My work captures the age-related “stages” children go through. It is when children act up and act weird at age-related times. Per the theory of many, these are times of internal growth. My work attempts to capture both the “irritating” behavior and the new abilities that seem to come with it. This is the page for 7+ year olds. This was last updated on December 13, 2020.
Middle Elementary Milestone 1: 7.1.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 2: 7.3.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 3: 7.5.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 4: 7.9.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 5: 7.11.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 6: 8.3.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 7: 8.4.0
Middle Elementary Milestone 8: 8.5.1
Middle Elementary Milestone 9: 8.6.3
Middle Elementary Milestone 1 —Big Ideas and with Precision
Starts: 7.1.0, give or take
Most Intense: 7.1.2
Irritable Period Summary
Marked by annoyingly weird behaviors such as:
• Grabbing other children and spitting on them
• Rubbing their genitals in public
• Repeatedly opening and closing a door (within inches of where it opens and closes)
• Inserts their things into other’s things, such as wrapping their string for a pulley around another child’s
• Won’t stop tapping or harassing others
New Abilities Summary
• This is marked by the ability to handle, imagine, or create big theories, ideas, action, and projects, and to handle many fine details that go along with it
Big Projects with Detail
• Takes on big projects that require detail.
• They might make a book with elaborate detail, such as a Fan that picks up a Box and they go over an obstacle course and find gold. They have detailed drawings of all of this.
• Dying to do something physically demanding that requires a lot of delicate skill, such as Parkour
• Takes on a big challenge that also requires precision, like you go on a scavenger hunt and they announce, “I can find a grain of sand!”
• Really wants to do big things where they are the hero. They might want to clean up the environment of all trash.
• Or be the first woman on the moon.
• Very precise with details. You might ask, “A month has 30 days, right?” And they reply, “Um, Mommy, a month can have 29, 30, or 31 days.”
• Likes a big challenge such as to memorize all 50 states or put together a large LEGO set
• Cannot be stopped from doing enticing big challenges, such as building a large Lego set; will do them even if you say not to.
• Opens up all doors in the house looking for big projects to do
Captivated by Beauty
• In deep awe of beauty, such as sunsets, sunrises, or cute animals
Heightened “Situational Awareness”
• Love to walk into a “big” place where a lot of things happen in which they might imagine themselves participating. Examples are a college campus or a baseball stadium
• Recognizes when something happens that is bad or quirky or odd that it was bad or quirky or odd but puts it into perspective.
• For instance, you accidentally pop a balloon after they created a balloon to carry something, and they tell you “That was …. Weird and crazy, and I was angry,” but later admit it was pretty funn.
• Initiates more jokes where they recognize that how they say something or what they don’t say or the actual subject matter is actually the funny part.
• For instance, they pass it and say “There’s the good old Waffle House!”, e.g., they understand dead pan
• May be starkly judgmental of others such as those who are “weak minded” or who make “dumb designs” or “dumb decisions” (A very, very adult like judgment)
• Highly functioning within a family or team. They are aware of how they function and how others function and how to make it go smoothly
• Extremely helpful and encouraging. They might encourage their younger sibling to read and they will help them “if they get stuck.” Or they talk about how they can successfully “settle” difference between children
• With work to overcome obstacles, they can help more around the house such as doing a load of laundry
• More able and willing to get their own drink and make their own cereal
• May take ownership over their health such as announcing they are making some dietary changes
• Sensitive however to if they are the smartest/best child; may get jealous of other children: can they outsmart other children?
Projects Big Ideas into the Future or in a Different Realm
• They can imagine an alternative reality: what would it be like if I shrunk to the size of an ant?
• Thinks about what they might be when they grow up
• Takes on very adult like personas. “Call me science John”
• The growth into “wanting to be an adult” is real. You might catch yourself wondering where your little boy or girl went!? They are 7 now, Mom and Dad!
Middle Elementary Milestone 2 —Finds “Easter Eggs” (Hidden and Deeper Meanings)
Irritable Period Summary
• Uncontrollable aggression
• Can’t seem to stop themselves from slapping other children or throwing blankets
• Jumps all over couches and crashes into furniture; just can’t seem to control themselves; as if a house is not the proper place for a 7 year old child to live
• Has trouble doing mental things that used to be so easy, such as adding 4 + 4
• Tries to pull “pranks” on people which are likely annoying but which they sincerely think is in good natured fun
New Abilities Summary
• The most striking new ability is how well they find “Easter eggs” in life.
