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 March 19, 2023.
Seven Year Old Milestone 1: 7.1.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 2A: 7.3.1
Seven Year Old Milestone 2B: 7.4.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 3A: 7.5.3
Seven Year Old Milestone 3B: 7.6.2
Seven Year Old Milestone 4: 7.7.3
Seven Year Old Milestone 5A: 7.9.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 5B: 7.10.3
Seven Year Old Milestone 6: 7.11.1
Eight Year Old Milestone 1: 8.0.1
Eight Year Old Milestone 2: 8.1.1
Eight Year Old Milestone 3: 8.3.0
Eight Year Old Milestone 4: 8.4.0
Eight Year Old Milestone 5: 8.5.1
Eight Year Old Milestone 6: 8.6.3
Eight Year Old Milestone 7: 8.8.0
Eight Year Old Milestone 8: 8.8.3
Eight Year Old Milestone 9: 8.10.1
Seven Year Old Milestone 1 (7.1.0-7.2.0) — Big Projects with Details
Starts: 7.0.3 [y.m.w] shows some nightmares and other behavior that indicate new brain growth are coming but irritable behavior isn’t seen until 7.1.0, give or take
Most Intense: 7.1.1 – 7.1.3
Irritable Period Summary
Starts subtly with typical behaviors of upcoming brain growth
• This starts subtly with the typical behaviors that indicate brain growth but which aren’t “irritating” yet.
• They might tell you they have or will have nightmares, but they are very matter of fact about it.
• They might tell you how BIG their brain is and that it has THREE BILLION THINGS IN IT! This is a sign of a memory upgrade, and it’s always a sign of new brain growth.
• Or they might start getting confused and forgetful more.
Short-Term Memory Loss
• You might ask them to put on a bathing suit and they go to do it. They come back and you just assumed they put their suit on, but they didn’t. They forgot in that amount of time.
• Before they get in the bathtub, you ask them to wash their hair. By the time they get out, they forgot to do that.
• They continue to zone out. You can ask them to meet you at your vehicle and you go, and they don’t follow. In that time, they forgot or got lost or confused.
• They continue to do socially daring things, like swear in public, even after being asked to stop. It is as if they cannot back off or remember to stop.
Clear Hormonal Changes
• There is clear hormonal growth.
• Girls develop somewhat: their breasts get slightly bigger.
• You might notice boys rubbing their genitals.
Intensely annoyed by younger children and irritatingly inserts themselves often
• They get intensely mad at things, especially other, younger children. They annoyingly and intensely insert themselves into situations.
• They might grab other children and spit on them.
• They might insert their things into other’s things, such as wrapping their string for a pulley around another child’s pulley.
• Won’t stop tapping or harassing others
• They might repeatedly open and close a door (within inches of where it opens and closes).
• They might decide they hate a particular child, perhaps a younger sibling. They accuse you of preferring this child.
• They get right in this child’s face over everything that annoys them, perhaps that they are “cheating” at a game.
• They might get exasperated, perhaps because they can’t get a creative idea they had, such as to make a book, to work.
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.
• They are also a sponge for new information and size it up in an encyclopedic way.
Notices more about what they read or watch
• They might notice in an Almanac that they can use the Table of Contents to then go find things in the book. They are enthralled by this, going back and forth between the TOC and the page.
• They might notice more about a movie, such as random happy faces in the background.
• They are drawn to read things. They might read in bed, after you put them to bed. The next day, they tell you, as if it’s a scandal, “Mommy…did you know that I read in my bed last night?”
• They continue to surprise you with what they know from years ago. They remember a time you were crying in the kitchen—which happened when they were 4.
• Or they tell you about that time you tried to put vegetables in their smoothie. They sensed the vegetables were there but pretended to like the smoothie anyway. This was from when they were 6.
• If presented it, they can nearly memorize all 50 states, just presented to them. This ability to remember many complicated details, and somewhat in an orderly way or in a specific set, likely helps with all other skills seen at this milestone.
Big projects with detail
• They take on big projects that require tremendous 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
• They might enthusiastically play a new card or board game that require both speed and a lot of attention to detail, such as Double Solitaire. (This can be bought off the shelf as “Dutch Blitz.”)
• They might now get out a pen and paper to work through a complicated idea they have or a problem they want to solve.
• 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.”
• If they compliment their sister, they give many details, “You are so creative and you make crazy [said affectionately], creative LEGOs! And you made stuff out of paper! And you made a wonderful bear at Build A Bear named Wonder Woman that is SO CUTE.”
• They challenge themselves to learn all 50 states—and do.
Hungry for a big, ambitious project
• Opens up all doors in the house looking for big projects to do
• They cannot be stopped from doing enticing big challenges, such as building a large Lego set. They will do it even if you say not to.
• Might take ownership over their health such as announcing they are making some dietary changes
• Takes on very adult like personas, “Call me Science John”
Sizes up the world with encyclopedic style knowledge
• They absorb a large set of knowledge like a vacuum, based on what they are interested in.
• They might become interested in what kind of “phobias” exist. They have at least 20 phobias memorized, and they rank them based on what is their #1 fear, #2, #3, etc.
• Or they might similarly be interested in something else, like memorizing all the astrological signs.
• They might love videos about the “Top 20” of this or that.
• Starts to memorize many nuanced facts about what they themselves do, “I read in Chapter 11 of Volume III of my favorite book that …”
• They can use an Almanac and handily find things based on the Table of Contents, look up answers in the back of the book, understand what is being asked of them on each page, etc.
• They can get completely hooked on a YouTube channel that teaches them something, such as new engineering things.
A need to put complicated things in order
• They have a strong desire to put things in order or do things in an order.
• As they are putting together a book they made, they number the pages. But they might get lost in it, unable to put the pages back together in order. They are exasperated about this, but it does show how much they like things that go in order.
• The big projects they take on might involve them doing something in a sequential way, over days. In an app, say to learn a new language, they get challenged to do a lesson every day for 30 days. They are committed to this.
• In their stories, there might be a literal evolution, such as a box that turns into a human.
• As noted, they number their phobias, note what chapter they read things in, etc.
Heightened “Situational Awareness”
• They are aware of their bigger surroundings and how they move in it.
• They 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.
• They tell you, “what their day is like.” They get up and lay in bed and when they feel like, they get up. Then they watch some videos. Then their screen time limit hits and they are annoyed by this, etc.
• Recognizes when something happens that is bad or quirky or odd that it was bad or quirky or odd, but they can put it into perspective. For instance, you accidentally pop a balloon after they created a balloon to carry something. This could potentially make them mad, but later they tell you “That was… Weird and crazy, and I was angry.” But later they admit it was pretty funny.
Sense of Humor
• Their sense of humor grows. They play off the situation itself. They recognize that how they say something is the funny part.
• For instance, they pass it and say “There’s the good old Waffle House!” (which is just a regular, run-of-the-mill restaurant), e.g., they understand dead pan.
• When they spell “the longest word,” they spell it as “t-h-e l-o-n-g-e-s-t w-o-r-d.”
• Do turkeys come from turkey? Be funny if they did.
Disdain and Judgment
• They might have disdain for things, like, “This is the dumbest design I’ve ever seen.” Or, “I hate people who are weak-minded.”
• Things might be “so lame” right now. Like, you have to carve a pumpkin, and the whole thing is kind of “lame” but you gotta do it.
• They wonder and judge about things typical to adult life. “I don’t see the problem with swear words. They’re just words.”
• Why do you celebrate birthdays? It just means you are a year older.
• Some children get very self-conscious, especially about their own body.
• They might notice that they have “bags” under their eyes.
• They might critically examine any and all of their other body parts.
• They might be sensitive to how smart they are. They show jealousy if another child can do something they cannot.
Responsible, Takes Initiative
• 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.
• If you promise to do something with them but get distracted, such as make a “telephone” out of Styrofoam cups, they take matters into their own hands and do it.
• When something goes down, they handle it without your help. Their brother threw a horseshoe accidentally into the pond. They come in to get a spatula to try to get it out.
• With help 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 get their ow breakfast.
