Northwest Spokane Pediatrics
What should I expect from my 8-year-old?
- Can be argumentative and bossy.
- Can be generous and responsive.
- Shows increasing ability to understand the needs and opinions of others.
- Is preoccupied with finding compatible friends.
- Especially likes to belong to informal "clubs" formed by children themselves.
- Also likes to belong to more structured adult-led groups such as Scouts.
- Begins to display a sense of loyalty.
- Enjoys secrets.
- Shows some hostility toward the opposite sex.
- Becomes discouraged easily.
- Is often self-deprecating.
- May question duty to participate in household chores.
- Is often idealistic.
- Is keenly interested in projects and collections.
- Is proud of completing tasks.
- Resists adult guidance at times.
- Look for friends
- The sense of “fair” is very meaningful to this age group.
- Continues to be accident prone, especially on the playground.
- Has more control over small muscles, and therefore writes and draws with more skill.
- Displays a casual attitude toward clothing and appearance.
- May be concerned about height and weight.
- Seems to possess boundless energy.
With supervision, your child may enjoy helping to choose and prepare the family meals. This will help teach him good food habits. Mealtime should be a pleasant time for the family. Avoid snack foods. Choose meals that have foods from all food groups: meats, diary products, fruits, vegetables, and cereals and grains. Most children should limit the intake of fatty foods. Children watch what their parents eat, so set a good example. Bring healthy foods home from the grocery store.
The elementary school years are a period which parents and children can enjoy reading together. Reading will promote learning in school, too. Make reading a part of the pre-bedtime ritual.
Television and Electronic Games
Limit television and electronic game time to a total of 1 to 2 hours per day. Encourage participation in family games and other activities. Carefully select the television programs you allow your child to view. Be sure to watch some of the programs with your child and discuss the show. Avoid violent programming and using the television as an electronic babysitter. Do not put a television in your child's bedroom.
Accidents are the number one cause of deaths in children. Kids like to take risks at this age but are not well prepared to judge the degree of those risks. Therefore, children still need close supervision at this age. Parents should model safe choices.
Avoiding Fires and Burns
- Practice a home fire escape plan.
- Check your smoke detector battery.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.
- Teach child emergency phone numbers and to leave the house if fire breaks out.
- Everyone in a car must always wear seat belts or be in an appropriate booster seat.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
- Crossing busy streets needs to be supervised. Children at this age will generally look in both directions, but they do not reliably look over their shoulders for oncoming cars.
- Make sure your child always uses a bicycle helmet. Model this behavior when you ride a bicycle.
- Your child is not ready for riding on busy streets. However, begin to teach your child about riding a bicycle where cars are present.
- Don't buy a bicycle that is too big for your child.
- Even children who are good swimmers need to be closely supervised around swimming pools and open water.
- Make sure windows are closed or have screens that cannot be pushed out.
- Do not allow play in areas where a fall could lead to a serious injury.
- Do not allow your child to play on a trampoline unsupervised.
Safety Around Strangers
- Discuss safety outside the home with your child.
- Make sure your child knows her address and phone number and her parents' place(s) of work.
- Teach your child never to go anywhere with a stranger.