• For instance, they might notice, completely on their own, that in the cartoon Aladdin, the tiger has someone’s pants in his mouth and then later a prince is missing that part of his pants.
• Really feels the deeper meaning of any topic. If you talk about what having a boyfriend or girlfriend is, they get bashful and melt, as if they understand it could be them and they are imagining it
• Ponders things like “Did you know that dinosaurs are still with us?” Because dinosaurs evolved into birds and so their essence is still here. (A sort of “deeper meaning.”)
• Notices things that are not the intent of what is to be noticed. For instance, notices the set designs that make a movie work, e.g., the set design of Wizard of Oz is actually a painting. Totally fascinated by such things.
• Clear views on how the family, society, or government should work. For instance, “I don’t care what the law says! I will always help someone if I can!”
• Remembers past issues, such as a time a bully hurt them, and its deeper implications, e.g., they are concerned they were “weak” or they want revenge
• Loves to insert themselves into situations to make positive change. They might get their sibling a blanket or initiate something entirely new. They are amazed when you say, “Thank you, that was a help!”
• Fairly conflicted on many things. For instance, their favorite topic is history and they are really good at math but if you ask them, they want to be an artist. This isn’t “bad.” They are just all over the place and wanting to do everything and almost uneasy with having to make such a decision as what to be when they grow up—even though they are intensely interested in it. Is it realistic? Does it make sense? But their passion is what it is, gosh darn it!
• Similarly, they might announce, “Superheroes are just fairy tales!” as they clearly get excited and jump around while watching their favorite super hero movie.
• Readily gathers things to help them think. For instance, you start to describe how sunsets works and they gather up objects to be the sun and earth to understand how it works. Or they are working on a math problem and they draw it out on paper to help them think through it.
• Loves to look up information in an Almanac or Encyclopedia
• Completely commits to solving problems. They might get really excited to solve a mystery and say they need quiet because they need to think and listen. They might say they need to “think like a mastermind” to work through a problem.
• Voracious reader.
• They might like books like “Show Me How to Survive” or any others depending on their interest where they can enact positive change within a bigger, complicated environment
• It’s a delight really to teach them now. You can teach them a concept like “Adverbs are usually not needed in a sentence but help make it more precise.” For instance, “slowly,” in “Run slowly to the door” is the only word that is not needed. And they can apply this and find an adverb in a sentence easily now.
• May talk about their mind such as they can “break up any problem into a grain of sand”
• They might ask you to think through a problem with them or ask you to just sit and “think” with them.
• Their writing improves; the letters become smaller; and they are more willing to hold a pencil and make shapes correctly.
Middle Elementary Milestone 3 —“The Hulk”: Grows in Strength to Every Part of their Body, Takes Over Situations Easily
Note: May be broken up into two parts: an A part from the beginning until 7.7 and then a small break, and then a B part until the end
Most Intense: 7.7.3
Irritable Period Summary
Ancy and Angry
• Walks around “ancy.”
• This ancy behavior and other behavior can be threatening: give them what they want or do what they want or get hit or slapped.
• Wants your attention more. They may be ever grateful if you offer a simple hug or a simple evening together. They may still curl into Mom or Dad
• Grumpy, won’t smile when asked
• Likes to trick and stump others, especially younger children
• Highly evaluative and might say something frustrating like “Let’s talk about [another child’s] weaknesses”
• Might have trouble with short term memory or tell you their brain goes “blank”
• Just randomly hits things out of anger, such as garbage cans. You might ask why they are doing it and they say, “I HATE GARBAGE CANS!”
• Gets very angry over entire situations, such as if they are at a restaurant they absolutely hate
• Growls, menacingly, at other children
Most Intense Period
• Very angry, aggressive, very upset over random things and entire situations
New Abilities Summary
• I like “The Hulk” image for this one: yes, the mild-mannered man who turns into the angry, green superhero full of muscles. It really is like some kind of hormone surges through them to take them from a more mild-mannered child to a strong one, who gets strength in places that didn’t have strength before. And like any new superhero, they can take over larger situations more handily. It’s also a sort of “the cowboy is in the saddle now” milestone
“The Hulk” Milestone: Grows Physically and Pushes Physical Bounds
• Pushes themselves physically a lot. They might try out monkey bars (when before they had trouble) or a new apparatus, like a witch’s wheel, or try to balance on logs in a creek.
