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Middle Childhood:

Children in middle childhood develop both their fine motor and gross motor skills. The

gross motor skills that they develop are: running, jumping, hopping, and their ball skills become
more refined.Their motor skills improve the capacity of flexibility, balance, agility, and force.
Their fine motor development is improving steadily. Drawings show gains in organization, detail,
and representation of depth. Their writing tends to be large at first but then legibility gradually
increases (Berk, Laura E. 2014 Child development 9th edition).
Children ages six to ten years old learn new skills in phonology, semantics, grammar, and
pragmatics. Within phonology they will extend phonological awareness to all phonemes in words
and master syllable stress patterns signaling subtle differences in meaning. Within their semantic
development children will understand the meaning of about 10,000 words, acquire meanings of
new words from context and from definitions, and appreciate the multiple meanings of words as
indicated by metaphors and humor. In middle childhood the grammatical development will
include defining complex grammatical structures, such as passive voice and infinitive phrases.
Their pragmatic development will include uses of advanced conversational strategies,
communities clearly in demanding situations, and produces classic narratives that are rich in
orienting information and evaluations (Berk, Laura E. 2014 Child development 9th edition).
Children at this age follow along with Piagets concrete operational stage. Piagets theory
spans from the ages of seven to eleven. During this stage children's thought is more logical,
flexible, and organized. They can now group objects into hierarchies of classes and subclasses
and collections become common in middle childhood. School aged children have a better
understanding of spatial reasoning than they did earlier in their preschool years. Children think in

an organized, logical fashion only when dealing with concrete information that they can perceive
directly. Brain development contributes to two basic changes in information processing.
Increase in information-processing capacity. A fairly rapid decline in time needed to
process information occurs during middle childhood. Inhibitory control- the ability to resist
interference from irrelevant information makes great strides during middle childhood (Berk,
Laura E. 2014 Child development 9th edition).
Children in middle childhood begin to advance socially making more friends and playing
group sports. Their self-esteem becomes hierarchically organized, they make social comparisons
according to competence-related feedback, and their self-esteem declines and rises according to
the feedback. School-aged children begin to compare themselves socially with others. This social
comparison includes judgements of their own appearance, abilities, and behaviors in relation to
their peers. During middle childhood children become better at reading messages of what others
think of them. As middle childhood children internalize these messages they form an ideal self
that they use to evaluate their real self. This can eventually lead to a low self-esteem, which will
lead to sadness, hopelessness, and depression (Berk, Laura E. 2014 Child development 9th
edition).
Morally school-aged children begin to have a heteronomous morality. A heteronomous
morality is when children begin to view rules as handed down by authorities such as God,
parents, and teachers. They believe that these rules have a permanent existence, are
unchangeable, and require strict obedience. Also, Piaget believed that there are two factors that
limit a childs moral understanding: cognitive immaturity, and the power of adults to insist that
children comply. Cognitive immaturity is a limited capacity to imagine others perspectives and

realism- which is the tendency to view mental phenomena, including rules, as fixed external
features. Younger children believe that people view all rules in the same way. They believe that
rules are absolutes rather than cooperative principles that can be changed (Berk, Laura E. 2014
Child development 9th edition).
In middle childhood children learn how to self-regulate by learning what their own selfconcepts are. The fixed self-concept is not fixed or static and can be changed continually in
response to individual and social forces. A childs behavior can be regulated by their own needs,
knowledge, skills, desires, goals, and expectations. A childs behavior can sometimes be
controlled by their social surroundings. School-aged children will learn how to self-regulate
because they are in a setting now where there are more people trying to regulate their behavior.
They will learn how to regulate their behavior depending on the different domains that are
available such as: clothing, hobbies, free-time activities, and eating. School-age children will be
able to foresee rules about their behavior and the benefits of behaving according to these rules.
(Collins, Andrew W. Development During Middle Childhood: The Years from Six to Twelve
booksgoogle.com).
Culturally and Socially parents can help their children to gain a high self-esteem by
supporting their child with emotional communication and evaluations about positive events in
the past. Then talking to them about negative feelings and how to resolve a negative situation. In
middle childhood children look beyond the family and into the community for broader
information about themselves. They will begin to reference themselves to what they are
associated with within the community. Examples are: Im a girl scout, Im a soccer player,
Im a base player, etc. School-aged children begin to become completely vested in the

feedback that their peers give them. Selfconcept can change depending on each culture.
Asian parents stress interdependence and
Western parents stress separateness and selfassertion. School-aged children from different
cultures view themselves as more
knowledgeable about their own inner attributes.
In characterizing themselves, children from individualistic cultures seem to be more egoistic
and competitive, those fro collectivist cultures more concerned with connections to others- a
finding that underscores the powerful impact of the social environment on self-concept (Berk,
Laura E. 2014 Child development 9th edition).
Parents can be involved with their school-aged childs learning by helping them practice
what they have learned at school within the home. Parents need to help children go over their
work and do homework in a non-pressured way. They need to help their children practice the
skills that they are having problems with within the home. Parents can help their children by
learning about what they are learning about within their everyday lives. They can do this by
doing math with learning activities, count license plates while driving by state, and talk about
states, talk about the weather when you child is learning about the weather, and listen to their
childs ideas instead of telling them about ideas.

Parents can also not over-schedule their childs activities. Children need to have down time and
not feel overwhelmed. Over-scheduling a child may put stressors on them to get everything done
and they may not enjoy their learning experiences (www.pbs.org PBS parents The role of
parents).