As children enter this stage of development they begin to show signs of emerging independence. This period of growth also involves actively seeking and developing friendships. While parents continue to be the most important people in their lives, relationships with peers become increasingly important. Having a “best friend” is considered a universal trait of the school age years.
Other important characteristics of this developmental stage include self-regulation skills which consist of the child’s ability to control urges, regulate strong emotions & feelings and behave in an age-appropriate manner without direct adult supervision.