Common Concerns during the School-Age Period
The developmental task of school-agers, children between 6 to 12 years old, according to Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory is industry versus inferiority. It is at this time that children learn to deal and socialize with their peers. Cognitive growth and development continue to proceed at rapid rates during this time, although physical growth is slower during these years. During the school-age period, the development is more subtle and most of the time marked by mood swings. These is true in situations where a school-ager enjoys doing something in one occasion but may not accept doing it the next time. For example, a child is interested in joining painting classes. When his parents decided to enroll him in the class, he suddenly losses interest in painting and prefers football instead.
Children of this age also love playing in competition with each other. They love playing and spending time with their friends and are more influenced by the attitudes of the peers that they are interested to spend their time with. Some children may prefer not to do something they previously enjoy because no friends are interested in the said activity. This stage is quite frustrating to the parents manifested by unnecessary conflicts with their child as children of this age begin to make truly independent judgments. When parents are not prepared for this, conflict will be the result.
Physical Growth of a School-ager
During the school-age period, children who did not lose the lordosis and the knock-kneed appearance of toddlers during the preschool period lose these now. The posture becomes erect. The following are important things to know relating the physical growth of school-age children:
- Malocclusion with teeth malalignment may be present if the eruption of permanent teeth and growth of the jaw do not correlate with the final head growth.
- An enlarged tonsil in the back of the throat is normal during this period and should not be mistaken for a respiratory illness.
- Innocent heart murmurs may be present and become apparent due to the extra blood crossing the heart valves of the school-ager.
- All school-aged children over 8 years old should be screened for scoliosis.