Physical development
Most children ages six to eight will:

Experience slower growth of about 2 ½ inches and eight pounds per year
Grow longer legs relative to their total height and begin resembling adults in the proportion of legs to body
Develop less fat and grow more muscle than in earlier years
Increase in strength
Lose their baby teeth and begin to grow adult teeth which may appear too big for their face
Use small and large motor skills in sports and other activities

Cognitive development
Most children ages six to eight will:

Develop the skills to process more abstract concepts and complex ideas (e.g., pregnancy, addition/subtraction, etc.)
Begin elementary school
Spend more time with the peer group and turn to peers for information (They need information sources outside of family, and other adults become important in their lives.)
Be able to focus on the past and future as well as the present
Develop an increased attention span
Improve in self-control, being able to conform to adult ideas of what is “proper” behavior and to recognize appropriateness in behavior
Understand the concepts of normality/abnormality, feel concern with being normal and curiosity about differences
Begin to develop as an individual
Think for themselves and develop individual opinions, especially as they begin to read and to acquire information through the media

Emotional development
Most children ages six to eight will:

Become more modest and want privacy
Develop relationships with and love people outside the family as their emotional needs are met by peers as well as family
Develop less physically demonstrative relationships and express love through sharing and talking (They may be embarrassed by physical affection.)
Need love and support, but feel less willing to ask for it
Understand more complex emotions, such as confusion and excitement
Want more emotional freedom and space from parents
Become better at controlling and concealing feelings
Begin to form a broader self-concept and recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, especially with regard to social, academic, and athletic skills
Have friends and sustained peer group interactions

Sexual development
Most children ages six to eight will:

Prefer to socialize with their own gender almost exclusively and maintain a fairly rigid separation between genders (They may tease someone who acts in a way that does not adhere to pre-defined gender roles.)
Recognize the social stigmas and taboos surrounding sexuality, especially if parents are nervous about the subject, and will be less open about asking questions
Understand more complex ideas with regard to sexuality and begin to understand sexual behaviors apart from making a baby
Look to peers, media, and other sources for information about sex and sexuality
Understand gender role stereotypes, if presented as such
May engage in same-gender sexual exploration
Have a stronger self-concept in terms of gender and body image

What Families need to do to Raise sexually healthy children
To help six- to eight-year-old children develop a healthy sexuality, families should

Continue to provide information about sexuality, even if a child does not ask for it. At these ages, children may ask fewer questions, but still have lots of curiosity and need information about sexuality.
Explain that there are many different types of families and all types have equal value and deserve respect.
Provide basic information about sexuality
Inform children about the changes that will take place when they begin puberty. Though most six- to eight-year-old children do not experience these changes, the age at which some begin to show signs of puberty,• such as pubic hair, breast buds, and hair under the arms is gradually decreasing, so children need this information sooner.
Recognize that everyone does not have the same sexual orientation. Acknowledge to children that many people have romantic feelings for members of another gender or other genders, and some have these feelings for members of their same gender.

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