Seven-year-olds experience a lot of cognitive growth and may become more serious, self-conscious and self-absorbed.
Although serious, this doesn’t stop them from breaking into spontaneous giggles and craving moments of lighthearted humor. An ever-expanding imagination and an interest in precision and perfection make seven-year-olds wonderful inventors.
- Experience a big cognitive and emotional change and may become more self-absorbed as they turn inwards to make sense of managing new cognitive structures and emotional feelings.
- Try to avoid uncertainty and risk.
- Really like structure and security and an idea of what’s happening next.
- Enjoy spending a fair amount of time alone as they build upon their imagination.
- Work diligently on products and projects for displaying to make sure they are correct and precise as well as attractive.
- Have a strong sense of right and wrong and are quick to alert adults when they observe inappropriate behavior.
Social & emotional milestones
- Can change moods without warning.
- Often concentrate on one “best friend” relationship, although this best friend may change regularly.
- Still engage routinely in imaginative play with peers and younger siblings.
- Are usually perfectionists and may display intense frustration when things don’t go the way they want.
- Show increased sensitivity to other people’s feelings and express compassion more genuinely.
- Often prefer playing or interacting with just one other friend.
- Tend to be more interested in outside activities that don’t rely on large groups.
- Really enjoy discovering how things work, which includes taking things apart and putting them back together.
- Are very curious about the world around them and will start to examine it in more detail as well as apply principles of math and prediction to their environment.
- Appreciate structure and order and need to feel that they can finish assignments in a calm, unhurried way.
- Want to know what’s happening next.
- Desire to work slowly and really want to finish what they are working on before being forced to move to another activity.
- Are distressed by mistakes.
- Like board games, especially games with just one other person.
- Are better able to express or re-tell what they are learning.
- Want and need privacy.
- Ask questions about pregnancy and childbirth.
- Show interest in puberty and how bodies change.
- Make comments or express opinions about behaviors such as kissing and hand holding.
- Express how boys and girls are different, including noticing stereotypical gender roles.
Parents can do a lot to encourage healthy sexual development. Being an example of respectful attitudes, opinions and behaviors about gender and bodies is a good place to start.
It’s worth noting that child development experts generally agree on the following 4 principles:
- The stages of growth and development follow a predictable pattern.
- Different children do not progress through stages at the same pace.
- A child progresses through the various parts of a stage at different rates.
- Each stage is uneven. For example, one stage may experience a lot of physical growth while another stage may experience a lot of cognitive development.
- Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4-14 by Chip Wood
- Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). “What is Normal Childhood Sexual Development?” Families are Talking, vol. 3, no. 4, 2015, https://siecus.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/FAT_Newsletter_V3N4-Normal-Childhood-Sexual-Development.pdf.
- National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth (NCSBY). https://www.ncsby.org/content/childhood-sexual-development#link2. Accessed 20 May 2021.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). “Sexual Development and Behavior in Children.” https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/sexual_development_and_behavior_in_children.pdf.