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3 Things to Know About Elementary Aged Children

by Lori Sciame | January 14th, 2015 | Elementary

children playing football (400x400)Some parents worry too much.  They obsess over every detail of their child’s life, all the while wondering if they are doing right by their son or daughter.  In a way, it’s a good thing to worry. For instance, parents should worry – at least a little bit – when a child this age attempts age appropriate “firsts,” such as sleeping over at a friend’s house; however, too much worry can cause both you AND your child much unneeded stress.

If you tend to be too much of a worry wart, then let me help. Here are three main things you need to realize about your elementary aged child.

1.  Free play time is a GOOD thing.

The world is competitive, and all parents want their children to succeed.  This can lead to scheduling every minute of every day in a child’s life.  Of course music and dance lessons are enriching, and participation in multiple sports can teach many lessons, yet a child needs some time for unstructured play.

Lesson learned:  Too many activities leads to fatigue and stress, while just the right amount lets a kid be a kid. Quit worrying about providing enough stimulation.

2.  One mistake will NOT ruin your relationship.

It’s the end of a long work week, you feel ill, and your car’s check engine light comes on on the way home from work. When you arrive home, you realize you forgot to take out anything from the freezer for supper.  To top it off, your son hands you a note from school that states he needs 3 dozen cookies by 7:00 PM that night for the holiday concert.  Instead of taking a deep breath, you lash out at your child.

Later, you feel horrible.  “He didn’t deserve to have me yell like that,” you think, and you wonder if you’ve driven a wedge between the two of you.

Lesson learned:  Remember, all parents make mistakes!  The goal is to be calm, fair, approachable, and loving 99% of the time.  If you are, one blow up won’t ruin the relationship. Quit worrying that you aren’t a perfect parent.

3.  Showing love and affection shows that you CARE.

Finally, please don’t worry that showing love will make your child weak. In reality, giving plenty of hugs, kisses on the cheek, and even pats on the back will not spoil an elementary aged child.  Also, saying the words, “I love you,” will not make you appear weak either.

In some cultures, showing affection to children is frowned upon.  I am sure we’ve all heard a parent say, “be a man,” to a young boy after he has been hurt.  (Maybe you have even said this to your own son).  But, parenting experts state that men who have been told they are loved, and who have been given hugs and the like when young, grow up to be strong, healthy adults.

Lesson learned:  Don’t worry about showing your son (or daughter ) affection.  Kids need to feel loved, so go ahead with the hugs, and don’t forget to verbalize your love.

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