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Children Development In Late Primary School

Late Primary School

Up to the age of nine or ten, a child's brain continues to be twice as active as an adult's. Around the age of nine, peer relationships seem to predominate. It's at this point that we start to see the brain gearing up for adolescence. Many of the neurological changes that occur in the brain during the teenage years commence well before a child gets to high school - a fact that any primary-school teacher will confirm with a sad nod of the head.
Children Development In Late Primary School

While the early onset of puberty is often viewed with dismay by adults, it may actually benefit some young people. Early maturers score slightly higher on IQ tests than their later-maturing counterparts, and this small advantage appears to persist into adulthood.

During these years, the brain starts to slow down. An eight or nine-year-old's brain runs at about twice the speed that yours does; between eight and 18, it slows down to its adult running rate.

Following this is a stage in which the world is simplified into two basic states: "boy germs" and "girl germs." Where I grew up, all the guys would hang out on the playground, play football, or play marbles, while the girls did something strange with elastic that involved chanting.

The division of the sexes is very clear at this stage, and just when you think you've got it all sorted out - when you've got all the guys on the field or all the girls out with the elastic, and never the twain shall meet; when you've got the sign that says "No Boys [or Girls] Allowed" - then puberty comes along to change everything. Here's a few suggestions:
  • Build goodwill in families.
  • Discourage and divert from aggressive acts.
  • Couple high expectations with high faith in the child. 
  • Limit the carbohydrate intake. 
  • Broaden friendship groups. 
  • Try to get bright children into the habit of cooperating with family and mixing with a range of people. 
  • Stop them settling into a repetitive pattern of angry and aggressive behavior by defusing potential battlegrounds early on or dealing with confrontations quickly.

Families can feel like international courts of appeal if they have Debater children. Try to keep things fair and routine.

Late childhood and early adolescence is a time of grief and loss - the child is alone in a way that she never was during childhood. Part of the loneliness of this time is due to her sense of belonging getting seriously confused. It gets confused because a new identity is breaking through the shell of childhood.

Part of this new up-surge is to do with identity formation - who she is as a person. Both boys and girls feel pressured to grow up faster than they can, and this pressure becomes focused on what they want to do with their
lives - the task of realizing their dreams. This acceleration of life leaves many victims in its wake: for too many young people, life becomes a problem to be solved rather than a mystery to be unraveled. The role of parents is to protect their child's childhood, to ensure they are not exposed to the pressures, lures, and experiences of adulthood too early. To find out more, you can check out Children Development In Late Primary School.

Middle Ages For Primary School Children

Mid-primary school
Middle childhood is a time of what is called "latency," when everything lies dormant and settled. Theoretically, it is a time of calm before the storm of puberty. Many parents of teenagers wistfully recall the happy eight-year-old they once had.

Middle Ages For Primary School Children

One interesting aspect of these years is the "I'm not going to be your friend any more" stage, in which the child begins to exert her willpower in social situations. Many parents find themselves being told on occasions that they are hated by their children. One mother developed a "hate-ometer," in which she kept a count of the number of times she was told she was hated each day - the record was 87 times! One way to look at this is that it prepares you to have a thick skin for later on, when the battles can get really serious. One possible response to a child who insists that they hate you is to say, "You can hate me all you like and I can love you just as much as I like."
Negotiator alert!
Early to mid-primary school (about Years 3 and 4) is the time that many Barts decide school success is unachievable for them and take on the job of class down. Help them to be academically successful by keeping them interested in books through reading to them, in games through playing with them, and in learning by focusing on areas of their interest.

Sometimes bright children will also be defiant, and will threaten to kill themselves if you don't let them do what they want to do. It's always alarming to hear a child angrily say, "I wish I was dead" or "I didn't ask to be born." While we always need to be watchful for signs of depression, mostly this is defiance rather than depression. Nevertheless, we don't want children to get into a habit of threatening self-harm in order to get their own way. Say, "I can hear you are angry right now and I'm not going to let you hurt yourself."

This is the time to be clear about family rules and expectations. Taking the time to calmly explain rules that help to create the sort of family you want to be is useful. It won't stop them from disputing some of these rules later on, but it does help to have clear, consistent, and calm parenting with reasonably high expectations of the contribution children and young people can make towards family life.

Having high expectations, hopes, and dreams of children and supporting them to contribute positively to family life is one way of promoting resilience in young people. Going on a "treasure hunt" with children - i.e., searching for their talents, skills, and abilities, finding them, and making much of them - assists them to gain positive self-esteem.

Helping boys to develop the ability to put their thoughts into words is important at this time. Involving boys in conversations in which they are not allowed to get away with monosyllabic, caveman-like grunts is important here, and can set them up as good communicators for the remainder of their lives.

Hearing stories or audiobooks (i.e, without any pictures) is a way of helping boys to develop the internal images that help them to build language expression. But I'm not for a moment suggesting that you do away with picture books.
Keeping girls confident with numbers can be useful at this time. Teaching them through the use of money - counting change, working out how much to pay and so on - is effective. Both boys and girls benefit from developing concentration skills. Three of the big skills required for success in school - concentration, sequencing (or keeping things in the right order), and memory - can be developed with the help of parents. The easiest way of doing this is to play games with them, like cards, chess, dominoes, and battleships.

