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Growth and Development, Ages 6 to 10 Years (cont.)

When to Call a Doctor

Talk to your child's doctor if you are concerned that your child:

  • Is not meeting growth or development milestones for his or her age.
  • Has signs that he or she is entering puberty at a very early age (before 8 for girls, and 9 for boys).
  • Exhibits unusually aggressive behavior or shows signs of bullying others. Boys, especially, may behave aggressively when they are faced with a difficult situation. Girls are more likely to shun other girls and gossip about others. For more information, see the topic Bullying.
  • Struggles to understand or use spoken or written language. Having learning problems in school could be a sign of a learning disability.
  • Shows signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity, that are causing problems at home or school.
  • Seems withdrawn or depressed. Girls are more likely than boys to react to problems quietly. This behavior can make it hard for parents and teachers to recognize that they are troubled. A child who does not have any friends and who does not seem to be interested in anything at home or at school may be depressed.

Sometimes school counselors or teachers identify children who are having difficulties doing schoolwork, participating in gym classes, or socializing with other children. They can recommend a course of action that may involve a family doctor or pediatrician.

As your child becomes more involved at school and with friends, sports, and other activities, your skills as a parent will be tested. You may want to talk with your doctor if you feel overwhelmed. Also, classes that are often offered by schools, churches, or community groups can help you learn valuable parenting skills.

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