First Formers

From six years onward children begin to live new experiences and the passage from Kindergarten to Primary is fundamental for the new stage. In coming in contact with a new social world their relationship with reality intensifies and they begin to leave behind their “fantasy world”.

* Children at this age gain greater autonomy, in every sense of the word. They gradually leave their egocentric position behind and don’t focus so much on themselves, thus achieving greater objectivity.

* Concentrating a lot on school related topics, they have the capacity to adapt and seek to please adults with their work, and their learning in general. In this sense competitiveness appears, as it does also in physical aspects. This competitive effort helps them measure and become aware of their own qualities.

* Become more aware of their own and others’ thinking and begin to progress from the intuitive to the concrete. They can justify their thoughts. They achieve ever-greater abstraction, although ideas are still based on tangible experiences and concrete evidence. They do not posses a global vision or relate parts to the whole. They can carry out three consecutive orders without difficulty.

* Personality is becoming ever more firmly established; a certain level of internal order and emotional stability is achieved, giving security and an increasingly well-defined identity. However, they can still react physically and go from laughing to crying or from affection to indifference very easily. Tantrums begin to be replaced by discussion and they begin to understand why they should not do what is “forbidden”. Moral development begins. (It is good to remember that true moral autonomy is finally attained at the end of primary education). They are beginning to learn how to incorporate social and moral norms.

* Are usually very active. They need to jump, run, fall and get dirty. This is not a reason to overload them with extracurricular activities, however, and it is often the adult that must set limits so that they can rest sufficiently. They may sometimes not seem tired since they are very active, but it is necessary to respect periods of rest and offer periods of more peaceful activities. The need for friends is more apparent: they do not complain so much of others, share their belongings and are more loyal towards their group. Relationships outside the home become stronger. Games tend to be divided between sexes, as embarrassment between them appears. It is important to talk to them about looking after the body, and privacy with others. It is vital to encourage them to express themselves openly (on this topic as well as any other) and to talk about their concerns and uncertainties without fear, in an atmosphere of trust.

Important! We recommend stimulating creativity, free play and avoiding extensive periods in front of the television or videogames. It is important that children continue playing and creating fantasies since this continues to be a necessary learning tool. If children have access to the 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 children. It is advisable to have the computer in a well-used area so as to exert greater control.