• They love to do smaller things with their body too, like balancing a pencil on their fingers. They might try to pick up a big weight with their thumb, then tell you they have the “strongest thumbs!”
• Or, similar to nuanced physical challenges, they might challenge themselves to line up all birthday candles so they can see them in one line with their eyes.
• It’s as if there is a “strengthening hormone” in them and it’s extending out to every limb now. They are full of excitement, vitality, and strength, from their core out to the very tippy part of their fingertips
• Similar to being more alive in their body in nuanced ways, they might do something like make their eyes mysterious for selfies. They are very “self aware” at this one in this way.
• They love to do something that they think will help their health, for instance eating a new food and being amazed at their “super smart brain and quick reflexes!”
• They get very specific and dramatic with their physical body in how they play. They might kill “zombies” with a gun in a very pointed, specific way, pointing their toy gun exactly where it needs to go.
• They get better and faster at academic things and notice. In the irritable period, they probably had problems spelling simple words. Now they spell them right and quickly and take pride in that. Towards the end, they don’t even need to see words to attempt to spell them.
• Very likely to have a particular and possibly unusual hero now. Perhaps a sniper who crawled through enemy territory with venomous snakes slithering over them.
• Physically looks more like a “teenager” with longer legs and feet: so long they don’t know where to put them or do with them
• They take an interest in new foods: they might love the smell of coffee now
• In the irritable period, they were very angry and even menacing, kind of like turning into Hulk. But now they are calm and pleasant.
Cowboy in the Saddle
• Puts themselves in a fully responsible position over a large-ish situation. For instance, they set up an imaginary house with boxes or chairs and they pretend to be the Dad, Mom, or full architect of the whole thing who has to “think of everything.”
• They fully take over any lesson taught. They are very much like a “cowboy in the saddle” now. If you tell them energy increases mass, they are apt to grab a ball and start trying it. Or if you are charting something in a science experiment, they take over the charting.
• They imagine going to big places and how they would operate. They want to go to the Mediterranean Sea. But they’ll bring a jacket. In case it gets cold.
• Their experiments are highly orderly. They might line up pumpkins from smallest to biggest on a lever and jump on the other side to see what happens
• May really want to have total mastery over something, such as to play an instrument by themselves if they don’t already
• They are somewhat (not overly but somewhat) responsible now over some things like turning in homework assignments or showing up to places on time, semi-reliably
Loves to Push the Bounds
• They like to apply the lessons they learn in a more heroic way. So, if they are learning about all of the elements, they might like to think of the strongest element ever. Or they like to think about breaking the sound barrier, etc.
• They easily relate how the problem 7/2 is just like 70/2, and if 70/2 is 35 then 7/2 is 3.5. They go between the big and small easily.
• They’ll push the bounds in their own way: maybe going too far in a creek. They might have goals or challenges they make up and don’t give up on, like getting a stick that’s far away in a body of water. They want to push into the “unknown.”
• They might absolutely stun you with their new talents. They might come up with some solution to a very difficult problem or game that even the most talented adults wouldn’t.
• They grow in their adventurousness as they imagine their older selves. Before they wanted to be an artist. Now they want to be an artist and an explorer.
• They might get highly imaginative about impossible things, like “teleporting” back into history, or they make up a story about a baby elephant who is immortal, or they imagine a parallel universe or universes in universes, or they marvel how “complicated” the whole world is
• Highly evaluative of things. They are the expert on anything—and they are dramatic. They don’t LIKE something. They LOVE it.
• This highly evaluative nature can take a negative turn, such as “Let’s all take about my little sister’s weaknesses.” I recommend being quick to defend any victim of their newfound judgment
But Sensitive and Perceptive
• They are much more aware of conversations about religions, sex, politics, etc. They are likely eavesdropping on you when you talk about such things, understanding much more than you realize.
• They are VERY sensitive to what you think. If you get upset over something, they will likely alter themselves to not do it again.
• Very aware of who they are and what others think of them.
• Might tell you things about themselves, “I like sleeping and reading. And that’s it.” Or they recognize they are “sensitive.”
• They may get indignant that you told them something. “Because they already knew that!” This is the sort of self-awareness they have now.
• They might notice something nuanced about a larger environment. For instance, you and another adult are arguing over if a place is louder or quiet than another place and they say, wisely, “The music is louder. The people are quieter.” They just really drink in the larger situation
• They are very apt to figure out that Santa is fake at this one: all on their own, just because they figured it out
• They can keep the larger situation in perspective. If they watch a scary movie and you explain that the special effects are just jello, they might sit through the scene consoling themselves, “It’s just jello! It’s just jello!”
