Growth and Development for School-age children

July 04, 2019

Growth and Development for School-age children

Start teaching the value of money. Have your child do chores around the house to earn money. Pay your child with real money and work on the money-counting skills they are learning in school. Show your child that there is a real-world application for those skills. Talk to your child about practicing self-restraint with money. Teach them to spend, save, and give. 
Recently we shared a post about the language development of your preschoolers. We explored the importance of creating a language-rich environment for children under the age of five. Many parents want to make sure their children are ready for school, so they drill little Johnny and Susie on their ABCs and make sure their kids know how to spell their own names. Parents encourage their little ones to count how many steps it takes to get to the bathroom to work on numerical literacy, and they read Curious George books and Where the Wild Things Are to their preschool-aged children each night. Almost every parent knows what skills kindergartners are expected to know, and most feel comfortable working on those skills. 

Parent traps

But then the kids start school, and three things happen. First, the child starts becoming involved in the scouting program, soccer, Lego club, dance, and religious class. Parents spend a crazy amount of time organizing for those activities. They sign up for the class, gather the supplies, purchase snacks for the team, and cart their child from one event to another. Parents of grade schoolers often feel overwhelmed, like they don’t have time to work on skills with their children.

Second, some parents don’t know what skills a second or fourth grader should know. The parents may feel that they don’t want to mess up their child’s education by teaching a skill when it is not developmentally appropriate, and they may not want to teach their child to do something the “wrong way.”

Third, some parents feel that as soon as they drop their children off at their kindergarten classroom that their responsibility for educating their child has ended. They may think that they are leaving it up to the professional teacher to make sure their child meets all the appropriate developmental milestones. 

An Important time for kids

Don’t fall into one of those traps. The growth and development of your school-aged children continue to be your responsibility. In fact, you play a more critical role in helping your child than ever before. This is their last stage of childhood. Soon they will be teenagers. Try not to let your children’s development slide just because you are busy and are not sure how to help. After all, this is the stage when your child will begin to show intelligence beyond her age. It’s important to recognize and nurture this.

Brain development in school-age children

What activities do you do with your children to encourage brain development?

Keep reading! Do not stop reading to your children even if they can read on their own. Start reading chapter books to your child. Even though it is essential to have your child have some choice in what to read, make sure you try to expand his or her horizons. Don’t assume the old classics are “boring.” They are considered classics for a reason. Read Charlotte’s Web, the Little House books, and Old Yeller. Let your child see you laugh and cry at appropriate parts of the story. Make sure your child sees you read for enjoyment as well. Visit the library together. 

Start teaching the value of money. Have your child do chores around the house to earn money. Pay your child with real money and work on the money-counting skills they are learning in school. Show your child that there is a real-world application for those skills. Talk to your child about practicing self-restraint with money. Teach them to spend, save, and give. 

Social development in school-age children

Seek out social interactions for your child. Set up playdates at parks and inside playgrounds. Watch your child interact with other kids. Try not to intervene during this time of social interaction, but talk about how to make friends before and after the play date. Tell positive and negative stories about social interaction you experienced as a child. Try not to put pressure on the child to be more social or have more friends than he is comfortable. Try not to force friendships based on the fact you are friends with the parent. 

As a parent, you also must teach your child a moral code. Teach them right from wrong. Praise your child when he or she makes good choices. Help your child practice self-discipline and develop good daily habits.

Even though your school-aged child is a little more self-sufficient than before, he or she still needs you. Enjoy this time with your child. This is where he will be the most himself. Give your child the independence to explore what he or she likes before the weight of social pressures really land. 

Use parenting tools during this time to teach your child self-sufficiency. At Cadily, we offer a Magnetic Cash Reward Chore Chart to help your child keep track of his or her own progress when earning money for doing chores around the house. Check out our store today!


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