The Pivotal Eight

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So I am starting to accept I have an eight year old. That I might need a refresher course on this age. My education is in Early childhood education…that’s birth through five years. Five through seven and half was mostly what I expected. Six months ago she started with more drama and meltdowns even the questions she asked,  I just assumed by eight I would have this parenting thing down. yyyeeeah about that…

I decided to search for parenting help on what to expect with an eight year old.

I did a search and sat there in shock as I found nothing by D r. Sears that was helpful.  I felt like whaling  , “What do I do now? How can he have written nothing about this age? Where is the step by step that I followed through the first five years?”  Who do I go to now? Who can I trust? I felt like I was starting all over.  Almost everything that happened followed along with what Dr. Sears said.

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So I started at childparenting.about.com, They focused mostly on just brief overview of the areas. They stressed the importance of good role models than previous years as now they are figuring out the world and who they are and they fit into it. Basically they do this all during childhood which is no big surprise but this is when they start to understand more complex life situations. The other thing that made sense….kinda made a light go on….. was that physical development is now down to refining skills rather than huge changes and leaps in development.  Okay so I was not really imagining things here. She does still have growth spurts but I have noticed a determination to master skills.

Hmm Okay well this was helpful but not really what I was looking for.  Back to Google I went. PBS parenting. ah ha ….cue singing angels.

Right away I noticed the tv shows geared towards 7-11 years old, Wordgirl is already a fave here….

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I was starting to slowly realize yes I really did have a handle on some of this, how she learns and her academic abilities . The part I was feeling lost about was social and emotional.

It says that Kids this age begin to understand the concept of masking emotions. Oh great THAT is really reassuring! NOT! That kids this age will start to have really elaborate fantasy play. OH YES! This is definitely happening. The complex ideas she comes up with for her fairies…Astounding!

What was helpful was that at this age they rely on adults for a sense of security but are proud of their independence and will want to express it.  This makes sense. The Mommy stay there and watch me! She wants to do things herself and when she does she tells everyone.  Any attempt to help her ends with her yelling that she can do it.

Then the arrow hit the mark. At this age they are typically more dramatic ,explosive, demanding and outgoing than last year. THIS is what I was looking for, This is what we are dealing with right now. Phew most kids do this. Okay..

Something I read kind of clicked into place with things I had been noticing and was really impressed with her for. She has started to express concern in taking care of things she has borrowed or how a friend will  in a situation that is uncomfortable for her. She has a friend that when she gets excited can easily become overstimulated and most of the time expresses it in screaming and yelling sometimes jumping around. She decided she wasn’t going to invite her to her birthday party because the releasing of the ladybugs would probably cause screaming.  It said that they will start valuing friends greatly, and makes them an increasingly important part of life.

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So basically  keep doing what I am doing. Expect the explosions, the drama. I also think  that when school starts back up and we have more of a settled routine, things will even out.  Sometimes you just need to check and reassure yourself that you are in fact doing the right things. That your child is in fact doing things that are age appropriate.  Like explosions of drama and meltdowns five minutes apart. I will try and keep in mind that her body is being flooded with hormones to help her keep growing and  become a young woman.

So basically from here on out I am going to need Mountain Dew , Snickers and possibly cocktails with dinner to attempt to stay somewhat sane.

Sources:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopmenttracker/eight/

http://childparenting.about.com/od/physicalemotionalgrowth/tp/Child-Development-Your-Eight-Year-Old-Child.htm

http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/817389/8-year-old-development-and-parenting-tips

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