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Raising outstanding eight year olds

Blog Post Teaser Image Eight year olds are increasingly complex, more capable and far chattier than they’ve ever been. This is the last year for many children before puberty starts to impact. Many parents find that this age is the most enjoyable of all, as children are very capable, and also want to soak up all that their parents want to give. Here are some tips to maximise this wonderful year:

Prepare yourself for peers to impact
Peer comparison is sublte but impactful, causing some children to change their interests, activities, toys and passions to match those of their peers.

Get ready to talk
You may discover a new willingness to talk with you that reflects her wider vocabulary, more sophisticated thinking and a broader world view.

Give responsibility and ignore their forgetfulness
Your eight year old needs to feel a sense of mastery, so it’s time to give over plenty of responsibility (if you haven’t done so already).

Let overindulgence cease
If overindulgence has been a theme of your parenting until now, then consider changing to avoid brattiness or worse, in adolescence.

Be prepared for hurtful behaviour
This seems to be an age when “I hate you” is directed at a parent more than just about any other. (My book One Step Ahead has some great tips for dealing with retaliatory behaviours.)

Allow them more privacy
Don’t be surprised if you see a sign on her bedroom door with “Kids only. Adults keep out!”

Win the bedtme battles
Bed-time battles often emerge as this age as children want to stay up and spend time in the adult world. Downward trending of the age of first use of technology means that mobile phones and all types of screens are on an eight year old’s radar.

Keep them busy
Many eight year olds have full calendars of after school activities, which is commendable. Eight is a great age to explore different options before the complications and awkwardness that comes with adolescence become another factor to negotiate.

This is a short extract from the 20 page Comprehensive Year Ahead Planner for raising eight year olds that's available for Parentingideas Club members on their child's birthday (as well as planners for every other age from 2 to 15). 

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