• More willing to use a public bathroom, entirely by themselves
Emotionally Calm and Supportive
• If something falls over, they just watch it, calmly. They then move to fix it.
• 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.
Are they special or common?
• They size themselves as compared to others.
• Are they “special” or “common”? Being left-handed makes them “unique.” Their astrological sign, however, is shared by many, and thus makes them “common.”
• They compare themselves to other children. Are they the smartest or best?
• They might get jealous of other children or take losing games especially hard.
• They size up other people using the statistics they started to get good at in the last milestone. There is a 10% chance that one of the boys they just met might become their husband.
• They enjoy working with negative numbers.
• Might develop a “crush” on another child and explicitly tells you so
• There is a strong desire to connect with others over the things they like or even the things they don’t like. They want someone to read and learn with them about their favorite topic or to also be as grossed out by the things they are grossed out by.
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?
• They might describe how they’ll go back in time to when you were a child, so they can tell you what your future is going to be like.
• Thinks about what they might be when they grow up
• 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!
Seven Year Old Milestone 2A (7.3.1-7.3.3)—Elusive Essences
Starts: 7.3.1 [y.m.w]
Most Intense: 7.3.1 – 7.3.2
Irritable Period Summary
• Uncontrollable irritation, often towards other children or siblings
• Certain people seem to trigger them: their dad coming home or their baby brother just sitting there.
• Or they might get intensely annoyed and aggravated by younger children, who simply do things that younger children do (“cheat” at games and so on)
• They absolutely hate to lose a game, especially if something was “unfair” (perhaps they were up against a much older child).
• Some children seem to be uncontrollably aggressive.
• They can’t seem to stop themselves from slapping other children or throwing blankets.
• Jumps all over couches and crashes into furniture
• They just can’t seem to control themselves, as if a house is not the proper place for a 7 year old child to live.
New Abilities Summary
• 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.
• They want to do something bigger yet doable, like go fishing (for the first time ever) or learn to play the piano.
• They enthusiastically help bag groceries.
• They notice things that are not there and yet are still there: the elusive essence of things.
• They ponder things like “Did you know that dinosaurs are still with us?” Because dinosaurs evolved into birds and so their essence is still here.
• Similarly, they might announce, “Superheroes are just fairy tales!” They say this as they clearly get excited and jump around while watching their favorite superhero movie. It’s fake—but it’s not fake—but it’s fun!
• When they hear of a great fictional hero, such as boy detective Encyclopedia Brown, they sit, in awe, “I could never be as smart as him!” No one said this to him. And it’s an entirely fictional character. But real/fictional are a bit of a blur right now.
• They become worried about things that could happen, but which may or may not be happening. There are some “bullies” in the world, who pick on people for being [certain traits, religious affiliation, etc.]. They do not personally know anyone who does this, but they are very upset that these bullies exist. These otherwise elusive threats are very much real in their mind.
• While watching Wizard of Oz, they notice that the background is likely a painting and not the actual place they seem to be. Of things that seem magical and elusive, they are pinning down what is real and what is not.
Deeper emotional meanings
• 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.
• They remember 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
• When they lose a game, they stomp off, super frustrated. It hits them this emotionally to lose. Then you console them, and they sob, “You just love me so much!”
Conflicted yet optimistic
• 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!
• There is a balance and a duality to their observations. “At Scouts, we’re going to do some new things and some old things.”
An ambitious learner
• They get excited to learn and take on big challenges.
• Loves to look up information in an Almanac or Encyclopedia
• Voracious reader.
• They might take 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!”
• They might do something like challenge themselves to draw every Harry Potter character in order of appearance
• 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.
• They are very proud of their observational ability. They might tell you, “I have to not talk because I am listening so hard. I have to make observations!”
• They are slightly more mature around younger children. When you tell them a younger child has a set of rules just for them, such that they can play a game, they sigh and ask, “Ok, what rules do they have?”
Memory and Academic Changes
• They might talk about their mind such as they can “break up any problem into a grain of sand.” Breaking things up into tiny components is exactly what they are doing now.
• They break up math problems more readily. 6 x 2 is 12, so 12 x 2 is 24.
• Or they recognize that 4 X 9 is the same as 4 X 10 – 4. They use this pattern to figure out the 9s multiplications.
• To solve the problem of what three 1/4s are, they write it out as ¼ + ¼ + ¼ and they intuitively see that this makes ¾.
• 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.
• They might even write in an interesting font, such as they copy a sentence in italics and make their words look like the italics font.
• They can cut things with a knife and fork more handily.
Seven Year Old Milestone 2B (7.4.0-7.4.3)—Easter Eggs
Starts: 7.4.0, give or take [y.m.w]
Most Intense: 7.4.2 – 7.4.3
Ends: Potential flareups until 7.5.0
Irritable Period Summary
• Uncontrollable irritation, often towards other children or siblings
• They “snap” at people more easily. They get all of a sudden frustrated and just “wig out.” It’s over quickly, however.
• They pull “pranks” on people.
• These can be seen as annoying or fun, depending on what they do and where they do it.
• Some of these pranks might be annoying but they think it’s in good-natured fun. They might, for instance, topple something their sibling did, thinking it would make people laugh.
Sensitive, Possessive of you
• They can again be sensitive, both to social situations and physical sensations. They are especially sensitive to your reactions and if you are spending time with them. They tend to want a particular adult’s attention, often the same sex parent.
• They might be hyper aware that you spent time with their brother and not them.
• Or that you laughed at their brother’s joke and not theirs.
• If you don’t respond to them quickly enough, say because you are talking to another child, they tell you that you are “treating them like a piece of furniture.”
• They notice that sometimes you ask them how their day was when they don’t want you to ask and then don’t ask when they do want you to.
• They might get very jealous that other children have your attention. Say you teach a class (or coach a team, etc.) with them in it. It’s as if they can’t bear that you are giving your attention, knowledge, and personality to other children.
• They might be hyper physically sensitive, as well. Balloons popping annoys them intensely.
Needs a lot of one-on-one time
• During the intense period especially, they need a ton of one-on-one time.
• They might come in your room at 5 am, wanting to do something with you.
• They want to be with you, doing things, literally all day and well into the night.
• They get super upset if you promised something and then didn’t do it.
• They might become very physically exuberant when their dad comes home from work (wanting his attention, presumably).
• Likes to be super snuggly with you, say when watching a movie
Nightmares and fears
• If they do tell you about their dreams, there might be a lot of nightmares right now, as well as nighttime fears.
• In their dreams, there is a person who scares every other child except them. This person is “chummy” with them.
• They are going through some heavy stuff. They might, for instance, have a fear of a person who lives in their walls and might potentially do something bad.
• They might tell you that they have a recurring fear that they will be buried alive.
• Their lips might start to quiver, thinking of that time they met a “bully” on a playground.
• Some of their dreams are pretty benign, such as someone shows up in their room, but they can tell a large amount of detail about what happened in the dream: who was there, what they wore, what they said, etc.
• They have trouble doing mental things that used to be so easy.
• They tell you, definitively, that 2 x 4 is 2. You ask them to try again. They say it’s 12. It’s as if they don’t quite understand the question or they are trying to do something entirely more complicated than what was asked.
• If you try explaining to them that you are going to a store, say a particular retail store, they keep forgetting as you go to do it.
• When you ask them to do something, instead of doing it, they follow you. Say you ask them to sit, because you want to do something to make them laugh. As you move away, they keep following you.
New Abilities Summary
Easter Eggs (Background meanings)
• The most striking new ability is how well they find “Easter eggs” in life. These are things that happen in the background that are not obvious.
• For instance, they might notice, completely on their own, that in Aladdin, the tiger has someone’s pants in his mouth and then later a prince is missing that part of his pants.
• Or they notice in a movie that a character from another movie is in the background of a different movie you are watching.
• Or they notice that a mysterious character is seen in the background of a scene.
• They might notice that the, indeed, eldest child in Harry Potter goes across the “Elder Bridge.”
• They also are very intent on “getting” movies. If they don’t understand a movie, they’ll watch it a second time—and happily understand more. That they are watching with intense interest is obvious.
• They might love mystery stories, as they actively challenge themselves to look for subtle clues.
