Stages of Life Development: Upper Elementary

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Upper Elementary "Kids need strong faith figures . . . to encourage their own faith walk." MONICA KEGLEY In the early elementary stage, parents want their children to learn independence while also protecting them from risks and dangers. Early elementary is a balancing act between a child gaining new experiences and asking complex questions about their faith while trying to navigate making friends, feeling accepted, and showing kindness to their neighbor. The upper elementary years are crucial, as children desire to know their purpose in the world and how to use their God-given skills. Kids are more capable of thinking like adults but do not yet have the life experience to act like adults. Much as it was in the early elementary stage, confidence is a crucial part of development. Kids need strong faith figures in their lives to encourage their own faith walk. Children benefit when trusted adults show them the gifts they see God has given them and guide them in how to share their faith with others. An upper elementary student like ten-year-old Amara knows what Jesus has done for her on the cross. She is a believer in Jesus and desires a relationship with Him. She continues to have complex questions such as "Why do bad things happen to good people?" She enjoys making new friends but is finding her place in the friend group. Amara is starting to notice that her friends have different beliefs and traditions than her family does. Her hobbies include volleyball, soccer, and making crafts. She feels a lot of different emotions when it comes to balancing volleyball and soccer practice, completing her homework on time, and serving as an acolyte at church. She is gaining confidence as a young lady because of her parents and other adult figures who remind her of the gifts and talents God has given her. A Day in the Life Upper Elementary • 1 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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