Most school-age children feel driven to "make it" in the world away
from home. Making friends and being accepted become top priorities.
School is a testing ground where children evaluate, accept, and
reject each other daily. At times, parents cringe at the degree to which
children try to fit in and are often saddened by their children's many ups and
downs. Parents often see children's interactions as cruel, and they can be. But
through these encounters, children learn some of the basic social skills needed
to be competent adults. Be prepared for the tumultuous nature of friendships in
this age group, and do not exaggerate the importance of the rough periods.
There is no one easy formula for teaching social skills. People learn
through watching parents, friends, and others interact over a lifetime.
Although bullying or abusive behavior should be addressed, parents should be
sensitive about when to get involved and try to let children work out issues on
Here are some crucial skills that will help your child become more
Around age 9, many children successfully form close friendships.
Forming these relationships helps children develop sensitivity to the feelings
Other Works ConsultedNewman BM, Newman PR (2012). Middle childhood (6 to 11 years). In Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach, 11th ed., pp. 288-332. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental PediatricsSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofMay 4, 2017
Current as of:
May 4, 2017
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Last modified on: 8 September 2017