Children from first to third form achieve much greater autonomy in every sense of the word. They manage to leave their egocentric outlook and not focus so much on themselves, gaining, in this way, more objectivity and being able to think about others. They enjoy coming to school and learning new things and skills. Their memory is better and they pay more attention to what is said to them. They express themselves and talk about their feelings with more fluency and openness.
* Things tend to be black or white at this age, good or bad, fun or boring and rarely will something be defined using a ‘middling’ term. They are learning to predict and consider what they are doing. Slowly, they learn to analyse things.
* Frequently refuse to accept rules that were not established by themselves saying, “that isn’t fair” for example. Going over the norms and limitations and establishing rules with them might help. Lying, cheating and stealing are all examples of behaviour that children of school age try out as they learn to negotiate the expectations and rules set by family, friends, school and society. Parents and school can work on this behaviour, seeking reflection and changes in attitude. It is important to remember that moral conscience is still developing.
* The peer group is ever more important and has a great influence on each child’s reality. They might become involved in certain behaviour just to become part of “the group”. It is necessary to speak to the children about this and make them understand that they can be accepted without breaking the limits the family or the school has set out.
* Play represents real life and they can distiguish between fantasy and reality. They like games with rules, which are competitive and involve co-operation. Games tend to be divided between sexes, as there is embarrassment between them.
* Enjoy physical activity and tend to be very active. They need to jump, run, fall and get dirty. While encouraging them to participate in diverse social and physical experiences, it is important to be careful and not programme too many activities in their free time. It is important for children to have time to play freely or to enjoy quietness without feeling pressurised.
Important! We recommend stimulating creativity, free play and avoiding extensive periods in front of the television or video games. If children have access to Internet games make sure that they are age appropriate and always be alert to the pages that can be opened or that may appear onscreen, since they may be harmful to the child. It is advisable to have the computer in a well-used area so as to exert greater control.