Ages & Stages

Below are some general development milestones to help you understand you child's progress over the school year. Keep in mind every child is different and may not fit perfectly into this framework.

Brought to you by the American School Counselor Association

Kindergarten: Is your five-year old on track?

The average five-year-old is good, helpful, and conforming. They:

• Attempts only things he knows he can do.

• Needs attention, affection, and praise.

• Is energetic and fidgety.

• Has a short attention span.

• May show opposite extremes of behavior.

• May become less well-behaved as the school year progresses.

Where They're Going:

School isn't just academics: Your child's teachers are also helping her grow socially. At five-years-old, your child is learning to understand herself. You can help by encouraging them as they:

• Develops a positive, realistic self-image.

• Learns to respect herself.

• Begins to understand her own uniqueness.

• Gains awareness of her feelings.

• Learns to express feelings.

• Learns how to participate in groups.

• Begins to learn from her mistakes.

1st Grade: Is your six-year old on track?

The average six-year old is extremely egocentric and wants to be the center of attention. They:

• Wants to be the "best" and "first."

• Has boundless energy.

• May be oppositional, silly, brash, and critical.

• Cries easily; shows a variety of tension-releasing behavior.

• Is attached to the teacher.

• Has difficulty being flexible.

• Often considers fantasy real.

School isn't just about academics. Your child's teachers are also helping him grow socially. At six-years-old, your child is learning to understand himself. You can help by encouraging them as they:

• Develops a positive, realistic self-concept.

• Learns to respect himself.

• Begins to understand his own uniqueness.

• Gains awareness of his feelings.

• Learns to express feelings.

• Learns how to participate in groups.

• Begins to learn from his mistakes.

2nd Grade: Is your seven-year old on track?

At seven, kids begin to calm down a bit. They:

• Begin to reason and concentrate.

• Worry, are self-critical, and may express a lack of confidence.

• Demand more of their teacher's time.

• Dislike being singled out, even for praise.

School isn't just academics. Your child's teachers are also helping her grow socially. At seven-years-old, your child is continuing to learn about herself and others. You can help by encouraging them as they:

• Develops a concept of herself.

• Begins to understand others.

• Gains respect for others.

• Builds relationships with others.

• Develops a sense of responsibility.

3rd Grade: Is your eight-year old on track?

The average eight-year-old is explosive, excitable, dramatic, and inquisitive. They:

• Possesses a "know-it-all" attitude.

• Is able to assume some responsibility for her actions.

• Actively seeks praise.

• May undertake more than she can handle successfully.

• Is self-critical.

• Recognizes the needs of others.

School isn't just academics. Your child's teachers are also helping him grow socially. At eight-years-old, your child is learning how to set goals and understand the consequences of his behavior. You can help by encouraging them as they:

• Explores the relationship of feelings, goals, and behavior.

• Learns about choices and consequences.

• Begins setting goals.

• Becomes more responsible.

• Learns how to work with others.

4th Grade: Is your nine-year old on track?

Nine is a time of general confusion for kids. Nine-year-olds:

• Want to put some distance between themselves and adults, and may rebel against authority.

• Need to be part of a group.

• Seek independence.

• Possess a high activity level.

• Can express a wide range of emotions and verbalize easily.

• Can empathize.

• Can think independently and critically, but are tied to peer standards.

• Begin to increase their sense of truthfulness.

• Are typically not self-confident.

School isn't just academics. Your child's teachers are also helping her grow socially. At nine-years-old, your child is learning how to make decisions and set standards. You can help by encouraging your child as they:

• Begin making decisions.

• Gains a greater sense of responsibility.

• Sets personal standards.

• Develops personal interests and abilities.

• Develops social skills.

• Learns to engage in group decision-making

5th Grade: Is your ten-year old on track?

The average ten-year-old has a positive approach to life. Ten-year-olds:

*Tend to be obedient, good natured and fun

*They possess a surprising scope of interests

*They find TV very important and identify with TV characters

*They are capable of increasing independence

*They are becoming more truthful and dependable

*They tend to be improving their self-concept and acceptance of others

*They form good personal relationships with both teachers and counselors



6th Grade: Is your eleven-year old on track?

The average eleven-year-old is heading towards adolescence. Eleven-year-olds:

*Are able to show more self-assertion and curiosity

*Are socially expansive and aware

*Are physically exuberant, restless, wiggly and tend to talk a lot

*Have a range and intensity of emotions

*Can be moody and easily frustrated

*Are competitive, wants to excel, and may put down the "out group"

*Exhibits "off-color" humor and silliness

*Teases and tussles

7th Graders: What will middle school look like for your twelve-year old?

The average twelve-year-old is entering the stage in between childish and mature behavior. They will

*Be spirited and enthusiastic

*Can "stay put" longer and exercise self-control

*Develop a growing sense of intuition and insight into self and others

*Become less moody and may become good-natured around adults

*Become increastingly self-reliant and self-centered

*Is curious but not ready for long-term planning

*Has a strong desire to be like their peers

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