The Core Ideas

Middle Childhood – from ages 6 through 12 – is a time of enormous physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. Children become more conscious of themselves and their identities, are more aware of social customs and interactions, seek more freedom and autonomy, and expand their capacity for abstract thinking.

Along with these rapid internal changes, children’s external environments are also changing. Classroom environments become more rigorous, adults’ expectations of behaviour and performance increase, and unstructured leisure time can decrease.

The rich complexity of this developmental stage requires an equally rich way of measuring well-being.

Everything the MDI Measures

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider.

This first section of your journey, The Core Ideas, will walk you through each of the five dimensions of well-being that the MDI measures. Each page will feature an overview of included measures, a link to a printable Quicksheet summary, and notes on the latest MDI trends.

Remember: Understanding the components of well-being is a meaningful step on its own.

Many of the components of child well-being, such as empathy, optimism or connectedness, simply aren’t part of the everyday language we use to talk about how kids are doing, or may be considered ‘non-essential’ skills. Yet research demonstrates how vital all these pieces are to the development of children and their success in later life.

Using the MDI to increase understanding of the dimensions of well-being and sharing that knowledge with others will help put children’s experience at the heart of your change efforts. Making use of these concepts and this new language at home, at school and in community will ensure that everyone who cares about children can communicate more clearly and measure the progress of their work.