What are 7-year-Olds Like?


Parents are curious about how their children will act when they are 7-years-old. What are they like? I did some research and here is what you can expect.

So, what are 7-year-olds really like? Seven-year-old children are known for their insatiable curiosity. Proud of what they know, and eager to share it with others, their most salient characteristics are a love of talking and high energy.

Children at this age will have a new found confidence in their reading and math skills, but not all kids are the same. Some children may struggle and find schoolwork difficult and uninteresting.

Let’s discuss some milestones that children should and potential problems they may encounter.

Portrait of a Typical 7 Year-Old

From the time a child is born parents look forward to the day that they can engage in meaningful conversation with their child. When the day actually arrives, parents are eager for the time they can teach their child to shut up.

Seven-year-old children are often further developing their personal identities. Your child will be able to hold opinions other than broccoli being the worst food to ever grace their lips.

Your typical 7-year-old child is eager to learn and share new skills. They are often excited to mentor younger children in the ways of math and reading and will attempt to take charge in leading team activities.

Let’s take a closer look at the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of a 7-year-old child to better comprehend what they may be like.

Physical

At 7 years-old, children continue to lose baby fat and grow taller and leaner. Take as many pictures as you can, because the day your child spends as a little chubby ball of adorableness are numbered.

That being said, 7-year-old children rarely encounter huge physical changes. At this age, they are refining fine motor skills rather than developing new ones. The more time a child spends using these muscles, the faster they will develop.

A child at this age is much more well balanced and able to combine finer motor skills. For example, a younger child may have found it difficult to move around as they dance. A 7-year-old child will have no problem doing the two at the same time.

Seven-year-old children will also display an eagerness to participate in sports. Dad will be happy when his child finally understands that he needs to kick the ball into the other teams goal in order to score. But will talk more about sports later.

Growth is less dramatic for a 7-year-old, but expect them to grow anywhere from 2 to 2.5 inches within the next year.

Children will also begin to lose teeth at this time. It isn’t uncommon for a 7-year-old child to have lost a couple of teeth already, or to have lost none at all.

If they have lost a couple of teeth, you may have noticed that their adult teeth seem too big for their mouth. That’s because they are.

Children’s faces and mouths are still developing at this age so don’t sweat it.

Some important physical skills that your kids will be mastering at this age are:

  • Riding a two-wheeler. Every kid’s dream! No longer constrained by terrible training-wheels, kids are old enough to balance and control the fantastic speeds of their own two-wheeled bicycle. Ultimate kid freedom unlocked!
  • Mastery of simple chores. Remember when it was hard for your child to sweep the floor or weed the garden? Well, no more! At 7, a child is further developing their motor skills and can easily handle chores of a simple nature. Like my dear dad used to say as he sent me to weed the garden, “This is why I had children.”
  •  Compound movements. You probably don’t remember a time that it was difficult to skip or turn in place. Or maybe you find those things more difficult to do every day. Either way, your 7-year-old child is able to perform “complex” movements like the ones I have described.

Remember, all kids develop at different speeds. If your child isn’t behaving in the way I described, don’t worry. It may just take a little time.

In the meantime, there are several things that you can do to help your child’s physical development.

  1. Enroll your child in community sports. As children move and play, the speed of development increases exponentially. Sports is a great way for a child to not only mature physically but socially as well. 
  2. Take your child outside. Because you can’t afford an X-box, what greater gift can you give your child than a healthy appreciation for nature? I hardly went outside as a child and now I’m a blogger. Heed my warning, take your child outside or he will suffer the same fate.
  3.  Do fun physical activities as a family. Not a big sports person yourself? Don’t fret! There are still a variety of great activities you can do without getting close to a ball. Try camping or swimming. And every kid loves to roughhousing. Doing things together in a family will help strengthen your love for one another.

Social

As a child grows they become more and more integrated into the world around them. While the home may still be the center of a 7-year-old child’s universe, they will have an increasing amount of ties away from the comfort of their own front yard.

For example, the number of friends in your child’s social circle is likely to increase. When your child was 5 or 6 they likely had one or two best friends, and some vague awareness of other kids around them.