Conflicts Between Their Core Personality/Will and the Larger Situation
• Their core personality is with them from birth. However, how they are different from other children will be in high gear now.
• They take over so much of the larger environment and are so uncompromising about their will in that environment that potential issues are sure to arise.
• For instance, if they are a strong introvert, they will NOT want to sit in the middle of a tightly packed group of children. Or if they are easily overwhelmed or frazzled, they won’t want to be at a party for longer than 4 hours—and they SAY SO now.
• Or, opposite, if they love parties, they absolutely don’t want to leave. Who they are is in full force.
Middle Elementary Milestone 4 — Dispenser of Life Wisdom: A Pre-Preteen
Most Intense: 7.9.3
Irritable Period Summary
• The conflict between their personal desire and the larger situation is still highly present. They have very strong opinions about many things, such as what restaurant you go to.
• Gets super angry. They might even get proud of how angry they are, as if they are showing off
• With their newfound leadership over other children, they might make too many decisions on behalf of others, such as showing them a cool new way to open a container that they learned
• As they find themselves to be the dispenser of all life wisdom, they really don’t like when younger children beat them at games
• With their newfound wisdom and leadership, they might start blurting out wisdom or answers in inappropriate places, such as a movie theatre, where you are supposed to be quiet
• They might dangerously make up their mind about something when mad. When you are leaving a place, they might dart off in a new direction, in a parking lot where this can be dangerous.
• They seem to grow in their appetite. Increasing how much food you offer them may help with all of this anger
New Abilities Summary
• Before they took over large situations as they saw such large situations arise. Now they are more likely to create the experiences they want. As my almost 8 year old said, “I like to try things and see the results.”
• They have a much broader view of larger situations, becoming dispensers of much advice, wisdom, and thoughts of these situations.
• They will figure out a solution to anything. If your calculator doesn’t have a negative sign, that’s fine. They can type in 1 – 2 to get -1 and use that.
• Self-initiates and executes more projects now. Perhaps it is initiating an entire art project or wondering how far they can push their dirt bike on a nature trail.
• You might find them lost in thought “thinking about what to do.”
• They’ll do things they were afraid to before, maybe go on a new amusement park ride
• Highly interested in helping out and taking care of younger siblings and in a way that you can somewhat trust them to do it well.
• They can handle situations that get out of control, even. If a child is distraught, they’ll start coaching them, “Hey! They are on our team! So if they win, we win. We can be happy about it.”
• They certainly start to notice other boys or other girls
• They really want you to be genuinely interested in what they are interested in.
• They are stunned by the babyish-ness of stuff younger children do. How can there be big, huge accidents in Paw Patrol but no car accidents? That makes no sense. They are so over that and moving on to bigger, more realistic, more important things.
• They have much “life wisdom” now. They might dress up as a ninja then fall to the ground, exasperated and martyred, “Ninjas never get to rest!”
• They are very particular about what they wear. They wear shorts at night. And particular shirts for particular weather. Maybe a particular outfit on Monday, etc.
• As such, they are intensely interested in when their laundry is done.
• They find things “above” a situation to be funny. They might paint a derby car to have a racetrack and a derby car on the race car. They find it funny.
Middle Elementary Milestone 5 — Copies Adult Strategies
Most Intense: 8.0.1, give or take, and 8.0.3
Irritable Period Summary
• After weeks of calm, acts out all of a sudden. Perhaps becomes aggressive with other children, such as pulling their hair
• Might draw the kind of things they draw when going through a milestone, such as angry faces
Wants Their Own Way, Big Time
• Doesn’t like when things don’t go their own way. They might throw everything over a balcony
• Very upset when something they decided or planned doesn’t go as they expected. Perhaps glue doesn’t dry the way they thought it would. It is totally wild, nearly unbelievable behavior in how upset they get.
• Gets really angry when they want to make something right and someone is in their way.
• For instance, they want to do a project and they made a mistake and need extra pieces to fix it. They are very angry if someone else is using those pieces.
• Gets really upset if they can’t figure out how to play a game or how to win
Thinks They are Right, When They Aren’t
• They are completely wrong about something but totally insistent they are right. They might think a restaurant has their favorite meal, when it doesn’t, and yet they command you all to go to the one they think has it.