Manipulator alert!
This is the stage when Manipulators can be prone to perfectionism and hurrying. This can mean they won't try things they are not sure they are good at. And they can put down others. Emphasize having a go rather than always focusing on outcomes. 

Developing friendship skills
Primary schools often find that bullying increases around eight years of age as children jostle for position with peers. This continues to be a common issue until 13 years old or thereabouts. For this reason, help your child develop a range of friendships, ideally some in school and some out of school. Developing the skills of being a good friend helps children to not only fit in at this stage, but also sets them up for success in careers and relationships later on.

Many bright children don't develop friendship skills easily and may need considerable assistance in this area. Some of the key skills are:

  • An awareness of the feelings of other people and how a child's own behavior impacts those feelings. Parents can help to point out how others might be feeling, and empower their child to help that person feel better. These are the building blocks of empathy and compassion.
  • An awareness of their own feelings. Bright children often emphasize action over emotion and are relatively poor at knowing how they feel. Parents can help them to identify their own feelings.
  • Having a range of interests that enable them to talk to a variety of people. 
  • Having ways of managing their competitive nature by learning about collaboration and teamwork, and by understanding that others' successes are not a threat. 
To find out more, you can check out Middle Ages For Primary School Children.

Leaving Child At Preschool For First Time

Preschool stage
Then, at about the age of three or four, something happens and it all changes. It is almost as if four-year-olds stop in their tracks, look around in bewilderment, and express this puzzlement by asking, "Why?"

It is estimated that a four-year-old asks a "why" question every two-and-a-half minutes! All that learning that was happening almost automatically suddenly requires effort.

Leaving Child At Preschool For First Time

These are the willful years in which children learn to share, delay gratification, calm themselves down, and develop impulse control. Children who do not learn these skills at this time can learn how to control their impulses later, but it is harder.

Some of you will know adults who never really learned much about impulse control either. You know, those so-called friends of yours who cut a swathe through any social settings, acting in ways that disregard the needs of others, failing to take on responsibility. During these years, children often feel as if they are Masters or Mistresses of the Universe. This means they can feel responsible for things they in reality had no influence over (e.g., upset parents, a poor month financially, a pet's ill health). Considerable time and effort needs to be put into explaining to them why events happen.

This "Master or Mistress of the Universe" feeling also means their tantrums assume great power. It is not a great thing to win every argument when you are three or four years old. Not only does that mean that your tantrums are more powerful than your parents, it also raises the frightening prospect that there is no one stronger to protect you. For parents, this means that you can't afford to crumple every time your child raises his voice. Do not give in to his every last whim.

There are some different priorities in parenting boys and girls at this time. Boys need to be helped to develop fine motor skills. Construction tasks, Lego, games and toys that involve twisting and turning all help boys build the skills that will eventually help them to write well. As the "fight/flight" response is stronger in boys, they often need help in containing their anger or tendency to run away if upset. This means applying the strong and compassionate parenting of "fierce friendship." 

Girls often need assistance to develop their gross motor skills and to coordinate their large muscle groups. Physical play, ball throwing and catching are helpful, as are games like Twister and musical chairs. Allowing little girls to get dirty is also beneficial. It always seems that the girls who are too ladylike too early are at risk of becoming perfectionists.

Early primary school
Around the age of six, there is a second surge as the brain starts to use language in increasingly complex ways. The human brain attains 90 percent of its adult weight between four and eight years of age.

Aggression management is important at this time. Entering school every year are children with existing attachment and aggression problems, and they don't just grow out of these, they get worse - much worse! Girls exhibiting these problems at this age do worse long term than boys. For this reason, helping children to learn to avoid the triggers for anger and to not act inappropriately as a result of anger is really important.

Early primary school is a time of forming a peer group, Friendships may not always be based on deep, abiding similarities but nevertheless they can be loyal and emotionally intense attachments. Children may develop a "very best special friend,', and may experience grief if a special friend changes social groups
or moves out of the area. Try to help your child have a few different playmates and keep building a sense of belonging to family.

The Passive Resisters' withdrawal 

Passive Resisters who don't settle into school can show this by separation anxiety or by being extremely quiet. Watch out for these early warning signs and discuss with teachers strategies for engaging them and giving them a sense of success.

Anxieties and worries can also invade children's lives. With their developing independence can come anxieties about dangers, death, and injury. Sometimes children will become reluctant to go to school.

Many bright children at this time decide that they are no good at school and say things like, "I'm no good at..." or "I suck at .... "Anxiety about their abilities can lead children to give up. It is very important to build positive attitudes about their abilities at this age.

It is difficult to love yourself if you are not first loved. The way we are loved early on forms a stamp on us that is as individual and unique as our fingerprints. It forms the way we react to life and the way we consider death. For many people, this fingerprint of love or abandonment shows up most vividly at times of ritual and gathering - Christmas, birthdays, Easter. This is why we often see conflicts and disappointments resurface at times that represent family closeness and love. The approach we take to major rituals and celebrations tells us much about ourselves. To find out more, you can check out Leaving Child At Preschool For First Time.