• If you want to see this new development in them, the best way to do it is to watch a movie with them, especially one they keep begging you to watch with them.
Misbehaving heroism, growing sense of justice, law, and government
• They have clear views on how the family, society, or government should work.
• In my experience, their sense of it involves who they are in this overall system and they might announce their intent on heroism in it. For instance, “I don’t care what the law says! I will always help someone if I can!”
• They might mischievously ponder what law they would willingly break.
• 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!”
• They tell you they plan to be “kind, loyal, and fair,” or perhaps they tell you what kinds of things makes a person “kind.”
• They might like books like “Show Me How to Survive” or any others depending on where they want to enact positive change within a bigger, complicated environment.
Misbehaving, endearing personality
• They have a very robust personality, and they take a lot of initiative.
• As noted, they pull pranks. They might do something stunningly clever, like conspire with their brother to pretend they broke out of prison and come back, disguised, to get a job at that very prison.
• They might invent a game where you send secret messages to each other, with scrambled words.
• They might call you “Queen” to butter you up.
• They draw a scary, creepy alien who is saying, “Love me.”
• Why did the rocket explode on its way to the moon? Because it had a nitrogen leak! Their new joke.
• As they pass by a hay bale for the second time, they yell, “I remember you hay bale!” Like, what the fresh hell new sense of humor is this?
• They get irony in humor. You are asked to ice cookies and you say, “I am terrible at distributing icing equally.” They pipe up, “That’s ok! I’m ok with too much icing!”
• They have a “swag” to them. Maybe they utilize great table manners, using a fork and a knife—with a napkin flung over their shoulders, as a cape.
• They are fascinated by a sniper who had vipers slithering all over them, as they waited patiently.
Plans their day
• They plan part of their day, in hours-long chunks.
• They inform you that you are going to spend the next three hours with them.
• They might tell you that your Jedi training starts at 1:15 pm and will last until 2:15 pm.
Pursues answers with great enthusiasm
• They pursue a correct answer with vigor. They set themselves up for success by gathering things to themselves to help them learn.
• They might gather to themselves a mental aid 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.
• They are very intent on getting an answer right in a workbook.
• They love to look up the answer they want in something like an Almanac.
• 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.
Cannot stand if you go too easy on them at games
• They might get very mad when they find out you were going easy on them at a game.
• They might write on a paper that you are NOOB if you give them math problems that they consider too easy.
• They want to make “the biggest airplane the world has ever seen!!”
• They make up their own knots to tie things with.
• They turn Unifix cubes into a checkerboard, such that they can play with another child.
• They surprise you by writing something out, but they make the font match exactly the italics font they saw the originally text in.
• They might draw an elaborate picture of your family, adding to it, day after day.
Seven Year Old Milestone 3 (7.5.3-7.6.0)—The Hulk
Starts: A growth spurt is seen as early as 7.5.2 but irritable behavior shows up at 7.5.3.
Most Intense: 7.5.3-7.5.4
Ends: Some moodiness or aggression and a few sleep issues can be expected all the way until 7.6.0.
Irritable Period Summary
Physical and other growth
• There is major physical growth at this one. Their feet and legs become much longer.
• This new growth might cause problems:
o Their feet and legs might become so long that they don’t know where to put them or how to sit anymore.
o They keep bumping into things.
o They jump up and, not knowing how tall they are, bump into your chin (or an open drawer, etc.).
• You might as well check to see if their socks or shoes are too small now. Also consider buying the next size up for shirts, pants, even underwear, especially if you aren’t sure if they are this or the next size up.
• Their whole head looks better—and their features look quite different.
• They become MUCH more muscular in their shoulders and thighs.
• They have a stronger reaction to smells, and notice smells more, such as coffee or scented Chapstick.
Antsy, Angry, Menacing
• When I say they become “Hulk,” I’m not kidding. They grow—and they get angry, moody, and menacing.
• They can walk around “antsy.” This behavior can be threatening: give them what they want or get hit or slapped.
• They might fill up a paper with all red color, to show you how “angry” they are getting and “beware” when it’s all filled up.
• They get upset over what others say that they regard as wrong. Say their brother says that playing war is “fun.” “WHY WOULD YOU EVER SAY SUCH A THING?” they yell.
• But they can handle when others upset them. If insulted they say, “Thank you for the compliment!”
Overwhelmed by environmental stimuli
• They can get overwhelmed by environmental stimuli.
o The sun being in their eyes, or the heat of it, might now excessively bother them.
o They don’t like running around as much.
o They might complain of tummy aches.
• They might tell you life is so hard right now that they just want to stay in and not deal with it. What is so hard? The idea that they can scrape their fingernails on a wall and the paint would get under their fingernails, they tell you.
• They might get mad if there aren’t clearly defines rules or roles. A pickup game of soccer without clearly defined positions or rules might upset them terribly.
• What exact stimuli will bother a child and even if they will be bothered is very dependent on the child and what situations they are put in.
• They might forget that they have to put their seatbelt on.
• You agree to go on a walk together, but they need to put on warmer clothes. By the time they get warmer clothes on, they come back to what they were previously doing, forgetting that you were going to go on a walk.
Pushes themselves, but conflicted about it
• They might be overwhelmed by a situation, say the sun is too bright while at soccer practice, but they “pushed themselves” to keep at practice. But it’s clearly emotionally conflicting and difficult, as they are battered by something overwhelming for them, yet keep trying to do it.
• They might commit to a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle but then wonder, “What did I get myself into!?” as they do it. However, they still persist.
• They can be mildly moody or aggressive, especially when something doesn’t go their way or they can’t get something to work.
Yet still a cuddly child
• Wants your attention more. They may be ever grateful if you offer a simple hug or a simple evening together. They might still curl into Mom or Dad.
• They are very “up” for conversation now and like to talk about personal or “relatable” (their word) things.
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.
Commanding, designs environments, takes over
• They are very commanding over entire situations. They put 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 full architect of the whole thing who has to “think of everything.”
• If they start in on a large jigsaw puzzle, say 1,000 pieces, and they can’t find a piece, of which would be very hard to find, they go and try to do it. They look through all of a particular pile, trying to find it. It’s distinctly new. They also commit to working on doing the border of this extremely large puzzle.
• They might figure out something that no one else does, perhaps what a tool in a video game does. They use it to their advantage. Perhaps they figure out how to fly with it, whereas no one else can.
• They design the environment in a specific way. They might pose everyone in a specific way for a picture.
• They might LOVE conspiring with you to make April Fool’s Day jokes on the whole family. They might even remind you that it’s April Fool’s Day.
• They fully take over any lesson taught. If you tell them energy increases mass, they are apt to grab a ball and start trying it.
• They take over everything for their bedtime routine. They turn on or off the lights they want, set up a book, or whatever else, and then tell you, “Bye. You can leave now.”
• If doing a play, they very reliably get their part right.
• They might really want to have total mastery over something, such as to play an instrument by themselves, if they don’t already.
• They might surprisingly insist on getting their own drink now and be very proud of this fact. I find younger siblings do this, as to keep up with older siblings.
• They have commanding knowledge. Before they were sensitive to people’s reactions. Now, if a certain person doesn’t care to talk about a certain topic, they don’t talk to that person about that topic.
Becomes a “Mom” or “Dad”
• They take on a distinctly parent-like role.
• They might become a “mom” to other little children.
• They might indeed set up a pretend house for people and do things their dad does for small children, such as get drinks for them.
• They are overwhelmed by how cute babies are and just want to pinch those little cheeks.
• Before, they were mischievous in how they acted in the environment. They joked about breaking the law. Now they have calmed down. They are more practical and even gentle. They take an especial interest in being “kind.” They all but shout they plan to be “kind, loyal, and fair!” Or perhaps they tell you what kinds of things makes a person “kind.” Asking someone to marry you is “very kind.”
• They love to read books that have life lessons in them, such as Thumbelina or Rumpelstiltskin.
Chummy with others, hugs others, possibly flirts
• They might hug everyone. Some kind of “love” or “gentle” hormone seems to wash over them.
• Their relationships are taken to a new height. They coordinate well with others and take instruction.