• Or they are completely confused about the rule of a game and insist you follow it, even though they are wrong. This causes a lot of confusion, tears, and problems.
The Past Gets Kicked Up
• They go back to old favorite books and toys from when they were very, very young
• They might remember particularly traumatic events from when they are younger and even again try to “punish” the people they perceive as responsible.
• They remember things from long ago that were unfair and are completely distraught about it. Or they are extremely upset someone else is in their way of making something be right.
New Abilities Summary
• They pick up on the exact nuances and style of how adults do things
• They might calm a younger sibling down, enacting the same tactics and timing that adults around them do.
• They might see a younger child is injured and so they hold their hand.
• They might build an interesting toy out of LEGOES for a young child.
• Or they spin them in the air so the younger child feels like they are flying.
• Really great at coming up with ideas to help younger ones, such as playing Rummikub can teach a younger child the idea of consecutive numbers
• They can copy your strategy at a game with minimal instruction, such as how to win at Tic, Tac, Toe.
• They might finally beat you at a game that is challenging, such as Laser Chess
• Can reliably set up their own projects and science experiments, in fact are likely to stubbornly takeover
• When they get to a place, they size it up for how they might act in it: “Oh, there are lots of places I could hide here!”
• Might be good at doing and learning new highly physical things, such as snorkeling
• Yet, oddly, comes up with bizarre, magical solutions, such as their favorite shirt that no longer fits can magically change size if they just sit down with it on.
• Loves to think they can “transport” themselves magically to a different place or time
• They compare and contrast relatively advanced ideas.
• They learn exoplanet HD 80506b is the hottest known planet. Is this planet finally hot enough to melt Tungsten, a metal with one of the highest melting points!? They get out their encyclopedias to check.
• They relate some life lesson you are trying to tell them to something they’ve seen before and they are accurate about it. For instance, you teach them about trusting their instincts around predators and they say, “It’s just like Star Wars! Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts!”
• They might come up with a clever solution to help them solve something. As they are working through a problem on fractions, they get nacho chips to help them solve it. “And then I get nacho chips.”
• They can handle academic challenges with multiple moving parts, such as solving something with two equations. If A + D = 11 and A – D = -7, what is A and D?
• For a mathematically inclined child, rips apart math challenges. For instance, to get two numbers as close to 0 as possible as a fraction, “Put the biggest number on the bottom and the smallest number on top”
• Might reduce an abstract idea down to its parts. After solving a complex algebraic equation, they say thoughtfully, “It’s not complicated. Everything becomes simple.”
Wants HARD challenges
• Challenges themselves to things like folding a paper as many times as they can
• May throw themselves into something like gluing Styrofoam plates and cups together to make a boat
• They might do something like program their own computer game. They say, “All I know is this is going to be hard,” as the proceed to do it.
Evaluative of Adult-like Decisions
• Tells you talking about something is a “waste of time.”
• Tells you buying 2 pizzas instead of 1 is a “waste of money.”
• Really wants an allowance; perhaps they have big life goals to do with the money
• More reasonable and less angry. They willingly go along with what you ask, such as turning the TV off for bedtime
Intricate Use of Their Hands
• They like to do more with their hands, especially using each finger
• They may really like playing “Thumb War”
• They might interlace their fingers in complicated ways
• They may really take to things that require a lot of dexterity with your hands, such as making pancakes, drawing silly faces, or using a paper cutter
Middle Elementary Milestone 6 — Sensitivity
Most Intense: 8.3.1
Irritable Period Summary
• May have nightmares, such as a black hole sucked them in while a tornado was 60 feet away
Aggressive, with Their Hands
• They started to get good at using their hands in intricate ways in the last one. Now, they might want to stab an apple with a knife
• Or they want to draw on a balloon, which keeps causing it to pop
• Unusually sensitive to criticism. Getting mad at them causes them to tear up big time.
• Very embarrassed by personal/hygienic problems. May be frustrated the solution isn’t more discrete or easier to enact.
New Abilities Period Summary
• They take their time picking out what flower they want. They like the orange-yellow one. They like the shade.
• They might get really good at drawing things, such as tulips.
• They cut out a heart. On one side is your name. On the other is theirs
• They love creating something artistically. They might make a salad with a layer of lettuce, then cucumbers, then tomatoes, then repeat, then a cherry tomato on top and a circle of cheese wedges all around it.
