Important Parenting Skills For A Healthy Middle Childhood

Updated January 18, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Middle childhood, which typically spans the ages of six to 12, can be a crucial time in a person’s life. The skills they learn during this time often inform their adolescence and can even carry over into adulthood. During middle childhood, children often learn about relationships, roles and responsibilities, conflict resolution, emotional control, and more. Parents may ensure their children experience a healthy middle childhood by offering consistency and discipline, being supportive, encouraging an interest in learning, and modeling healthy relationships. If you’d like to improve your parenting skills with the help of a licensed therapist, online therapy can be an excellent place to begin.

Develop Parenting Skills That Can Help Your Child Succeed.

What Is Middle Childhood?

Middle childhood is generally considered to be the period of life between the ages of six and 12 years old. During this time, a child usually learns skills that will help them develop friendships and other relationships throughout their lives. 

Children between six and 12 may also learn about different roles and responsibilities, and it’s likely they’ll carry what they’ve learned into their teen and adult years. As a result, these years can be extremely important, and a child at this age may benefit from trying different pathways and learning about what their future may hold.

The Importance Of A Healthy Middle Childhood

In early childhood, a child generally learns things like emotional control and attachments, cognitive skills, language skills, and motor skills. They often begin to develop these skills and abilities further as they grow older and work their way through middle childhood. If they don't learn these skills during their early childhood, it can lead to deficiencies in their later life and may cause them to experience challenges as they enter middle childhood. They may also have difficulty in their adulthood due to this delay.

Children who experience environmental stress or inadequate care and attention from a caregiver may have delayed milestones. These delays can potentially damage brain development, which may then lead to issues with physical development and social development within the child. Though this can be helped in later life, it’s generally easier for children to develop these skills earlier rather than later. Therefore, it can be vital for a child to have a healthy early and middle childhood.

Setting Up Children For Success

Because your child may be learning so much during these early years, it can set them up for success in all areas of their lives. This may include things like success in school as well as an understanding of their health. It may also include self-discipline and the ability to make good decisions. Children often learn about healthy eating at this age, and they may even learn about how to form healthy relationships and resolve conflict. Each of these things can be crucial to their success in later life, and a deficiency in any of them could result in trauma that may take a great deal of time and help to overcome.

During middle childhood, children tend to be most at risk for developmental and behavioral disorders, asthma, obesity, and other chronic conditions. It can be important that they have healthy relationships and healthy levels of development. If they have a healthy relationship and healthy childhood, these disorders or problems are likely to be recognized sooner and treated more quickly and effectively. This may mitigate the trauma that these conditions could have on the child and can set them up for a healthier lifestyle as they continue to grow.

Develop Parenting Skills That Can Help Your Child Succeed.

The Necessity Of Consistency And Support From Parents

It can be helpful for parents to remain encouraging and supportive of their children during this period of their life. While punishments can be necessary to help children recognize why their misbehavior is wrong, it can be important that they remain consistent, and that the child understands why they are being punished and what they need to do differently.

During middle childhood, children generally need to have consistency in parenting. During these years, the child will likely learn more about themselves and come to understand relationships. If the punishments they receive from their caregiver seem fair and consistent, it can help them develop a healthy understanding of relationships, including the aspect of their actions coming with consequences.

Promoting an interest in learning can also be important for children during this time in their lives. Modeling positive relationships, encouraging your child to develop positive relationships, and helping them explore and experiment with new things in a healthy way can also be crucial. 

Online Therapy May Help You Develop Effective Parenting Skills

If you want to ensure that your child has a healthy middle childhood but don’t know if your parenting strategies are effective, you may benefit from working with a licensed therapist to learn new skills and address any mental health concerns you may be experiencing that could potentially affect your parenting style. 

As a parent, it can be challenging to find the time in your busy schedule to drive to a therapist’s office and attend sessions in person. If this is the case for you, online therapy may be a more convenient alternative because you may connect with a professional from home or anywhere you have an internet connection.

This study explains that online family therapy can be as effective as in-person family therapy, so it may be a good option for you if you’re looking to hone your parenting skills. Further research has shown that online therapy can act as an effective treatment for a variety of mental health concerns, so if you feel that stress, anxiety, depression, or another issue is holding you back from being the best parent you can be, please don’t hesitate to get the help you deserve.


The ages of six to 12 are generally referred to as middle childhood. This can be a very important period of life because the skills learned during this time can impact children through adolescence and adulthood. Children usually learn about emotional control, relationships, conflict resolution, and roles and responsibilities during middle childhood. It can be important for parents to ensure their children move through this stage healthily by being supportive, offering consistency and discipline, modeling healthy relationships, and encouraging an interest in learning. Parents who are interested in improving their parenting skills may benefit from working with a licensed therapist.

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