Now they may have 5 or 6 friends in a group and a vague awareness of other kids around them! Able to participate in games on a much larger scale than one or two people, sports and other team games become more appealing to 7-year-old children.

Along with an increasing number of friends away from home, children also bond with other adults as well. Their teacher, an aunt or uncle, or even a friend’s parent are likely candidates for this attachment.

Children become better diplomats at the age of 7 as well. At a younger age, children are unable to understand that there is a world outside of themselves (a skill that many adults struggle in developing), but at 7 things take a turn for the better.

Seven-year-old children are continually developing empathy and are now able to “put themselves in someone else’s shoes” so to speak.

While children are able to resolve their own conflicts, hurt feelings are still very common at this age, and in my personal experience, their tattle-tailing knows no bounds.

Curb your 7 year-olds snitching tendencies by encouraging her to work out her own problems. Please, for the love of all that is holy, stop the snitching.

Perhaps one of the greatest hallmarks of a 7 year-old child is the expansion of the relationship that he has with himself. Before, your child may have been at a loss when dumped in a room by herself.

The only thing that could keep her entertained for more than an hour were those stupid videos off of YouTube, but no longer!

While 7-year-old children still love playing with friends, they will read or play alone. This alone time is actually essential for a child to mature into their own person and develop a healthy sense of self.

Here are some important social skills that your child should acquire at 7:

  • A love for learning (or at least bragging about what they know). 7 year-olds love to show off what they know. Math and reading skills, tying shoes, or even the same knock-knock joke over and over and over again are all things they love to share. Grow their love of learning by paying attention and giving constant encouragement at the mastery of new skills. Even when it’s annoying as heck.
  •  An acute sense of justice. If there is one thing a 7-year-old child knows, it’s when he has been mistreated. In a never-ending quest for justice, these children set off on a crying crusade. The aforementioned snitching often their weapon of choice. Take a few deep breaths and appreciate that your kid is trying to do the right thing.
  • Empathy. A 6-year-old can’t understand why you are so grumpy when they wake you up from a nap, but a 7-year-old does! Kids this age will try to comfort those suffering around them. How cute!

With an increased interest in the world around them, now is a great time to teach your child how to be a good person. Here are some things you can do to help your child become a shining citizen:

  1. Be an example. I know your 7-year-old is a “big kid” now, but she still looks to you when deciding how to act. Don’t underestimate the impact your example has. So the next time you feel like soaping your kid’s mouth due to colorful language, try scrubbing your own mouth out first.
  2.  Try teaching. We put a lot of emphasis on being an example and don’t get me wrong, that is super important, but we also underestimate the power of our words. Sit your kid down and talk about being a good person. When I was young, my mom told me to stop being an idiot, and that’s a lesson I will never forget.
  3.  Spend time together as a family. The verdict is out. Children that have a healthy home life will cause society much less pain and strife. See? It makes so much sense it rhymes. Have fun together. Go on vacation together. Eat meals together. These are all things you can do to aid the healthy social development of your child.

Emotional

Little kids have a tendency to freak out when something doesn’t go according to plan. Orange juice instead of apple? They’re freaking out. We want to watch golf instead of cartoons? They go out of control. Having to wear your blue sweater because your dinosaur hoodie is dirty? OK, now even I’m mad.

Seven-year-old children, on the other hand, will display a coolness under pressure they didn’t when they were younger, while still lacking the maturity and self-control of a preteen.

That being said, a routine is the glue that holds a 7-year-old child’s life together. Regular meals, scheduled playtime, and a morning and night routine help children feel comfortable and safe.

At the same time though, don’t feel tempted to schedule every second of your child’s free time. Unstructured play is crucial in helping a child develop independence and conflict resolution skills.

I once heard 7-year-old children described as little balls of emotion. I can’t think of a more accurate term. The life of a 7-year-old is filled with highs and lows.

The excitement of learning new skills, and the disappointment of not winning hide-and-seek. Even the smallest of losses can be devastating to a 7-year-old.

