Stages of Life Development: Upper Elementary

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Benchmarks Kids are curious about how God is a part of their identity. They recognize the differences in their peers' traditions and beliefs. They are more aware of the changes in their bodies, which affects their confidence. Kids waver between wanting affection from their parents and spending time with their peers. The people they choose to surround themselves with and their desire to be accepted will greatly influence their interests. It is important to remind kids of their value in Jesus. They ask more complex questions and may even challenge authority. They desire to be more independent and begin to develop their own interests. Spiritual You may hear a child ask a faith question such as "Why do bad things happen to good people?" They may begin to recognize that their friends have other traditions, practices, and beliefs than them. They need reminders of God's unconditional love for them and their identity in Him. Social As relationships develop for kids, they spend less time with their parents and more time with their peers who have the same hobbies, beliefs, or interests as they do. They are trying to find their place. For better or worse, this can influence them and their decisions. Emotional As kids begin to go through puberty, they can experience a mix of emotions, feeling overconfident one day and unaccepted the next. They can be under stress with many new changes and can be very sensitive. Intellectual Kids begin to think more abstractly and develop a sense of right and wrong at this age. Something that previously had a clear answer may now be shrouded in ambiguity. Preteens may ask hypothetical questions and challenge authority. Physical There is a wide range of physical development among kids at this age. While some kids may not have hit a growth spurt yet, others may be experiencing puberty and growing quickly. This can affect a child's self-esteem, acceptance from peers, and coordination in physical activities. Upper Elementary • 2 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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