• They might have uncontrollable laughing fits with others.
• They might mildly flirt with other children.
• Highly evaluative of things. They are the expert on anything—and they are dramatic. They don’t LIKE something. They LOVE it.
• They are judgmental of you. You work a lot, but you don’t talk enough.
• They also might brag about you or others to other people. “My [mom/sister] DOES THIS!”
• They seem to want to judge you or others. They actively wait for you to say something such that they can call you a “HYPOCRITE!”
• They might ask you how funny or pretty they are “on a scale of 1-10.”
Sorts out what beliefs/fears are true or not
• They (start to) become very intellectually formidable at this one. If someone believes something they find to be stupid, they throw up their arms, “Why do people believe that? IT’S SO STUPID!”
• You might find yourself nodding in agreement with some of the things they say and even being very frank with them about certain topics. This is simply the kind of tone of conversation that they might be having with you right now.
• If they’ve been scared of something for a while, they can put that fear away if need be. If they’ve always been afraid of spiders, they might be willing to go to a place that used to scare them (because they thought spiders were there).
• They might even adopt a charismatic role where they tell you, “I’m [so-and-so] and I’m scared of NOTHING.”
Conflicts between their core personality and the larger situation
• Their core personality is with them from birth. However, they start to notice their own core personality now. Also, if their personal preference differs from what the larger situation calls for, it can be annoying if not unbearable to them.
• 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.
• A particularly astute child might even already be asking if any of this makes them an introvert or an extrovert. They have THOUGHTS on this now. They like parties but they also like alone time. What does that make them?
• They again might not do well if there are no clearly defined roles in a larger or fast moving situation, such as a pickup game of soccer without clearly defined roles.
• They might get terribly upset if someone doesn’t think as they do, such as not liking a food they like.
• They get especially offended if you tell them their opinion is wrong, such as you tell them a movie they said was “trash” wasn’t “trash.” That’s their OPINION and they are ENTITLED to it.
Push the Bounds
• They’ll push the bounds in their own way. Maybe they go 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 push 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 might take an interest in new foods. They might surprise you and try a new food every single week, for weeks, or be willing to try anything at all they see.
• They also might like getting things with new smells, like new soap or candles.
• If they did it before, they might be back to swearing in daring ways, but this time with the full-on intent to make people laugh about it.
Loves sequential order
• 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
• They might take a renewed interest in things that happen in an orderly way. Maybe they want to watch all the videos you put together of them and their siblings, one each year from the time each was born.
• They might like reading about all the presidents—in order.
• They easily relate how smaller numbers relate to bigger numbers. For instance, 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 know that 3 is to 100 what 30 is to 1000.
As they notice their inner world and how it fits in with the outer world, you might consider Talking to children about homeostasis.
Seven Year Old Milestone 3B (7.6.2-7.6.4)—Intellectually Formidable
Starts: Sleep issues show up at 7.6.2. Moody behavior shows up a few days after this.
Most Intense: 7.6.2 until 7.6.3
Ends: 7.6.4 at the earliest
Irritable Period Summary
Overwhelmed, clumsy, spacey
• They continue to be prone to overwhelm from physical sensations. Something like jumping on a trampoline or staying at a party too long might totally overwhelm them.
• They have the serious dropsies. They go to open something and drop what’s in it everywhere.
• They keep hitting something as they walk, and they never update. Every time they walk by it, they accidentally hit something on the floor.
• They get so excited about something, run to do it, and crash into a door (or wall, etc.)
• They can be a bit of a space cadet when talking to them. They don’t stay with the conversation.
• They might get up super early, wanting to talk or do something.
• They might get up at 4 am, because they wanted to make sure they didn’t sleep in past 7 am.
• They might describe their dreams vividly.
Physical growth and other issues
• They might be more prone to belly aches.
• They have more spit and may even play around with it. Increased spit tends to coincide with physical growth.
• And they indeed get taller yet again, with longer, skinnier legs, but which also have more shape and muscle tone.
• “Entrapment” is just when kids like small spaces to feel safe. At this age, they might say “blankets make me feel safe.”
Sensitive to how they are perceived
• They are highly sensitive to what you think of them, say to them, or do with them.
• They are upset if you point out behavior of theirs that might have upset another, such as they kept someone waiting too long.
• They might get self-conscious about who is considered pretty and who is not.
• They get very upset if you don’t invite them into something you are doing, such as cooking dinner (when you didn’t know they wanted to).
• They are upset they don’t know how to spell a word.
• Overtly correct them on-the-spot at your own risk. Getting to what they were thinking and understanding the full situation continues to work better.
• Prone to extreme overwhelm, hates to be excluded, physical growth and all the weirdness that comes with that (dropping things, bumping into things, etc.)
• They are highly intellectually formidable—there is no tricking them.
• They are also pro-active and goal-oriented.
Highly realistic and intellectually formidable
• There is a calm and an intellectualism to them now that is truly impressive. Whereas before they were rather gullible and worried about mysterious threats, now there is no tricking them about anything.
• They clearly start to wonder if something like Santa Claus is real (if they still otherwise believed). They might conclude he is not real.
• Other children might say, “I still believe in ghosts.” They say this knowing that ghosts aren’t real, but they still kind of want them to be real. Because believing in belief is sometimes fun.
• They might even say they were formerly “brainwashed” over believing an idea that they now find nonsensical.
• Although they continue to get overwhelmed by the environment, they start to show signs that they can handle it. You advise them to and they happily focus on an object when in overwhelm, to ground themselves. The object happily “hypnotized” them, they tell you.
• 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 sit through the scene consoling themselves, “It’s just jello! It’s just jello!”
• They can also restrain themselves from attacking other children, even though the other children are out-of-control and sending them into overwhelm.
Persistent in finding information
• If they see something that reminds them of something, they can find relevant information in another book. Say someone says something about history. They read that somewhere and look it up. Or they see someone they know who think they might be in a book (say, a Playbill). They find the book and then find the person in the book.
• They themselves are impressed by how much detail of their dreams they can remember.
• They can get indignant about their knowledge. They didn’t need anyone to tell them [x]. THEY already knew that!
Proactive and responsible
• As comes with being intellectually formidable, they tend to start to take over more situations.
• At a restaurant, they stun you by remembering that their little brother wanted another drink and, so, they ask the waitress for one, as you had otherwise forgot.
• When they see something of yours might blow away in the wind, they protect it for you.
• They might hang up their own clothes.
• They have big ideas, and they might want to act them out. They might want to do a “ritual” with the family. They are very responsible about the whole thing, assigning people roles and telling them what they have to do.
• They are really committed to a goal, say to finish reading a book.
• They tell you about their career goals, and they might have 2 or 3 of them.
• They might enjoy seeing adults at work, such as watching a black smith work.
Loves reading and books
• They love reading and books. They can commit to reading for extended periods, perhaps all morning or night. They can read over 50 pages in a day.
• They might “salivate” at seeing a book they really, really want to read.
Awed by big things and big questions
• 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 might dream of visiting a new country “because the culture looks interesting.”
• They might be amazed by something like how many different things have to come together to make an entire economy work.
• They might have questions like, “What is the meaning of life?”
• They start to show fear again about immortality. Not just that they’ll die someday, but why are we all here if we’re just going to die?
Focuses with one eye
• They get very specific and dramatic with their physical body in how they play and notably in how they focus their eyes. They master looking through one eye or the other.
• They might kill “zombies” with a gun in a very pointed, specific way, pointing their toy gun exactly where it needs to go.
• They might challenge themselves to line up all birthday candles so they can see them in one line with their eyes.
• They might make their eyes mysterious for selfies. (This also shows how very “self aware” they are at this one.)
• They might show improvement in skills that require good visual acumen. They might kick and aim a soccer ball really well, for instance.
• With their improved binocularity, they might like playing something like Laser Tag (where you have to aim with a laser gun.)
• They might show jaw dropping artistic talent, copying things with tremendous detail.
• They are quite good at multiplication and division, keeping up with it quickly now.
• They noticed their body and others. A girl might say her breasts feel like they are “on fire.” She might notice the “six pack” on older boys.
