two young children laying in field - parenting tips for 6-8 year olds

Navigating Middle Childhood: A Fun Guide for Parents of 6 to 8-Year-Olds

Parenting during middle childhood is fun and exciting. Your kids are buzzing with energy and curiosity. They are also starting to show off their newfound independence. While parenting this age group offers many blessings, it is also a source of anxiety. That’s why our team at Nantucket Family Resource Center (NFRC) provides parenting education and support. Here, we’re offering some top parenting tips for this exciting age. 

Meeting Major Milestones

There is nothing more exciting than watching your child meet milestones. By now, they should be tying their own shoes and even thinking about what they might want to be when they grow up. Their athletic skills and coordination are improving, too. They can catch, throw, and swing upside down on monkey bars (even though it drives you crazy). In fact, it seems like they are meeting a new social, physical, or mental milestone each day. 

Keeping it Positive

It’s easier said than done, but a top parenting tip for 6-year-olds is to try to keep things positive. This age group has plenty of ups and downs for both you and your child. Keeping things positive helps promote positive thinking. 

Celebrate the Little Victories

Artwork, drawings, an “A” on a quiz. Yep. It’s time to celebrate those achievements. They deserve some prime real estate on the fridge. And when they do their chores without a reminder….yep, give them some praise. It’s sometimes the smallest acknowledgments that make the biggest difference. These small celebrations boost self-esteem and self-image. 

Make Chores Fun

Our team is always asked for parenting tips for 7-year-olds regarding chores. Remember, they don’t have to be boring. If you are having trouble motivating your child to jump in and help with chores, try making them a game. Who can clean up their room the fastest? Who can rake the biggest pile of leaves? Work can be fun, especially when the entire family participates in chores together. 

Speaking from the Heart

Make it a point to ask your child about their day. And keep doing it even if they don’t want to share. That lets them know that they can come to you and talk about anything. Open communication creates a space where everyone can be honest about any topic. 

Friends are Important

Humans are social beings. It’s essential that your child has strong friendships. And you can help. Organize play dates, set up group activities, or just ask about who your child has been hanging with at school. 

Set Rules and Boundaries

Kids of this age group are exploring their independence. That’s why setting rules and boundaries is an essential parenting tip for 7 year olds. However, simply setting random rules isn’t the way to go. Instead, explain the reasoning behind your rules. Your child needs to know why they are important. 

Keep It Moving

Kids are energetic and need to burn energy. Find ways to get them moving. Hiking and enjoying nature is a great start. Get them involved with a sport because it’s a great way to keep them moving and to build skills like teamwork at the same time. When the weather is poor, try indoor activities like yoga. 

Storytime

Continue reading to your child during these formative years. A good parenting tip for 8-year-olds is to take turns reading a page. That supports their cognitive and verbal skills. Pick books and stories that both of you will love. 

Safety First 

Your number one job as a parent is to keep your child safe. Always be aware of your surroundings and look out for anything that could hurt or injure your child. 

Wear a Helmet

This is the age where children learn to ride a bike or scooter. But don’t forget the helmet. Head injuries are common, and helmets reduce the risk of devastating injuries. Let them pick out their own helmet. Find a color they love, and they will be more likely to wear it every time. 

Stranger Danger

Children need to know about stranger danger. While the “don’t talk to strangers” mantra still holds, parents also need to tell their children to trust their instincts and learn who is a safe adult. Try roleplaying different scenarios so your child will know what to do when faced with stranger danger.

Supervision 

While these are years of increasing independence, your child still needs plenty of supervision. That is especially true of locations near water or at busy playgrounds. Providing supervision remains a top parenting tip. 

Getting Their Veggies

It’s no secret that many children hate vegetables. So, if your kid is a picky eater, sneak them in! Try adding pureed cauliflower to mac ‘n’ cheese or zucchini to brownies. It’s your time to get creative in the kitchen! 

Limit Screen Time 

We all love a great movie night. However, when screen time becomes binge-watching, you have a problem. In fact, too much screen time in children is linked to lower test scores. A good parenting tip for 6-year-olds is to create a screen time trade-off. For each hour in front of a screen, require an hour of doing something active. 

Gotta Get Those Zzzz’s

There is nothing like a great night’s sleep. And that is especially true for children. Kids need bedtimes that they stick to. Make it a routine by reading a book before bed. That helps them settle down before pulling up the covers. 
Navigating middle childhood is certainly an adventure. Embrace the chaos! Remember, Nantucket Family Resource Center is here for you with family resources. Together, let’s help your child grow and thrive! Contact our office today.

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