4th & 5th Graders
468 weeks until graduation . . .
What’s this phase all about?
Friends, friends, and more friends. 4th & 5th graders are beginning their quest to find their place in the world. Sorry, Mom, but peer approval is beginning to matter more than yours. This is especially true for girls. You may think that dress is really cute, but if her best friend said that style is for little kids, good luck talking her into wearing it! This is the age where ability begins to matter more than enthusiasm when it comes to team sports, dance class, or drama club. Kids begin to gravitate toward kids with common interest and cliques begin to form. Maybe for the first time, your 4th or 5th grader will feel significantly different or even left out.
What blessings can you find in this phase?
Even though you might be seeing the beginnings of preteen struggles, this is still generally an easy age. These kids are still confident they can be the next Carrie Underwood or Tom Brady. They believe they can do anything, and they’re ready to show you. After all, they are the top of the elementary school food chain! If you want to know how awesome they are, just ask. They’ll tell you! Because of this self-confidence and their growing mental abilities, family game night can become loads of fun!
How can you leverage this phase?
Right now your child is still confident enough to believe they can do anything. Leverage that! Your child needs to know that you believe in them. You don’t have to perpetuate an unrealistic hope to be supportive, either. If you’ve heard your daughter sing and you’re pretty sure she won’t be winning a Grammy, you can still applaud her efforts. You might suggest guitar lessons or something equally musical that won’t snuff out her singing dream but will give her real opportunities in the future. This is a great time to help them realized that God has given everyone abilities they can use to make the world a better place. However, let me caution you about something. Your kids need realistic expectations from you. Instead of vaguely encouraging them to be a world changer, show them how they can change their corner of it. It’s a lot less pressure for a nine-year-old with a much greater chance for success!