Physical Milestones

Growth spurts. 

Extreme differences in children of the same ages.

Preteen girls tend to be more advanced than boys.

Bone growth faster than muscle development.

Sexual characteristics developing.

Fluctuations in basal metabolism cause restlessness.

Preteens may tire easily.

Ravenous appetite, picky eaters or peculiar tastes.

Belt of fat around waist.

Visual acuity develops around 9


Intellectual Milestones

Intensely curious, and growing in mental ability

Concrete operational thinking using reasoning rather than perception.

Thinking still limited to concrete, tangible objects and familiar events.

Age 11 or 12: may be argumentative as they develop critical thinking skills and gain formal operational thinking.

Eager to solve real life problems.

Age 6 to 10: still need reminding, supervision and teaching to do chores. 

Age 11 on: can do chores without reminding or supervision.

Know difference between real and imaginary things.

Love bathroom talk.


Emotional Milestones

Have developed better impulse control and delayed gratification.

Even-keeled from ages 6-9.  From 10 – 12, emotions may be erratic.

Greater anxiety, self-conscious about physical and sexual changes.

Sensitive to criticism and correction.

Strong need to belong to family and peer group

May exaggerate and over-dramatize problems.

Increasingly able to identify and label own feelings, and feelings in others.

Still have fears:  dogs, sharks, heights, losing parents, loved ones, the dark.

Increasing sense of right & wrong and societal rules.

Can begin to use “self talk” to calm down. 

Easily upset by things not fair or right.




Developmental Tasks

The child’s job is to experiment, make mistakes, build skills, argue and question, test and negotiate rules.


How To Support Your 6 to 12 Year old Child.


Mutual respect.

Encourage physical activity.

Allow space to be boisterous.

Mistakes are for learning!

Avoid intense competition or pressure.

Provide health and nutrition education with choices.

Provide sexual health education.

Don’t over-react to fads in clothing and mannerisms.

Invite input into rules and problem-solving.

Natural consequences, logical consequences (3 R’s), and problem solving are best tools for discipline.

Avoid punishments: time-outs, grounding, unrelated consequences.

Walk away from “attitude” and power struggles.

Connect, then Direct.

Express your limits.

Use I messages.

Listen with empathy.

Assist them in finding solutions to their own problems.

Encourage explorations of their ideas and values.

Encourage self-expression and skill development.

Provide daily down-time.

Encourage friends at your home.

Let them choose their own friends.

Protect family time and activities from interruption

Respect their privacy and possessions.

Have one-on-one date days.

Give the gift of new unpaid chores every birthday.

Use appropriate touch.


Affirmations for Parents of 6-12 Year Olds

You can learn when and how to disagree.

You can think before you say yes or no and learn from your mistakes.

You can learn the rules that help you live with others.

You can think for yourself and get help instead of staying in distress.

You can trust your intuition to help you decide what to do.

You can find a way of doing things that works for you.

I love you even when we differ; I love growing with you.



Normal Development

Parent Effectiveness Training, Dr. Thomas Gordon (also classes, booktapes)

Positive Parenting, Jane Nelson

Kids Are Worth It, Barbara Colorosso

Self-Esteem is a Family Affair, Jean Illsley Clarke

Your Six Year Old, Dr. Louise Bates Ames (Also, Your 7,8,9,10,11,12 etc)

Speaking of Sex, Meg Hickling

Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Matter, Dr. Gordon Neufeld

Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman


Parenting Styles

Kids Are Worth It, Barbara Coloroso (video, booktapes)

Active Parenting, Dr. Michael Popkin (classes)

Connections:  The Threads That Strengthen Families, Jean Isley Clarke

Punished By Rewards, Alfie Kohn


Positive Discipline

Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurchinka

Effective Discipline: A Healthy Approach, Canadian Pediatric Society (Website)

Guidance for Effective Discipline, American Academy of Pediatrics (Website)

Positive Time Out, Jane Nelson

Time-In, Jean Illsley Clarke

SiblingsWithout Rivalry, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (classes)

Kids, Parents and Power Struggles, Mary Sheedy Kurchinka

Time-In Parenting, Dr. Otto Weininger

Loving Each One Best, Nancy Samalin

Teaching Children Self Discipline, Dr. Thomas Gordon

Pick Up Your Socks, Elizabeth Crary


Communication and Self Esteem

Your Child’s Self Esteem, Dorothy Corkille Briggs

Self-Esteem, A Family Affair, Jean Illsley Clarke

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.(classes)

Dealing with Disappointment, Elizabeth Crary