• They might enjoy physical activities like dancing or weightlifting with free weights.
Seven Year Old Milestone 4 (7.7.2-7.8.1) — Strength and Stunning Talent
Most Intense: The intense part can float, either from 7.7.3-7.8.0 or 7.8.1-7.8.2
Ends: 7.8.1 but bossy behavior can be seen up to 7.8.3.
Irritable Period Summary
• They want your attention right away, to show you an idea they had, such as a game they made up.
• They might want to talk for what can be hours.
• They love when you read to them at night.
• They clearly need more of your one-on-one attention.
• They might have dreams where they are about to get killed. However, they fight off the killer and heal people with their touch.
Physical growth and other issues
• Shoots up in height, like a beanstalk
• Their eyelashes might fall out.
• They are more active and even sort of fidgety. They roll on their back and kick their legs in the air, open and close a blank around them while standing, etc.
Sensitive to being seen or photographed
• Grumpy, won’t smile when asked, especially to take a photo
• They might run off when you ask to take a picture of them.
• They might tell you they become very shy to make eye contact with strangers.
Tricks and stumps others, bosses others around
• Likes to trick and stump others, especially younger children. They might ask them questions they could never know the answer to.
• Or they make up a difficult game for you, testing you
• This might be a product of their ever growing self-consciousness: who are they smarter than?
• They also can get in other children’s face to “pay attention!” or “follow the rules!”
Hits things, angrily, for no reason
• They just randomly hit things out of anger, such as garbage cans. You might ask why they are doing it and they say, “I HATE GARBAGE CANS!”
• Or they keep hitting a soccer ball at a fence, repeatedly, which makes a very loud noise
• Stomps off a lot
• Gets very angry over entire situations, such as if they are at a restaurant they absolutely hate
• Growls, menacingly, at other children, such as when asked to apologize
Old memories get kicked up
• A random old memory gets kicked up for them. Maybe a room they were at where they swear they saw an exotic animal.
• The memories can be bad for them, such as a toy that got broken years ago.
• Might have trouble with short term memory or tell you their brain goes “blank”
• They might not be able to spell simple words.
New Abilities Summary
• Extremely talented in what they can do now. They are quick and innovative.
• They get much more strength, all the way to their fingertips.
Stuns you with new talents
• 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 all of a sudden start drawing impressive things—in less than 5 minutes.
• Out of nowhere, they step up and finally beat their older sibling at a game.
• They step up and try something that previously scared them, such as roller skating.
• They develop theories that are stunningly spot on. When reading a chapter book, they accurately guess that some ghost children in a closet have been there for centuries. Or they accurately figure out where a treasure will be hidden, based on clues in the book.
Tons of personality
• They decide to call everyone they see “mate!” Many people find it very funny.
• They watch a cooking show and exclaim, “Using that tool is so stupid! I can’t..I can’t watch this…this is cringe-y…I am cringing!”
• They can no kidding make others laugh with their impressions of people.
• This probably depends on the child. Extroverted children will probably how this more.
Exact in their academic challenges
• They can rip through academic challenges now. They get better and faster at academic things and notice.
• In previous milestones, 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.
• They can handle math problems such as 64 X 3, and they do it in their head.
• They can talk to you about their favorite subject, perhaps history or electrons, for hours.
• 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.
• They enthusiastically take classes, such as an online cooking class.
• If you are charting something in a science experiment, they take over the charting.
• They want to get to exactly page 800 in the book they are reading.
• They can think through math problems, chewing on their pencil, drawing numbers lines, etc., to help them.
• They go to town on projects, perhaps gluing plates and bowls together to make a Styrofoam boat.
• They are self-learners now. All you have to do is hand them a book.
Notices the conversation level in crowded places
• They specifically notice how much noise people talking is causing. 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 notice a particular place doesn’t have so much “talking, talking, talking” as it did last week.
• This might be why they are even better at self-soothing now. If a place is too loud, they can actively remove themselves from it and work on calming themselves down.
Strength in their extremities
• 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.
• They love to do smaller things with their body, 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!”
• They might love to play “thumb war” now.
• 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 ever stronger at playing sports and aiming balls where they need to go.
Imagination and imaginary friends
• Imaginary friends might show up again. There are lots of details about this friend or friends. They stick around for weeks. These friends have very human-like characteristics such as saying “er” a lot. They have likes and dislikes and they “aren’t toxic.”
• 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 might imagine universes in universes.
• They might marvel how “complicated” the whole world is.
• 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.
• They very much imagine themselves in a career or occupation when they grow up. They aren’t a master chef…yet, they tell you. Or they imagine themselves as an artist and an explorer.
An interest in the feelings of others
• They show an interest in what you think or feel. If you both have a problem, they might ask how you handle it.
• Or a very empathetic child might want to take on your problems for you. If you get stung by a bee they wish they could have the pain for you.
• They tell you if they think they are shy or not or introverted or extroverted and also what sports might not be for them.
• Or they do “all the work” while other kids just “play around.”
• This self-awareness comes across as strikingly calm and mature!
Seven Year Old Milestone 5A (7.9.0-7.9.2)—Dispenser of Life Wisdom
Most Intense: A few days around 7.9.2
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. The intensity with which they can get mad is distinctly new.
• They are belligerent about what restaurant you go to. They won’t even get out of your vehicle to come into a restaurant they don’t want to go to, as they are so upset. This is distinctly new.
• They can get upset over something surprising. A toy looks like a real animal and people are tossing it. They are upset people are treating the toy like “trash.”
• They can get rather annoyed about detailed things, like how much cheese is on the pizza.
• Similarly, they get upset if they can’t do something simple, like push up a popsicle.
• They might even get proud of how angry they are, as if they are showing off.
Bossy and angry with other children
• They can get too bossy with other children, such as showing them a cool new way to open a container that they learned. Or they might get in a younger sibling’s face about how to eat a sandwich.
• They might even get upset over something that happened between them and another child years ago.
• They get exceedingly competitive. They DO NOT like when younger sibling beat them at things.
• On the other hand, they sometimes step up and beat older siblings at games.
• Note that they are soon to get VERY good at winning 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 can stay up VERY late.
• You might find them in a surprising spot, late at night, just lost in their thoughts.
• They can also sleep in very late.
Physical growth and other issues
• Their feet grow.
• Physical exercise can overwhelm them.
• They seem to grow in their appetite. Increasing how much food you offer them may help with all of this anger.
New Abilities Summary
• They can get bossy with other children, explaining what they know, which is why I named this milestone, “Dispenser of Life Wisdom.” On the other hand, they face longstanding fears, create some amazing art, and handle younger children well.
Detailed in their art
• They can make a strikingly realistic representation of something, with character.
• Perhaps they make a strikingly good representation of Olaf out of Perl beads
• Or they draw a girl in a dress with her hand in a pocket, with a cool, striking attitude.
• They inform you as they create their art that it requires “precision.”
Finds things “satisfying”
• They find shaving cream coming out of a can “satisfying.”
• They love how shiny the counter gets when you clean it.
• They find peeling oranges, again, “satisfying.”
• Cutting peaches is “the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Likes when you are interested in what they are interested in
• They really want you to be genuinely interested in what they are interested in.
• They love to do projects with you.
• Ask them about that book they just read!
• They like to watch shows to learn about the geography and culture of other places.
• They find it fascinating to read about the governments of other countries, who do things differently and maybe even better than their own.
• They want to clean up the road, city, or world of all pollution.
Faces their fears
• They’ll do things they were afraid to before, maybe go on a new amusement park ride.
• Or, for years, they wouldn’t go in the pantry because it might have spiders. They surprise you by doing this and noting that they “faced their fears.” They do this entirely on their own.
• They might make up stories about people being unlucky or otherwise facing the worst life situation possible.
Mature with younger children
• They are very good at dealing with younger children.
• If a younger child is upset to go through a tunnel, they know a way around, and take them.
• They might like to give lessons to younger children such as “how to have manners.”
An increased awareness of time
• They have a love/hate relationship with large spans of time now. On one hand, they want lots of time to do what they want. On the other hand, if they have to go too long without doing what they want, they will be greatly upset.
