Growing Children, Thriving Children

Raising 7 to 12 Year Olds With Confidence and Awareness

Lou Harvey-Zahra

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • One of the few parenting books to tackle the primary school years (from 7 to 12 years old)
  • A long-awaited and insightful guide from experienced teacher and parenting coach Lou Harvey-Zahra
  • Lou is the author of popular parenting books Happy Child, Happy Home and Creative Discipline, Connected Family
  • Includes advice on discipline, child development, sibling issues, routines, strengthening family bonds and tackling tricky questions

Parenting books often forget the primary school years (from 7--12 years old). Experienced teacher and parenting coach Lou Harvey-Zahra offers advice, practical tips and guidance to help carers face the challenges of these middle years with confidence.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Parenting & Child Health
264 pages
Publication date:
18 Apr 2019


No longer little children, but not yet teenagers, children in the primary school years (between seven and twelve) face big emotional, social, psychological and physical changes. How can parents best support their children whilst also embracing their growing independence?

Inspired by the Waldorf approach to child development, Lou Harvey-Zahra explains the three major transitions, or 'rubicons', of middle childhood at ages seven, nine and twelve. She offers practical tips and guidance to help parents through the challenges of the middle years, including:

-- Creative solutions for common discipline issues
-- Helpful routines for busy households to strengthen family bonds
-- Suggested responses to tricky childhood questions
-- Sensitive advice to help children manage anger and anxiety

Growing Children, Thriving Children empowers parents to navigate the middle years with confidence.


'Anyone who has heard of Lou Harvey-Zahra's wonderful talks, or read any of her previous books, will be pleased to see her font of wisdom can be applied to the older children too. It is so helpful to read her insightful advice, practical and heart-warming ideas and creative discipline tips for the over 7's, and delving into the developmental changes taking place at 7, 9 and 12 years of age. A practical, easy to read and down to earth guide.'
-- Kindling

'Growing Children, Thriving Children gives teachers and parents insightful and practical answers when the hurried pace of teaching leaves you looking for answers... A lifeline for teachers and parents during those middle childhood years of ages 7-12. You will find yourself nodding as you begin to see the mirror images that only a parent or teacher of a child in this age of awakening can see. This is a must-have for any teacher or school leader in middle childhood.'
-- Steiner Books

'I love Lou Harvey-Zahra’s advice, which is fun but practical, and rooted in love... With very few books available about this age, when children are starting to grow away from us and be more independent and yet crying out for support, it's really helpful to be able to reflect on what they might be feeling and how we can best nurture and guide them.’'
-- Saffia Farr, Editor, JUNO Magazine

'A much needed book: in contrast to shelf after shelf in the library and bookshop dedicated to baby and toddler books, there seems to be remarkably little available addressing the middle years.
I would totally recommend this book to parents and carers of 7-12 year olds - I am very sure that it will, as it says on the cover, increase your awareness and confidence as a parent. And I strongly suspect you, too, will be back for reminders over the course of these busy, challenging and surprising years.'
-- Lincolnshire Waldorf Group

'If you have children between 7-12 years or coming close to this age, you simply must read this book! Such a crucial time for connection and setting up for more ease in the teen years. Growing Children, Thriving Children is full of gold for parents!'
-- Katherine Thompson, parent

'I am super grateful to have read Growing Children, Thriving Children and to refer to it -- as there aren't many books on this middle period of childhood. Lou Harvey-Zahra's book beautifully explains the transition that largely goes unrecognised at nine years in our society today.'
-- Sarah Barber, parent


Lou Harvey-Zahra grew up and did her teacher training in England. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she has taught in a number of different kindergarten, primary, special needs and Steiner-Waldorf school settings. She runs conscious parenting workshops and is the author of Happy Child, Happy Home; Creative Discipline, Connected Family; and Through the Rainbow: A Waldorf Birthday Story for Children.

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