Children grow and change every year. This piece, written by the experts at Open Doors, is meant to help map out what to expect, and suggest ways to help them thrive as they meet new challenges mentally, physically, emotionally and socially.
How Their Minds Are Growing
Children at this age use a vocabulary of several thousand words and can converse at an almost adult level. They seek to understand the reasons for things and uses serious, organized logical thinking. They are able to understand reasoning and make the right decisions.
They are able to solve more complex problems and their individual learning style becomes more clear-cut. They begin to recognize the concept of reversibility (4+2=6 and 6-2=4). They are able to demonstrate a longer attention span.
They begin to feel competent in skills and have preferences for some activities and subjects. You will notice remarkable changes in social and thinking skills. Your child is now building on the base of skills developed during early childhood and moving toward greater independence, both intellectually and emotionally.
How Their Bodies are Growing
During grades 1 through 3, you won’t see dramatic changes in your child’s motor skills because this is a period of refinement, when coordination improves and fine motor skills are sharpened.
How Their Social And Emotional Selves Are Growing
This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, sports and schoolwork.
They have a strong need for love and understanding. They can be helpful, cheerful, and pleasant as well as rude, bossy, and selfish. They may be quite sensitive overly dramatic prone to worry about rejection or sense of place with peers. Their emotions may change quickly becoming impatient or showing self doubt. They can find waiting for special events to be torturous.
They can make friends easily, developing close friends of the same sex. They favour group play, clubs and team sports; wanting to feel part of a group. They are more influenced by peer pressure. They can be obsessed with and motivated by money.
Looking After Their Mental Health
This is a time of fragile self-esteem, so offer frequent encouragement and positive feedback. Help ease the tendency for self-criticism by stressing what they learned rather than how the final product looks.
Be patient and understanding of volatile emotions and moods.
Provide opportunities for independent decision-making. Take advantage of their eagerness to learn by asking open-ended, thought provoking questions, doing puzzles and playing thinking games.
Your child has a strong need to belong; talk to them about peer pressure.
Take advantage of their interest in money to teach about costs and the importance of saving towards a goal.
With every new stage in a child’s life, we have to rethink our approach to parenting, so we help our children and ourselves master new challenges. At Open Doors, we can help you make sure you get advice and support to help your family thrive through all stages of growth and change.
Here’s how to get in touch with us:Carleton Place Office 40 Bennett Street 613-257-8260 Perth Office 40 Sunset Blvd, Suite 123 613-264-1415 Smiths Falls Office 88 Cornelia Street W. 613-283-8260 Toll Free 1-877-232-8260 www.opendoors.on.ca