• At any rate, they seem aware of about 12-15 hours of time at a time and what it is they are in fact doing in that time.
Seven Year Old Milestone 5B (7.10.1-7.10.3)— Copies Adult Strategies
Most Intense: 7.10.1 – 7.10.3
Irritable Period Summary
• They get territorial. A simple activity where you do something with other children might go terribly. They get upset over how things go or who touches their stuff.
• You might ask to fix their hair with extreme caution. It’s THEIR hair.
• They can have ATTITUDE if you make them wait a bit, say because you had to use the bathroom.
• Have you done their laundry YET?
• You tell them to do things and they don’t. Maybe that they have to put their shoes on when they are done with their tablet.
• Or you wake them up to go somewhere and they get up and then go back to bed.
• They can get angry over things. Perhaps if they have to get their own drink.
• They might angrily yell at other children not following the rules, particularly if an adult is nearby also asking them to follow the rules.
• They get taller and more shapely. There is more definition in their legs and waist.
• They can sleep in forever.
• They can stay up late, for weeks.
• They might go to bed on their own and tell you they don’t want you there.
New Abilities Summary
• They notice and copy what adults do in a strikingly effortless and mature way.
Copies adult strategies
• When they deal with a younger sibling, they do it with the patience and emotional intelligence that they see adults do it. Something goes wrong, they pause, breathe, and say, “Ok. We can fix this.”
• They can step up and get other kids to stop bullying another kid, using charm and humor to do it.
• They can handle situations that get out of control. 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 can get books for other children, so those children can learn something they also find fascinating.
• If you are asking other children to do something, they are right there doing what you are doing.
• If you tell them something is healthy, they are very likely to adopt said thing.
• They love doing projects with you.
• 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 advise everyone in a real or make believe emergency, “There is no room for panic.”
• When you compliment for putting their all into something, they tell you, “Well you put your all into everything, so I do, too.” This parenting gig can be rewarding sometimes.
• They can also be exceedingly judgmental of how you do things. Did you just drive with your hands not on the wheel!?
• They can be particular about what they wear. They wear a very certain something to bed at night.
• They can also dress up like an adult and act the part, such as walking around in heels and a suit jacket that falls off their shoulder. It’s strikingly new and mature.
• They have a bit of sass. There is a certain, “I have my own opinions and style and this is how I do things” about them now.
• 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 are stunningly mature in sizing up problems in larger systems. They follow along with how adults can be predatory or toxic.
• They can surprisingly get into very adult-like music, such as Pink Floyd.
Creates their own experiences
• 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.”
• Self-initiates and executes more projects now. Perhaps initiating an entire art project or wondering how far they can push their dirt bike on a nature trail.
• If they want to play a board game outside, they make a makeshift table for the outside, made out of cardboard on a stool.
• They are more aggressive and creative in solving certain problems. To score a soccer goal, why not just kick the ball right between a person’s legs?
• They can come up with the idea to put on a play and they can stick with it for hours.
• Stories of experiments are very funny to them now, such as what happens when people get ejected from airplanes.
• They might like to experiment with something like Snapcircuits, which are kid-friendly electrical boards made out of plastic that snaps together. They like to experiment with anything, really, perhaps a new way to dye Easter eggs.
• They read about how to make a certain LEGO structure in a magazine, and they go and make it.
• They put their little brother in a stroller and get them going fast down the driveway, to make their little brother laugh.
• They are more likely to want to read many different books rather than just one series now.
• They LOVE games right now, such as Uno, Dutch Blitz, or other math games. They get to come up with a strategy and try it out.
• They want to do what they want to do. Giving them choice about what they do when, say, at a birthday party, will work really well. They might want to sit by you or read a book before joining the party. And then they do—with verve.
• They love the idea of trying something new, perhaps a new sport or class.
• This “manifestation,” where they conjure up an idea and then make it happen grows in the next milestone and marks what they are like at age 8.
Seeks experiences that are deep and meaningful
• They want an experience that is deep and meaningful.
• If your family has a motto, they might make something about it. Perhaps each family member is a color and together you work together. They make a piece of art showing this.
• They might beg for a deep and meaningful experience, such as within a religion.
• They might want to do “best friend” necklaces with others now.
• They want people to “understand” them.
• They certainly start to notice other boys or other girls
• 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.
LOVES to help out
• They love to help out around the house. They want to do it all on their own initiative, too.
• Knowing their room has to be clean by Friday, they go up and do it, all on their own.
• They might tell you they REALLY want to be your helper around the house.
• They love to help you carry stuff to your vehicle.
• They love to help keep the refrigerator stocked with bottled water or help keep the soap dispenser filled with soap.
Seven Year Old Milestone 6 (7.11.1-7.11.4)— Relates Ideas to the Present
Most Intense: It’s a long stretch of fairly difficult behavior over the whole milestone.
Irritable Period Summary
• They manifest anger out of nowhere. They conjure up in their head why they are angry with another child. Over something that happened in the past, they get themselves riled up and then randomly go over and push that child.
• After weeks of calm, they act out all of a sudden. They might become aggressive with other children, such as pulling their hair. Again, it seems to manifest out of nowhere.
• They might ask you to talk about gossip or drama, simply drumming it up to drum it up.
Wants things to go their way, can’t back off
• They can get very upset when something they decided or planned doesn’t go as they expected.
• They get upset perhaps because glue doesn’t dry the way they thought it would. It is totally wild and nearly unbelievable how upset they get.
• If things don’t go their way, they can get really angry. They might start throwing things over a balcony.
• They can’t back off over things they want. If they want a blanket, they keep trying to take it from their brother.
• They can get really upset if they can’t figure out how to play a game or how to win.
• They might draw the kind of things they draw when going through a milestone, such as angry faces.
• They just really can’t back off at this milestone.
• They just can’t back off and get upset over things often.
New Abilities Summary
• They relate advanced ideas to other ideas or what is going on in the present.
Relates ideas to other ideas or what’s going on in the present
• They relate life lessons told to them to something they’ve seen before. 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!”
• Again, in relating the life lessons, you told them once that people who are humble and nervous tend to do better at tests. In a story, they hear about how a person is full of pride and hubris before going through some kind of test. They note that, like you said, that person full of pride and probably won’t do well.
• You tell them that you hope they learn from your mistakes. On a walk, you trip over a sidewalk crack. When they get to that sidewalk crack again, they go around it in an exaggerated way. They tell you, “See! I learned from your mistake!”
• They might how you handle a specific life scenario like, “How do you handle temper?”
• For a mathematically inclined child, rips apart math challenges, using what they do know. 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”
A walking encyclopedia, loves information
• They can be a bit of a walking encyclopedia. You casually mention a band name. They inform you of the year that band released their first album.
• 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 might want to memorize the lyrics to dozens of songs.
Judgmental of others, especially how adults do things
• They very clearly adopt a role in their mind that they are the adult, and they weigh in with their opinion on adult-like decisions.
• They tell you that buying 2 pizzas instead of 1 is a “waste of money.”
• Tells you talking about something is a “waste of time”
• They continue to be judgmental about how you drive.
• When they grow up, they are going to be better at what you do than you are.
• They are upset that their friend “destroyed” their otherwise clean room. Their friend did this by leaving a few Legoes out.
• 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
Wants hard challenges
• They love games and want you to go hard against them.
• They LOVE their sport games and want to show off their new skills, in hard situations.
• They continue to be willing to face some of their fears, such as going in dark closets.
• They really want to learn fractions at this age, and they might show frustration that they don’t understand this relatively difficult concept.
• They might express that they have a serious interest in drawing really well.
• At this milestone, they are asking for hard challenges. At the next milestone, they start to master them.
Wants to clean or help out on their own
• They are very proactive about things in a way that is totally independent. They might insist on putting away all of their laundry on their own. You aren’t even allowed to be in the room.
• Or upon hearing the cleaning ladies are coming, they volunteer to clean up an entire room on their own.
• They might help out by pushing their younger sibling on the swing.
• They manifest things out of nowhere. They come up with ideas and they also insist everything they think and know was a product of their own mind.
• They might give themselves a new name.
• They might tell you they “invented” math or “invented” soccer.
