Understanding children's mental health & emotional wellbeing

What is Normal (Key Stage 3)

Years 7 – 9 (Age 11-14)

Between the ages of 7 and 11 children are busy consolidating skills learnt during earlier stages of development, in preparation for using them more globally in later years.  This can be a critical time for the development of self confidence, with children practicing a range of skills associated with social interaction and learning.

Between these ages children want to do well and to be seen to do well and to be a good person.  They increasingly learn to share and co-operate with others and have the capacity to reason more and take greater responsibility for themselves.  Logical thought patterns develop and a good grasp of time and space develops.  More complex skills of reading, writing and time-telling are mastered.

It is important that during these years children are encouraged to develop an understanding of their own interests.  They begin to recognize their own talents and skills.  Self esteem and self motivation are greatly increased when children are encouraged and given access to explore their own interests and hobbies.  Positive recognition of effort and achievement is extremely reinforcing and can help develop a more mature independence.

As children express their growing sense of independence between 7 and 11, they may start to show signs of defiance and rebellion and answering back is common.  Children begin to grasp a greater understanding of cultural and individual differences and often take a keen interest in the world around them as it is increasingly revealed to them.