This period begins the long, usually more settled, middle years of childhood. Children have greater experience with multiple separations from parents (e.g. school, relatives, friends, sports). During this stage, children begin to:
- Develop peer and community relationships.
- Attain self-esteem as they develop personal and social skills.
- Develop empathy and a sense of right and wrong.
Early school-age children understand the concepts of time and routine. They can be more independent than their younger peers and more secure with the idea of two residences.
They usually can adjust to different parenting styles. This and the next age period are typically the most flexible years of development, which permits parents to be more creative in preparing parenting plans. Using a calendar to inform and remind children of the schedules outlined in the parenting plan, along with their other activities, is very helpful, as changes can be anticipated and talked about ahead of time, easing some of the stress of transitions.