To continue with the Child Development series of posts here, the next state of growth is Middle Childhood also known as the Primary stage. My 3rd child, Kristel, is in this stage. She’s now 7 years old and is in Grade 1. Let’s see how she and other children here age is like.
Middle Childhood / Primary (6-8 years old) – Horizons Broaden
|Kristel playing in their school’s Palarong Pinoy.|
Physically. A primary child now has greater muscular control and accuracy. This makes walking, running, climbing, throwing almost automatic. Because of this, the child has more freedom for mental growth. She still likes to play especially those which explain how things work and those which develop specific skills and not just for the sake of fun.
Mentally. The child has become more observant. She especially notices when adults makes a mistake, like when dad makes a wrong pronunciation, wrong grammar, etc. She still doesn’t understand every new thing, though sometimes she asks as if she does. She often think literally and just memorize facts even without understanding it completely. She learns new concepts by relating it to previous knowledge. She’s more friendly now and likes to learn with them because they go through the same experiences so they understand each other.
Socially and Emotionally. Since the child is now going to school, she has found more friends to play with and is not a loner anymore. But she chooses the activities she does. What boys like such as playing kites, boats and spaceships are different from what girls play with like dolls and miniature houses. She will do whatever it takes to get the approval of grown-ups. She like it when people honestly praise her accomplishments. She also likes it when her friends like her. When she’s with them, it helps her not to focus on her frustrations from unperfected skills unlike when she’s working alone.
Kristel likes hanging out with a couple of friends. Though, she’s a quiet type of person, especially in school. She likes doing things especially when she gets the approval of her teacher. When she gets home from school, she proudly shares with me her experiences when her teacher praises her and or when she does a good job.
Spiritually. When the primary child listens to stories, she now wonders and ask “Is it really true?” She is very observant between what is taught and what is practiced. She is frustrated by contradictions and may not obey when taught by parents or teachers to pray when they don’t. The readiness for spiritual decision (like whether to believe in Jesus or not) depends on what she learns from home, the church and personal application of the Word of God. She can recognize her own sin and she’s old enough to believe that Jesus Christ wants to save her from sin. She can understand the gospel or message of God’s salvation when presented simply.
So, it is our role as parents to live a life that would model our faith because our children are watching closely. We should also be ready to guide them in knowing the truth shared in the Bible or the gospel. I don’t believe that a person is already a Christian just because the parents are Christians. That is a personal decision that the child would make. We should not push the child to believe in Christ or make false decisions about it. Though as a child we are teaching them the ways of being a Christian. But the time would come that they would have to make their own decision if they would follow Christ or not. It is better to talk to them personally about it and encourage them into making the right spiritual decision.
Because Kristel is exposed to Christian music since she was a child, she really enjoys singing them. She also now loves to play Christian songs using the organ or guitar. I pray that someday soon, she will be a mature Christian woman who will be mightily used by God to share His love to the world.