their bicycle gets stolen, they might try to convince themselves that it is not a big deal and this way, their rational thinking overpowers their emotions.
- Psychological development in children 7-12 years makes them realise that the emotional states of the people are not as simple as they thought in their earlier childhood. They also begin to understand the causes of their states of emotions, although some of them are not very obvious.
- During their middle childhood years, kids start to realise that it is possible for them to feel more than one emotion at the same time. Although, this ability is not fully developed in a seven year or an eight year old, it evolves slowly in due course of time. By the age of ten, children are more mature to understand this complexity of emotions. They are also capable of handling these mixed and seemingly contradictory emotions well. For example, if a ten year old child is chosen to play in a school team, he/she would feel happy as well as nervous at the same time.
As children approach their pre teen years, various physical changes also take place. For example, there is the appearence of breast tissues in girls and they may also start to have their menstrual period. In case of boys, they develop facial hair and they also experience a change in their voice. All these physical changes also affect their emotional development. During these growing years, parents' support is constantly needed.
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