While most children possess a large vocabulary-about 13,000 words-at
age 6, they have limited ability to understand complicated language structures.
From ages 6 to 10, children gradually begin to think in more complex ways. This
growth enables them to understand and use the nuances and subtleties of
Children gradually advance from understanding simple sentences to
being able to interpret complicated content within a paragraph. And they advance from
writing a few words at a time to composing complex stories and reports. But
this age group's language skills are still limited by concrete, "here and now"
thinking. Although school-age children understand more than they can express,
they do not comprehend a lot of what adults discuss with them. Ask your child
to repeat back what you have said. This will give you a sense of how much he or
The kids are home: Their first stop -- grab a sweetened drink from the
fridge. It's one of several bad habits that have built a nation of overweight
kids. When it comes to their health, children and sweetened beverages are
simply a bad match.
Liquid candy -- that's what public health officials call these drinks. Most
boys get 15 teaspoons of refined sugar daily, and most girls about 10 teaspoons
-- all from sweetened beverages. That's the most sugar kids should be getting
from all foods in...
Before age 9, most children understand language very literally. They
are confused by statements like, "She is as cool as a cucumber" and may think
it means a person is very cold to the touch or somehow looks like a cucumber.
Around age 10, children develop an understanding of multiple meanings and
relationships between words. They start to make sense of a metaphor like "Lila
is a real firecracker."
Children who have well-developed language skills tend to have better
memories and attention spans. This makes learning easier for them, and children
who are successful in school tend to develop a healthy self-esteem. Also, children who have good language skills often make friends more easily
than children who have trouble expressing themselves with words.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
May 16, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 16, 2011
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