The paediatrician and middle childhood parenting
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The 'forgotten years' of middle childhood, from age 6 to 12, represent a critical period in child development. Emotional, social and physical development during this time have a lifelong impact on health and adult contributions to society. Mental health conditions have displaced physical illness as the leading childhood disability. Positive parenting can improve child behaviour, prevent early-onset conduct problems and provide a buffer from adverse childhood events resulting in decreased toxic stress and improved health. Medical homes can play a key role in supporting parents with positive parenting skills that are practical, evidence-based and useful in everyday life. Paediatricians need to explore the domains that promote healthy development, including caring environments, fundamental needs and nurturing relationships. Our objective is to promote high-quality positive parenting through middle childhood by identifying opportunities for paediatricians to frame parenting discussions in the context of development, behaviour and safety and to provide access to valuable parenting resources.
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