• The past gets kicked up for them. They go back to old favorite books and toys from when they were very, very young.
• They tell you they can “make anything happen in their imagination!” They get what they have drawn as proof.
• They might start collecting things, such as water bottle caps or peppermints from a restaurant.
Hands get stronger
• Their hands start to get stronger at this milestone. They might try to open bottles with difficult to open caps now.
Eight Year Old Milestone 1 (8.0.0-8.0.3) — Sophisticated, Confident Leadership
Starts: A little bit after 8.0.0
Most Intense: Some intense flareups all throughout
Irritable Period Summary
• They can get really antagonistic with other children, to the point that even older and patient children get upset.
• The past still randomly gets kicked up in their mind. They get in their sister’s face over that snow globe she broke, years ago.
• They are bossy with children. They might get in a younger child’s face that they need to learn to lose or learn how to play a game properly.
Upset in class or other similar situations
• They can get easily overwhelmed in certain situations, especially in a classroom setting. 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 extra pieces that they now need.
• Or a teacher is going too fast for them and something minor happens, like a pencil breaks. It is very, very upsetting to them.
• They decide a particular thing isn’t teaching them anything and so they stop doing it.
• They might all of a sudden want to quit the sport they are playing.
• These behaviors, where they are upset in class, want to quit things, etc., seem to reliably happen around 8.0.2.
• I believe an aggressive attempt should be made to guide them through this. Find the pieces they are missing, fix the pencil, etc. This behavior is very temporary and highly age-related.
• They physically grow. Sometimes when they do this, they gain a bit of weight.
• They might be extra hungry.
New Abilities Summary
• They step up and show impressive leadership, especially when other children are involved.
• They start to get really good at games or challenges involving many steps or calculations.
• They are interested in getting things right and can make very detailed, precise art.
• They step up and do things with astounding leadership qualities.
• When there is a fight among siblings, they all of a sudden set up, in a confident, bold way and tell the other children, “Alright. This is how we’re solving this.”
• When doing any science experiment, they take over the whole thing.
• They make dinner, with your guidance, otherwise almost entirely on their own. They get pots out, measure things, all of it.
• Without being asked to, they put on the proper clothes or uniform for class or practice.
• They can reliably set up their own projects and science experiments, in fact are likely to stubbornly takeover
Continues to help younger sibling by copying how adults do it
• They continue to like to help out with younger siblings. They have been doing this, but the ideas to help out are more sophisticated now.
• They pick up on the exact nuances and style of how adults do things. They get their little brother to turn off the TV by inviting him to turn it off himself.
• They might see a younger child is injured and so they hold the child’s hand.
• Or they spin the child in the air so the younger child feels like they are flying.
• They might build an interesting toy out of LEGOES for a younger child.
• They are really great at coming up with ideas to help younger ones, such as that playing Rummikub can teach a younger child the idea of consecutive numbers
Copies your strategy
• They start to pick up on your strategy when playing games, simply by observing how you play against them.
• In games that involve strategy, they aren’t quite winning yet, but by the next milestone, they’ll likely utterly crush you at any game you routinely play.
• When they learn how to do something, it shows up in their work. Say they learned to draw a cat by making three circles and then smoothing them over to make the shape of a cat’s body. They impressively apply this to draw the arms and legs of a human.
Perceptive about when things apply
• You’ve been trying to put something together, say a special evening. They notice something that would fit in perfectly.
• When they get to a new place, they bubble, “Oh this is perfect for…” whatever it is. Perhaps a game of hide and seek.
Paradoxical and meta
• They might come up with a clever solution to help them solve something, where they get double benefits. 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 make a letter “E” made up entirely of Es.
• They wonder if you can drink French fries or if you can drink lemonade with a fork.
Wants hard challenges
• They might challenge themselves to things like folding a paper as many times as they can.
• They might throw themselves into something like gluing Styrofoam plates and cups together to make a boat.
Makes very good and precise art
• They make impressive drawings that are ambitious and have detail.
• They want to make sure their perl bead Iron man has the exact right shade blue eyes or that the stars they make have perfect angles.
• They make a pencil out of paper that looks deadly accurate like a real pencil.
They can impressively handle many equations and calculations and can figure things out
• 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? As such, they can compare two equations to each other, to come up with an answer.
• Similarly, they can fill in equations where they have to fill in missing numbers, and they can even do it with negative numbers.
• They also inquire about subtracting a negative number and take a reasonable guess that this would result in a positive number.
• They shockingly solve a problem on an app requiring algebra. It takes them 97 steps to back out of what they did, but they do it. After solving a complex algebraic equation, they say thoughtfully, “It’s not complicated. Everything becomes simple.”
• When handed a new electronic device, perhaps a phone, they can figure out how it operates basically on their own.
• They start to get really good at winning games. They beat you at checkers, Uno, double solitaire and more. This is mainly because they are very fast at it.
Eight Year Old Milestone 2 (8.1.1-8.2.0)—Smart Styles and Smart Strategies
Most Intense: Around 8.1.1 shows the most intense issues. Sleep and other issues are seen off and on throughout the rest of the milestone.
Irritable Period Summary
Belligerently thinks they are right, when they aren’t
• They belligerently think they are right about things and everyone else is wrong, and it can really cause issues.
• They might think a restaurant has their favorite meal, but it doesn’t. Despite this, they command you all to go to the one they think has it.
• Or they are completely confused about the rules of a game and insist you follow it, even though they are wrong. This causes a lot of confusion, tears, and problems.
• They absolutely sneer at other children who are playing a game “wrong.”
Thinks they are a bit smarter than they are
• They think they are a wee bit smarter than they are, especially in comparison to others. If they are playing a game where they thought they could trick others and they don’t, they can get upset.
• They can get very upset if they can’t win a game, especially one with a bit more advanced strategy.
• “I’m smart and know it” describes this milestone pretty well.
Absent-minded, literally loses things
• They are a bit of a space cadet. It’s as if they have no idea where things are.
• There is a high probability that they will lose something, say a piece of clothing, because they misplaced it. They put it in a very weird spot, such as their sibling’s room. As such, it’s hard to find—and it’s an important item. This is frustrating. They know, however, that they are the ones who misplaced it and offer a generous apology after it is found.
The past gets kicked up
• The past can still get kicked up. They are super upset over that one time in class a teacher was really mean to them.
• They shed their childish past, as well. Whatever they were interested in as a child, say Harry Potter or Star Wars, they are just definitely done with now.
• This milestone is definitely marked by sleep disruptions.
• They might stay up very late, dying to hear every word of a story you are reading, even though they clearly want to fall asleep.
• They might fall asleep in the middle of the day.
• They might get up at 4:15 am.
• Ask them about the dreams they are having, because they are having many. In their dreams, they might have had to ask someone not to steal the sun or they might get sucked into a blackhole.
Needs you or needs some space
• They might need you more. They might want to play a lot of games together or just spend time together.
• Or they might want to go off to process their thoughts.
• They grow again.
• This might mean they put on a bit of weight or want to eat more.
• They eventually get taller and slim down.
New Abilities Summary
• They get very good at certain skills and games, creating a certain ego-less confidence. They are kind to other children, even willing to “play dumb” to let other children feel flattered.
• There is also some new magical thinking, suggesting major new mental development is being kicked off.
Beats adults at games
• They can legit beat you at difficult games, such as checkers. In fact, they totally crush you.
• They even develop their own new strategies, which knock you off guard.
• They directly thank you for teaching them how to play and win games.
• They are, however, quite taken aback when someone snuffs out their new strategy. How did someone figure it out!? They are especially upset if other children beat them.
Puts a lot of thought into how to draw or mark things
• Things have to be perfect, especially what they draw.
• They give you a lesson on what NOT to draw. You should NOT draw a stick figure. This is super lame. You need to draw a realistic person with details.
• They impress you by drawing something but adding more detail than they normally do. Perhaps they draw an apple and are sure to draw the seeds.
• Their art gets more prolific and detailed. They draw the flags of many different countries and they do it with great detail.
• This could show up in other places too, such as carpentry work. As they mark off a squared corner for a project, they tell you, “It has to be perfect.”
