Elementary School Age

THE INTERPRETATIVE STAGE: Be willing to answer & focus on progress.

Elementary School milestones:

Physical growth milestones:

  • Growth slows down for kiddo
  • Kiddo’s brain is almost adult sized
  • Kiddo’s immune system is better – less illness
  • Look for signs of early puberty – especially with girls
  • 7 yo: basics of gross and fine motor skills should be laid (1)

Cognitive & Emotional milestones:

  • 5 yo: Kiddo can count to 20
  • 6 yo: Kiddo begins early reading
  • 7-8 yo: Kiddo can do addition & subtraction
  • 8-9 yo: Kiddo can read chapter books
  • 9 yo: Kiddo can do multiplication

Cognitive development in kids this age:

Major ones:

  1. Kiddo will have a larger ability to reason about the big picture (1)
  2. Kiddo will be able to organize their own plan of action (1)
  3. Kiddo will learn in a more direct way (like school) (1)

Everything else:


Developing kiddo’s self-esteem:

  • Focus on the kiddos progress
  • Do not hold kiddo to unreachable standards
  • Help kiddo develop persistence when things get discouraging, so they know they can accomplish their goals
  • Avoid over praising, which reduces creativity, praise effort



Social milestones:

Boys and girls become more different in play styles – by 4.5 yo children spend 3x as much time with same gender friends & by 6.5 yo it is 11x


  • Play in larger groups & is rougher


  • Play in smaller groups & is more confined


ENCOURAGE CHRISTLIKE TRAITS – that are feminine & masculine

Aggression in kids: teach kids to be a defender & friend & avoid behaviors like these:

Two types:

  1. Overt/physical – hostile & bullying
  2. Relational/social – gossip & exclusion

Teach kiddo to include & forgive quickly

Moral and Spiritual development:

Development of Morality:

{Work within the zone of proximal development & allow for creative opportunities to debate moral issues – help children become good critical thinkers}

  1. Originally externally imposed & controlled by authority figures
    • Like in the Old Testament with the Law of Moses
    • Letter of the Law mentality
  2. Develops to be an internalization of moral rules & principles
    • Like in the New Testament with Christ’s teachings
    • Spirit of the Law mentality

Spiritual Development

This message from the First Presidency is exactly what I need to help my kiddo understand with love:

Our Dear Young Friend,

You are a child of God. He is your Heavenly Father. He loves you and cares about you. He wants you to have faith in Him and pray to Him often—anytime, anywhere.

He hopes you will keep the covenant you made when you were baptized and follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. He has given you the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide you, a family to love and teach you, and Primary leaders and teachers to help you.

You are now preparing for new opportunities in your life. Use these years to develop the qualities that will help you be a righteous young man or woman.

We encourage you to learn and live the gospel, serve others, and use the talents Heavenly Father has given you to learn and do many good things. Earning the Faith in God Award will help you become the kind of person you would like to be and the person Heavenly Father knows you can become.

We love you and pray for you.

Use the Faith in God award as a teaching guide.

Help kiddo to develop patterns.

Teach kiddo about repentance & ability to change.


Concerns or Issues facing this time period:

  • Should I home school my kiddo?
    • Pros:
      • Opportunity to give kids a better education than the education system
      • Can improve child-parent relationship
      • It is possible to find opportunities to meet up with other home schoolers
    • Cons:
      • It is hard to make sure kids are doing what they are supposed to do as far as school work
      • If homeschooling is to shelter – it can have negative outcomes
      • Parents may not be qualified to teach
      • Requires extra effort to build friendships
  • How can I stop my kiddo from being a bully?
    • Teach children principles of the gospel (esp. Matt. 7:12)
    • Help them to think about how others would feel
    • Teach them to include rather than exclude
    • Having a warm, loving environment at home (1)
  • Over-scheduled, over-stressed, how to stop the cycle?
    • Use a calendar
    • Allow children to pick one or two activities a season
    • Make church attendance a priority
    • Check out this article: How to Avoid Over Scheduling


L. Walker, Lecture 11: Elementary Children, SFL 240, Winter 2017.

(1) Brooks, J. B. (n.d.). Chapter 9: Parenting Elementary School Children. In The Process of Parenting (9th ed., pp. 273-304). Michael Sugarman.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s