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Child Development 101


Merkin

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This is NOT posted in response to anything Mike may have posted recently, which I haven't read anyway.

The 8 Year Old

Patterns of Development

'Eight year olds are outgoing and lively. They love to tackle new projects and have a new sense of confidence that was lacking at age 7.'

'They work fast and play fast. This reckless approach to life can lead to accidents

and sloppy work.'

'They tend to brag and to make up excuses for their behavior.'

'Nothing is too difficult for the 8-year-old who

- often overestimates his ability to meet new challenges

- needs help from trying to do to much

- is very dramatic'

Cognitive Development

'seeks to understand the reasons for things'

'begins to feel competent in skills and have preferences for some activities and subjects'

Language Development

'can converse at an almost adult level'

'reading may be a major interest'

Physical Development

'finger control is quite refined'

'stamina increases; can run and swim further'

Social/Emotional Development

'can be helpful, cheerful, and pleasant as well as rude, bossy, and selfish'

'emotions change quickly'

'impatient; finds waiting for special events torturous'

'develops close friends of same sex'

'favors group play, clubs, and team sports'

'more influenced by peer pressure'

'can be obsessed with, and motivated by money'

Stages of Awareness Regarding Differences

'Regarding sex, the eight year old is becoming more aware that the specifics are not very clear. So, some will ask, others will not. Girls are more likely to broach the subject with mother, specifically

regarding intercourse and menstruation. Of course, the children will discuss the subject among their friends, as well as begin to make the connection from observing animal mating. This is a very good

age to begin to discuss sex in more detail with many children, in response to their questions. If they don't ask or seem aware, perhaps you can put it off until nine or ten.'

'Eight year olds become quite involved in interpersonal relationships. Boys notice pretty girls and girls will chase handsome boys on the playground. Parents should be alert to the possibility that their eight year old could become involved in sexual play. Parents should not allow the circumstances that might lead to this to occur.'

(Freely adapted from various child development resources.)

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OMG, I'm an 8 year old. With advanced language skills and a loner, but that sounds very much like me.... :: falls over laughing :: -- But I thought I was mentally somewhere closer to college age. Huh. Oh well. At least my 8 year old self was sorta cute, in a dorky, geeky sort of way. (Probably the only second grader who'd *choose* to go to school in a suit. Should've been a clue, maybe....)

Strange, it sounds like a lot of adults, come to think of it.

Hmm, but that last bit, though:

'Eight year olds become quite involved in interpersonal relationships. Boys notice pretty girls and girls will chase handsome boys on the playground. Parents should be alert to the possibility that their eight year old could become involved in sexual play. Parents should not allow the circumstances that might lead to this to occur.'

Right, we couldn't dare have Johnny play with Mary OR with Jimmy, 'cause they might like it and figure out what those are for. -- How else are kids going to learn about each other than by looking, at least? It doesn't mean I'm advocating any free for all wackiness, but well, kids are likely to look and play doctor some. It's how they learn. (Maybe I'm just bummed because I didn't get to do that much.)

Notice in that also there's the assumption that the boys are getting interested in the girls and the girls are getting interested in the boys, despite all those "cooties" and how "yucky" the opposite sex is for little kids. But notice the assumption is it's the opposite sex, and never any interest in their own sex, either for casual affection and curious exploration, or for a deeper and more serious range of feelings.

My earliest *conscious* interest in other boys was probably around 11, but I was kind of slow on the uptake in that department. -- Definitely other kids had noticed I was "different," but I thought it was just because of the handicapped thing (eyesight). Turns out, they were likely noticing that other difference too, which I didn't yet quite understand, but which was there.

My comment about adults acting like oversized kids? If anything, I'd say it's the rare adult OR kid who acts like an adult. Sometimes, we need to be child-like. Other times, we need to be mature. The trick is to know what's important and not be an idiot running around treating people like a jerk. Now, that one isn't either a "kid" or an "adult" thing, but it's rare when someone treats people well.

OK, so I'm a jaded, world-weary 8 year old who's seen too much.

LOL, no, I wouldn't want to be 8 again. Being 8 meant a lot of teasing in school. Though some was good-natured and I didn't quite get that. :shrugs: Still, any do-overs I'd want to... do over ...are mostly later on in life.

Maybe if the world were filled with more of the enthusiasm and adventuresome spirit of 8 year olds, we'd be a little better off. Too many adults either never grew up right or have forgotten how to be kids or to be nice either.

:: grumble, grumble ::

Sounds like I need to take my own advice. Be nice, inner 8 year old.

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