Third formers

Children of this age have an increasing awareness of themselves as people. They think “about themselves” and talk about themselves with greater freedom. They have a clear awareness of differences with others. They are characterised by their valuing everything that happens to them, and criticise themselves and others.

* Dislike being treated as children and want to be adults and be as knowledgeable as they are; they are impatient to grow up. They may find they have an internal struggle between growing up and staying as they are. It is important not to force and/or hurry the growth process since they are still children.

* Like talking and may raise their voices in certain circumstances (when angry or tired, for example). They are argumentative but less so than when they were 6 or 7 years old, even though they still get emotional with ease. They tend to be dramatic about everything, especially about their own emotions. They are sensitive, and when hurt, are affected greatly by criticism, leading to distress. They react to an attack or criticism by being offended, without much aggression, which tends to be mostly verbal at this age. They admire their parents and siblings. They have a highly developed sense of humour and love pointing out other people’s mistakes, although they do not like to be the object of jokes.

* Their social contacts increase and they become interested in people and places distant in time and space. The peer group plays a very important role and has a great influence on their reality, sometimes also exercising pressure. Games tend to be divided by gender, and embarrassment is felt.

* Enjoy physical activity and tend to be very active. While encouraging children 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 be quiet 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 they are age-appropriate and always be alert to the pages that can be opened or that may appear on screen, since they may be harmful to the child. It is advisable to have the computer in a well-used area so as to exert better control. It is also good to talk about uses and types of chat, since mistreatment and other difficult situations may arise. These problems are difficult to deal with, since they either remain hidden or are cloaked in anonymity.