Fifth graders still want your encouragement, but they will rarely ask for it. This is the year that teasing and gossiping take center stage, and with your child’s desire to “fit in,” it can lead to a compromise of values. These big shifts make it even more important for you to help your child see how they are designed differently, on purpose.
Here are some of the developmental changes they are experiencing right now.
- Are maturing physically (Girls are typically ahead of boys in physical maturity. Girls may begin their period.)
- Need outdoor time and need to be challenged physically
- Benefit from snacks and rest periods, due to their rapidly growing/changing bodies
- May require reminders about good hygiene, using deodorant, brushing teeth, etc.
- Are capable of developing their own goals • Are generally balanced
- May shrug off responsibility
- Might still be unable to manage time well; need scheduling
- May stress over academic challenges
- Are beginning to accept responsibility for their own failures and mistakes
(Though it may not be articulated, they are beginning to recognize their part in mistakes.)
- Can independently resolve conflict and help others solve conflict
- Use humor that may not be funny to adults
- Are very talkative
- Enjoy family and peers
- Often need to talk to think
- Are better able to see others’ perspectives; have more of a global view, which facilitates empathy
- Test levels of independence (This may be greater for boys than girls.)
- Become dependable and trustworthy (great characteristics for friends and family!)
- Will need help figuring out the balance of social time, school time, family time, hobby time, etc.
- Are sensitive to and able to resolve issues of fairness