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Home » Age-by-Age Insights »

School Age: Ages 6-11


Girl: Why did this happen to me? | Dad: It's not your fault. Let's think of ways to be more careful next time.

Reassure Your Child You Will Do This Together

How You Communicate

Kids this age (even 10-year-olds) will act both big and babyish. They want to be comforted, despite their growing size, and they still need extra time with you when they are sick to get reassurance and express their concerns.

Even though your child may want to be babied, try to avoid using babyish tones. Talk together about why he is sick in concrete, simple ways and engage his growing intelligence with open-ended questions. You might ask if he's heard or learned about this illness at school. Be prepared to discuss anything on his mind, even if it is not directly related to the illness or condition. Reassure him that you will help him get well and that you will do this together.

Acknowledge your child's health concerns or complaints. However, don't let a psychosomatic complaint keep him from school, unless there is concrete evidence he's sick. The bottom line: Check with your pediatrician if you have any questions.

Kids this age want to be normal and may be worried that an illness will make them stand out. If possible, try not to let doctor appointments interfere with school. A school-age child may also feel guilty, as if he was to blame for his illness or accident. Focus on what you can do to keep it from happening again, instead of blaming him. (While this seems obvious, it's important to remember in a heated moment!)

Preteen & Teen - What Kids Experience

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