• They might make a Kitty statue in Minecraft for their sister, because they know she loves cats.
• They are stunned by the beauty of things. Say Dominoes fall earlier than you wanted. They say, breathless, “That was beautiful!”
• They size up larger systems
• If you are at a restaurant, they think about its operations. They might say, “So they basically spend money to make money.” They need a building, equipment, etc., to sell ice cream.
• They follow along with adult jokes like “Cosleeping with a 5 year old is like being with an octopus looking for its keys.” That IS funny, mom.
• They tell jokes like, “Guys! Physics is cancelled today!”
• When they play 20 questions, the answer they have in their head is “the person who says ‘I give up.’” Therefore, you don’t win until you give up. But then: you won!
• They are enamored by something like the answer they got to a problem was four and the question number is also four.
• They understand when you say you are “stealing” something of theirs that you are just joking around and they play along, “Stealing!?”
Growing Patience and Maturity
• When they hear you talking about missing a bin, without moving they pipe up, “Yeah I took that thing. I needed it to make a lesson for my brother.” It’s that they hear you and contribute without wavering from what they were doing, say watching a video, playing a game, or doing homework.
• Shows adult-like maturity. If someone is confused, they put everything down and say, “Ok.” Like, “ok, let’s pause here,” so they can explain what’s going on. They understand there is confusion, and they need to rectify the confusion itself.
Wants to do Dangerous Things
• They want to do DANGEROUS things.
• Perhaps setting a marshmallow on fire over a campfire
• Or cutting paper with a paper cutter
Middle Elementary Milestone 7 — Self-Initiated Willpower
Most Intense: 8.4.1 or just after
Ends: 8.4.1 or just after
Irritable Period Summary
• Their body seems to go to “mush” more
• Very snuggly
• Loves hugging again
• Just want to linger and talk
• Can get very angry if they are interrupted
• Might not be able to focus in class. They may prefer putting on silly plays or such instead.
• They “hate” doing things, but they utterly insist on completing those things (such as their homework) until it is finished.
New Abilities Summary
• They have striking, self-initiated willpower
• They may announce they aren’t using their computer until 5:30 pm that night. They’ve decided this is good for them. And they impressively commit to it.
• Or, similarly, they want to do a lesson every single day. They want to get smart.
• They may commit to learning something mundane, like proper punctuation. It’s more on principle now. They want to get it right. And learning it seems more intuitive for them now. They can be very, very fast at learning.
• They might all of a sudden challenge themselves to swim a new stroke while at the pool.
• They might want to make their favorite breakfast on Sunday. This way, they can have it every day throughout the week.
• Challenges themselves to solve math problems in the “hardest” way possible
• They are upset you are drinking a beer. It’s bad for you.
• Very “up” for anything. They love doing projects or lessons. They have a glow and smile to them as they do it.
Stunningly Patient and Mature
• They are very wise and patient as they handle life and its twists and turns.
• When their younger brother is upset, they patiently respond to all of their brother’s requests. Just to have their little brother push them away. And they are Ok with it.
• They put their younger brother’s sunshade up in the van. This is because it’s soon to be afternoon and the sun will be in his eyes.
• They may wisely encourage their young sibling to do open-ended play, after they got a particular game out for them (instead of playing the actual game).
• As they look for a piece of paper, they all but sing to themselves, “If I were a paper, where would I be?” They clearly accept responsibility for this potentially frustrating task.
Works Out a Best Practice for Something
• They might “debug” solutions. They want to figure out how to make a giant airplane fly. And it’s a running commentary, “Ok, this failed, that failed, this worked.” They can be blunt. To their sister, “So. That didn’t work,” or “You failed at that.” But they eventually come up with some ingenious solution: a running start makes the airplane fly further.
• Totally committed to figuring out the best way to make a pancake
• They bubble over with what they love to learn, “I love to learn about engineering! That’s why I watch engineering shows and learn about science and do math problems!”
Middle Elementary Milestone 8 — Disciplined Habits
Most Intense: The beginning
Ends: Maybe a week after it starts
Irritable Period Summary
• They are very absent-minded.
• It’s very much, “Earth to [child’s name]?”
• You ask them a question and they can’t answer. They might get up and just leave.
• A dentist asks them “What grade are you in?” And they stare off into space, at something else, not answering.
• Completely oblivious to your requests to come to bed
• They start to try to make wiser decisions on their own behalf: go to bed or watch more TV? But they take forever to decide. (I somewhat recommend giving them a bit of freedom during the irritable portion.)
