Behavior Expectations - 7-9 Year Olds
The golden years for children are between the ages of 7 and 9 years old. At this age, children can grasp new information quickly. They start seeing the world in a new and exciting way and, because of this, they are beginning to develop their morals and values. And while they are making leaps and bounds in maturity, they still need a lot of guidance from adults in their lives.
What To Expect
Children between the ages of 7 and 9 years old are full of energy and their personalities are more distinct. They have an increased desire to be independent and they want to be recognized for their intelligence. Children at this age love interacting with others and enjoy making friends which leads to the sense of belonging they crave. And although they are exhibiting more independence, they still have a strong desire to be connected to the important adults in their lives and need approval from them.
The growth at this age is exciting to witness but can come with its own set of challenges for parents and teachers. This increased independence and sophisticated thinking leads to a more opinionated child. Children at this age may begin complaining about the fairness of rules and will argue their point of view. They also get distracted and almost seem to “space out” because they are intrigued by all the exciting things going on around them. Friendships blossom during this time but this often comes with the development of peer pressure because they begin valuing their friends’ opinions of them.
How Do I Help Them Thrive?
During the time between the ages of 7 and 9 years old, it is important for parents and teachers to guide children. Understanding where they are in this stage of development is vital to helping them be the most successful they can be. They will want to be independent but, they also want to be close to their parents. It is a very delicate balance. They key is to let them make choices and help with things but, when they need guidance, do so in a way that does not crush their growing autonomy.
How Does SWAT Fit?
The Core SKILLZ program (implemented in our Rangers and Warriors classes) was specifically designed for children at this age. The goal of this program is to adapt to their adventurous attitude while building skills that set them up for success. Some of the goals of the program are to help them stay focused, persevere through tasks they find more difficult, show intensity on easy tasks, and show courage when trying something new. The highly trained SKILLZ instructors are also vital to the success of this program. Connecting with each student and utilizing edutainment are two of the most important laws of instruction when working with this age group.
Independence With Guidance is Key
The child-adult bond is of great importance at this stage of childhood. However, for this bond to help the child to develop in the best way possible, it is vital that the adults in their lives know what to expect. The balance between wanting independence and needing approval can be difficult but with the right guidance from adults, children can develop their autonomy from the encouragement of the adults in their lives.
Written by Jennifer Salama, SKILLZ Content Creator with a Masters Dregree in Child Psychology