As kids grow, they learn to live with others. Follow your child’s social development from age 6 to 7.
Social development allows children to build harmonious, positive relationships with others. As kids develop socially, they learn how to communicate and manage their emotions, consider other points of view before acting, resolve conflicts, cooperate, and participate in society. A child’s temperament, primarily determined by genetics, influences how they interact with others from an early age. However, they continue to develop social skills as they grow, learning from personal experiences and the people around them—namely, their parents and family members.
Social development: 6–7 years old
At this age:
- Your child is more likely to make friends with peers of the same gender, and often labels games and activities as being either “for boys” or “for girls.”
Your child tends to befriend children with similar interests who like practising the same activities they do.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
- They can resolve peer conflicts without the help of an adult. They are able to hear and consider another person’s point of view.
- They like to be part of a group and they can identify with their peers. They recognize the things they have in common with their friends.
- They are getting better at distinguishing between fantasy and reality, which gives them a better understanding of what a lie is.
They are able to cooperate when doing a task, even when there is no adult present.
- Your child may develop a tendency to tell on other children when they don’t follow the rules.
Little by little, your child is beginning to do the following:
- Demonstrate leadership in a group, and if they have enough self-confidence, they may be able to influence other children they interact with.
- Let other children influence them.
- Understand that in addition to the rules in their immediate environment, there are rules that exist in society as well.
- Show deliberate respect for others.
- Become increasingly aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
How can you help your child progress?
Your child is unique and will develop at their own pace. They have strengths and weaknesses and are becoming increasingly self-aware. You can help your child develop their social skills with these simple everyday actions:
When you ask your child about
school rules and why they exist,
they understand them better and develop their ability to reason.
When you explain reasons for traffic lights, laws, and law enforcement to your child, |
they learn that there are rules in place to keep society running properly.
When you help your child prepare an oral presentation for class, |
they learn to organize their thoughts and speak in front of a group.
When you encourage your child to help someone smaller than them at the park, |
they develop a sense of responsibility and a better understanding of the role they can play when interacting with others.
When you let your child handle conflicts (link in French) that arise while playing with friends or siblings, |
they develop their social skills and become more confident in their ability to find solutions.
When you ask your child about their friendships, the games they like to play, and the things like to do with their friends, |
they learn what they like and don’t like about their relationships with children around their age, which helps them assess the value they place on friendship.
When you play miming games with your child,
they learn to decode non-verbal language.
Scientific review: Annie Goulet, psychologist
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: September 2021
Photo : iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages
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- Briand-Malenfant, Rachel. L’amour et l’amitié chez les enfants.Montreal, Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2016, 168 pp.
Duclos, Germain, et al. Besoins et défis des enfants : vivre en harmonie avec les enfants de 6 à 12 ans. Éditions Enfants Québec, 2009, 319 pp.
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- Passeport Santé. “L’enfant de 6 ans : qu’est-ce qui change à cet âge?” 2017. passeportsante.net
- Université de Montréal. Portail enfance et familles. “Étapes du développement.” www.portailenfance.ca