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Development

The ages between four and 11 are very important. Children’s desire for independence increases rapidly as they start to have more and more contact with their peers. As they begin to explore the outside world without you being there all the time, some children can react strongly to things in their desire for independence while others can feel insecure.

Above all, you need to be patient and understand what they are going through. They may only feel comfortable in familiar surroundings, wanting their friends to come over all the time because they aren’t yet ready to sleep over somewhere else. Children can develop a ‘know it all’ attitude, which can also be difficult.

Most children start to become more independent by the time they move on to secondary school. Many become more self-controlled when with their friends, but remain difficult at home. Their school may say they are a little angel, but you know things are very different when they get home! This often happens because children feel safe at home. The fact that they feel comfortable enough to test boundaries, feelings and responses shows that they know they are loved and accepted, so in a way it can be seen as a compliment!