• Schoolwork gives them “headaches” right now
• At some point, their eyes may go crazy. Their eyes might dart all over, to the left, right, up down, as they almost fall asleep but fight it. They are incredibly “zoned.”
• They may have nightmares. They might tell you they have nightmares “but they aren’t scared of them.”
New Abilities Summary
• They self-impose regular disciplined habits on themselves
• Maybe they are committed to having one vitamin per day. They get it themselves.
• Or they engineer their diet. They have two sandwiches per day, noodles, juice, and meat every other day.
• They might announce that they are now a vegetarian.
• They are currently not eating cookies.
• They aren’t going to use their computer for another week.
• They make up hard challenges for themselves, such as figuring out how many feet are in ¼ of a mile.
New Skills Involving Their Whole Arm
• Before, they had new skills related to intricate use of their hands. Now their entire arm is stronger and they use it more often.
• They might swing a heavy bag around and around in a windmill fashion. You are slightly worried for the TVs in your house when they do this.
• They might start doing handstands all the time or one-handed handstands.
• They might enjoy hanging on high bars, such as monkey bars.
• They are noticeably taller, and their arms and legs especially are longer.
- Age 8 is a Great Time to Turn Around Picky Eating
- Healthy Feasts Can Encourage Adventurous Eating and Happy Tummies
Middle Elementary Milestone 9 — Giggle Fits, Magnetism, and Adventures
Most Intense: The beginning
Irritable Period Summary
• They have more physical spills, sometimes big ones.
• They might all of a sudden trip.
• They might bang their knee on the underside of a table or desk.
• They let out a surprising child-like cry after this.
• Their legs and even toes are soon to get longer.
• You might see them put themselves in more “crooked” body positions. Meaning, they might squat down and raise and bend their arms.
New Abilities Summary
Sly and Clever
• They tell jokes and look at you out of the side of their eye, because they know they are making a joke or being ironic, and they fully expect you will notice.
• They see a genie and say, “Genie! I wish for more genies!” As they delight in you laughing, they say, “I bet no on thought of that before!”
• They cheekily get out Christmas ornaments and see a Snoopy one. They ask, “Snoopy, what are you doing as an ornament!?” They fully know it will make you laugh.
• They go up to their younger sibling with a half trick, half lie, but which is not intended to do harm. You look them in the eye as they try to cover their smile in doing whatever it is they are doing.
• They do things like hold up a light saber to their eye. Then dramatically turn it on. Then they commence the fight.
• They can talk and talk and talk and TALK now. And they might be sly and dramatic about it. “In this game it breaks the laws of reality. THE LAWS OF REALITY. There are [dramatic pause] lasers that come out of swords [dramatic pause] gremlins that can explode [dramatic pause]…DANCING ELEPHANTS. [dramatic pause]…”… and so on.
In Awe of the Freakish and Wild
• They LOVE a big adventure now. Maybe you go off-roading in a jeep or truck. They can’t get enough of wading through water, hiking in a slightly dangerous part, etc.
• Even a sensitive child bubbles, “It was hard doing that, BUT IT WAS AWESOME!”
• They have intense giggle fits over such things. They love to hear adults banter back and forth.
• They are fascinated by the gore and strangeness of life. They might hear exaggerated stories of what Ghengis Khan did [ripped out enemies hearts, etc.] and they are stunned.
• Or they might like to hear about going into “hell” in ancient stories was more about a transformation period for a person. You might relate it to modern fairy tales, such as Belle going to the Beast’s castle.
• They might absolutely love to learn that they can look up anything they want on a source like Wikipedia. They look up any and every story that fascinates them, such as Henry VIII beheading his wives or other royals doing very bad things.
• They might get bored with the same old stuff, even their computer or tablet.
More Sexually Magnetic
• It’s hard for me to type this out. So, I will just do it in the way I now how: just typing what I observe.
• It’s as if a “sexual beacon” inside of them gets turned on. It’s as if they are more sexually magnetic in a way as to draw others to them. It’s hard to explain.
• They look right at people now, with slight romance in their eyes. The intensity of it can be alarming.
• Girls and boys might start “going out” about now.
• They might ride a scooter around in a more daring way now.
• Takes pride in being the first to figure something out and easily, such as a new tool for a science experiment, such as a syringe
• Their voice might become naturally more loud.
• They might dominate in situations where patience is more desired, such as during a class.