Middle childhood brings many changes in a child’s life. They are becoming more independent and enjoy making small decisions for themselves. These decisions could include what food to eat and what clothes to wear.  

The middle years

In middle childhood, life is all about school, friends, and after-school activities. Although children at this stage are connecting more with their peers, spending time with their family is still very important to them. 

At the same time, children’s morals and values are developing. This leads to strong opinions about right and wrong.  

All children develop differently, some more quickly than others. It is helpful to know what to expect, so it is good to do some reading about these middle years. 

Causes for concern

If you are concerned about your child’s development, it is important to seek professional advice. This might be if your child: 

  • is finding it difficult to speak in full sentences, or stutters;  
  • has difficulty following simple instructions;  
  • is very withdrawn or doesn’t interact well with others;  
  • finds it hard to make friends;  
  • can’t skip, hop or jump;  
  • has trouble sitting still for a time;  
  • can’t get dressed by themselves;  
  • still soils their pants during the day;  
  • has trouble falling asleep at night; or 
  • experiences a noticeable loss of skills they once had.  

Want to know more? 

Raising Children Network – School-age development 

KidsMatter – Social development 

Learning Potential – Primary school 

Australian Childhood Foundation – Bringing Up Great Kids: downloadable resources 

If you still have questions, contact our Parenting Line