Don’t let their roller coaster emotions wear you out. Encourage positive behavior and comfort a child when they are having a rough day. We all have them.

A little love shows you care and are on their team. Something very important for a child.

Here are some emotional skills that your child will develop at 7 years-old:

  • Emotional causation. When asked why he is angry, a 5-year-old will usually respond with the insightful response, “I’m angry because I’m mad!” 7 year-olds are able to reason just a little deeper. Expect your child to see connections to between what transpires around them and their emotions. “I didn’t get to see grandma, so I’m sad.” 
  •  Improved self-control. Especially in public. As mentioned earlier, 7-year-old children are much more adept at handling emotions than younger children. At this age children are better at judging between private and public situations and will comport themselves as such.
  •  Anger management. They say happiness is a choice and 7-year-old children are starting to understand that. No longer slaves to every emotional whim that breezes through their minds, at 7 years, children are able to control their rage and calm themselves down if necessary.

While children at this age are maturing they are still oh so sensitive. Here are a few things you can do as a parent to help improve your child’s self-esteem and grow some emotional toughness.

  1. Physical reassurance. Nothing says I love you like a nice warm hug. Showing love through a hand on the shoulder, a kiss on the cheek, or holding hands is a great way to help your child grow some self-esteem. After all, if you love your kids, what else matters?
  2.  Parent your child, don’t punish him. Constantly hammering your child’s choices or making fun of their misfortunes isn’t going to earn you much respect. If your 7-=year-old messes up, instead of saying, “why are you such a bad kid?” say, “just because you made a bad choice, doesn’t mean you’re a bad kid.” Notice the difference? You’re a bad parent if you don’t. See how that hurts?
  3.  Reward positive behavior. Everyone deserves some recognition for going above and beyond. If your child gets a good grade on an assignment, or goes out of their way to be helpful, tell them you notice. You can light up a kids day by telling them you noticed something nice that they did. Don’t be stingy with compliments.

Cognitive

Some of the greatest strives that your 7-year-old will make are cognitive. The ability to read, perform simple arithmetic, and memorize complex sequences and patterns are at a 7-year-old’s fingertips.

A 7-year-old will start noticing real-world applications to the things they are learning. “Mommy, I had 3 pieces of candy and you ate 2 of them. You said we should share.” Exchanges like this may become more and more common.

At this age children are experiencing in creativity. You may notice your child picking out familiar tunes on the family piano, or writing stories with complex plots and characters. Drawing, painting, making up songs are all part of being 7.

Seven-year-olds also tend to be drawn to pretend play. Roleplaying and such are great ways for children to be more creative.

Here are some key cognitive skills that your 7 year-old will learn:

  • Knowledge of the basic elements in a story. Your child will be able to name the characters, settings, and plot of a story. Their interest in books and movies is likely to grow because of this.
  •  Can solve math world problems. You know, “if Suzy has 10 apples and Johnny eats 5…” problems like that.
  •  Uses increasingly complex strategies to solve problems. They may still whine a lot, but that’s not the only weapon in their arsenal! Seven-year-old children can talk things out and even come up with their own rules when they feel the need for it.

It is a good idea to encourage your child in their new found love of learning. Here are a few pro parenting tips to help you out.

  1. Read with your child. Nothing better than snuggling up with a kid and reading a Dr. Suess book. Whatever book your child may be interested in, have them read it to you. This gives them a chance to show off their new skills and instills in them a love of books.
  2.  Practice math. Math can be hard, and giving your child a chance to practice this hard skill will help them develop independence. Ask your kid simple math related questions like, “If I have 3 sticks of gum and give 1 to you, how many sticks do I have left?” What great fun!
  3.  Expose your child to new ideas. You don’t have to enroll your 7-year-old in some cultural awareness class, but it’s a good idea to introduce new concepts to your kid. Discuss what’s going on in the world. Read a history book together. There are a lot of ways to get your child thinking.

Additional Questions

What’s a good toy for a 7 year-old? Seven-year-olds are developing both physically and mentally. To help them experiment with their new creativity, give them some Legos. To help them with their physical development you can’t go wrong with a bike or a Razor scooter.

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