7–8 years old: social development

7–8 years old: social development

As kids grow, they learn to live with others. Follow your child’s social development from age 7 to 8.

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: 7–8 years old

At this age:

  • Your child continues to be more likely to make friends with peers of the same gender. The notion of a “best friend” is becoming more important.
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 are much less egocentric in their relationships with others. For example, they might act as a mediator in a conflict between two other children.
  • They like to be part of a group and identify with their peers.
  • They understand the concept of being “accepted” or “rejected” by a group.
  • They like to work in a team in class and understand that everyone has something to contribute.
  • They are impressionable and can easily be led by others to carry out both positive and negative actions.

Little by little, your child is beginning to do the following:

  • Understand the meaning and importance of rules in society, and the consequences of not following them.
  • Further develop their sense of humour and enjoy telling jokes.
  • Get better at recognizing facial expressions that represent more subtle emotions (e.g., surprise, disgust, fear).
  • Offer to help a child or an adult without being prompted.
  • Actively participate in games and group activities.
  • Understand their role in a group (e.g., whether they’re more of a leader or a follower).

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 their friends,
they gain a better understanding of what they like about other kids their age.
When you ask your child to help you with certain chores at home,
they improve their ability to help with everyday tasks.
When you encourage your child to help a younger sibling get dressed,
they learn the value of lending a hand and realize they have a certain responsibility toward younger kids.
When you encourage your child to open and hold a door for an elderly person or someone in a wheelchair,
they develop the ability to help others while gaining empathy.
When you talk to your child about conflicts that come up at school,
they gain a better understanding of why the conflict occurred and learn to come up with solutions.
When you encourage your child to share their opinion on society’s rules and laws,
they learn to understand them better and develop a sense of justice and fairness.
When you register your child for a team sport (e.g., soccer, hockey, dance),
they develop a sense of belonging to a group that shares common interests.
When you cook with your child,
they learn about teamwork and cooperation.


Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Annie Goulet, psychologist
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: September 2021


Photo: GettyImages/FatCamera



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