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Why is my 8-year-old behaving like a 5-year-old?

Q: My son is 8 years old. Our neighbour’s son is a month elder than my son. But there is a lot of difference between the two. My son still plays with the small cars and other things, which normally children of age group 3-5 years play with. He is also weaker in studies compared to the neighbour’s son and also behaves like a child of age less than his. Can you suggest something?

A:Children develop at different rates. No two children are exactly alike. However, there are some levels of activity that one would expect from each age and you are right to check out if your son is doing OK. Preference for small cars is not any indication for anxiety. Does your child attend school? Does he enjoy going to school and meet his friends? What do the teachers say about his performance in school tasks and his participation? Does he take care of his own needs? Is he affectionate? What does he do while at home? The answers to these questions will give you the basic picture. You could consult his teachers to see if he needs extra help. You could talk to others in the family and to good friends to find out what they would say about your child’s progress. If you are still concerned, you could see a Counsellor or Psychologist for an opinion. You have not given me enough details to make more specific suggestions.

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