Has style, wants things to be done right, and with flair
• Things are done with a flair now. Indeed, their drawings, as noted, must be sophisticated.
• They set dinner for you and not just any old way. They add wine glasses, etc., if they can (which they drink grape juice out of).
• What they draw has to be exciting. They don’t just want to draw a butterfly. It has to be a fighter jet.
• They might go shopping and put together a stylish outfit.
• Or, when doing homework, they feel like an “executive,” so they put on a suit jacket they have, as well as ask for a cup of coffee, to look the part.
• Now is a great time to get them a sharp outfit.
• They might design a stylish room in a video game like Minecraft.
• 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 also might start to tell long jokes, attempting to get all the details and the punch line right.
• They take their time picking out what flower they want. They like the orange-yellow one. They like the shade.
• They are stunned by the beauty of things. Say Dominoes fall earlier than you wanted. They say, breathlessly, “That was beautiful!”
• They also might ask what foods are unhealthy. They ask this so they can avoid those foods. This sense of “I am going to be healthy and do well” is perhaps part of their new “style,” where they want to do good and look good.
Mature with other children, less ego
• They are very good with children, including letting themselves lose their ego to do it. They might “play dumb” so the younger child can beat them at the game. Perhaps they are confident in their skill enough now that they are willing to do this.
• They might do “drawing contests” with their younger sibling, handling most of it, giving the rules, etc.
• They might make a lesson for their younger sibling, such as one on how to read.
• They can also handle social situations when they go poorly. They said something “slightly socially embarrassing” around other children, by stating an unpopular view. You ask them if they are ok with that or if they want you to guide them more on what is embarrassing or not. No, they tell you, they want to be able to say what they want. Those other kids had their views and they had theirs, and they are ok with that.
Very understanding, handles complexity
• They are very understanding of complex situations. You can say, “So-and-so wasn’t malicious, they just,” and they fill in, “had a misunderstanding.”
• When there is confusion, they can breathe in and go, “Ok.” They pause and then explain the situation which was causing confusion for everyone.
Magical thinking, especially about transporting across space and time
• There is a distinct magical thinking at this milestone.
• They openly ponder what a new multiverse would be like, where if you made one different decision, a new universe is created.
• They might love to think that they can “transport” themselves magically to a different place or time.
• They might wonder how people in a different place or time did things. How did people from the Stone Age cook?
• They might ask about why God created the universe. Just…why?
• They can come 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.
• That they draw so much is also imaginative and magical thinking. You can make anything in art! They even directly say as much now, “In art, I can use my imagination to make anything!”
• Imaginary friends might be (very temporarily) back.
• They might need moments where they just stop and think—again withdrawing into their thoughts.
• This magical thinking, along with the sleep disturbances, heavy dreams, and physical growth are all signs of a new “hill.” It’s major new mental development under way, which starts with highly imaginative thinking.
“Sees” or is interested in faces
• They show an interest in faces. They might want to draw them.
• Or they might even “see” faces. For instance, the shapes their cereal makes look like a face to them. As such, they can’t eat it.
Growth in physical vitality
• They grow in their physical vitality.
• They might readily take on a challenge like snorkeling or using flippers when swimming.
• They do handstands all over your house.
• They dance all over your house.
• They can all of a sudden, out of nowhere, blow up a balloon.
• They can handle and even enjoy rough housing with other children more.
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
Intricate use of their hands
• They like to do more with their hands, especially using each finger.
• They might really like playing “Thumb War.”
• They might interlace their fingers in complicated ways.
• They might really take to things that require a lot of dexterity and strength with your hands, such as making pancakes, drawing silly faces, or using a paper cutter.
• They again really show a strong interest in drawing well.
• This desire to do things with their hands might result in something like Trichotillomania, where children pull their hair out.
Eight Year Old Milestone 3 (8.3.1-8.3.3) — Worldly and With It
Most Intense: 8.3.1 – 8.3.2
Ends: Up to 8.3.3
Irritable Period Summary
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
• They are unusually sensitive to criticism. If you get mad at them or yell, they can get really upset.
• They can get really hard on themselves if they get an answer to a problem wrong.
• They can get very embarrassed by personal/hygienic problems.
• They might get confused when doing a game or homework. They get lost about what the rules are, such as if they should place things vertically or horizontally in a game.
• They might be confused as to where something is, for instance, if some of their clothes are downstairs or upstairs.
Sleep issues, wants connection
• They might get up early and want to spend time with you.
• They might want several hours’ worth of your time.
• They can get extremely upset if another child interrupts your time together.
New Abilities Period Summary
Takes over their own learning
• They are more aggressive about attaining information on their own and setting up their own activities.
• When you start to do a science experiment, they take over the whole thing. They take it over and make it their own, somehow.
• On their own, they look up what the shapes of countries look like. They then cut them out of paper.
• On their own, they look up how to handle a flu.
• They figure out some of their own technical problems, such as how to sign into a server to play a video game with others.
• They might want to make their own video game—and do.
• On their own, they get their new script out, to learn their lines for a play.
• They continue to draw impressively. Their characters now have definite flair, which is reflective of their own personality, perhaps a dog that says “ruff,” a robot with a tuxedo, or a woman in a stylish dress.
• They are very “up” for anything: a game, a challenge, anything.
Very precise and detailed what they do, especially in how they use their hands
• They are very exact and precise in what they do. When they draw, for instance, they might literally “pixelate” the drawing, putting each color exactly where it belongs.
• They can use their hands confidently and with control. They can easily zest a lime, peel an apple and even use a mandolin. They also want to carve a creative and intricate design into the top of a pie.
• They might notice people who do a dance or something similar do it in a way that is “very precise.”
Sense of humor forming
• They can legit make other people or children laugh.
• A funny joke they might tell is, “Guys, physics is cancelled today!”
• Or they might tell a joke about an elephant “snorting” things, which has children around them buckled over laughing.
• 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.
Worldly in an intuitive and perceptive way
• They are stunningly attuned to the world, in a way that information seems to “zap” to them.
• You mention something about another culture and they know the answer, out of nowhere. “How do people in Vietnam mainly get around?” “By motorcycle,” they instantly answer. They’re right.
• Their answers about worldly questions can be very sophisticated. You ask if the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean is bigger. They say, “The Pacific is now but in a million years, the Atlantic will be.”
• They love to look up things in books or even Wikipedia.
• They stunningly know what was in every version update of a video game.
• They might even say they have 7 senses, not 5. The 2 extra senses help them find things easily and help them find lucky things.
Discusses money / economics
• They have an interest in talking about how systems of people and money come together.
• They might initiate a conversation about the economics of a business. “So they have to have money to make money,” they notice.
• They might love to talk about a topic like debt. They love that you can keep paying down debt and it gets faster and faster to pay off. Also, you don’t have to pay anything extra to pay it down. You can just pay it. This pleases them greatly.
• They are perceptive about how some economics work. They might say, “In the future, poor people will be in apartments and rich people will own all the land.”
Open to learning modern skills
• You might intuitively finding yourself teaching your child some skills that are truly unique to the modern times you live in.
• You might find yourself teaching them how to use software used to make presentations, for instance. You show them this so they can make their own invitations to a party.
• Or you might show them how to use a spreadsheet, to track something they are interested in, such as how human population has grown over the course of time.
• They are aware of what is happening around them, without having to explain much to them.
• 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 that is of note.
• They understand when you say you are “stealing” something of theirs that you are just joking around and they play along, “Stealing!?”
Romantic and flirtatious
• They might get slightly flirt with another child.
• They cut out a heart. On one side is your name. On the other is theirs.
• They might make a Kitty statue in Minecraft for another child, because they know they love cats.
Eight Year Old Milestone 4 (8.4.0) — Willpower and Willingness to Help
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 wants to linger and talk
Hates to be interrupted
• They can look at you very angrily if you interrupt them, say when they are playing a video game.
• They might also get frustrated if their younger sibling interrupts them while they are making cookies or the like.
Hypersensitive of other’s opinions
• They start to become very aware of other’s opinions of them. It’s to the point that they might accuse you of calling them “stupid,” when you said no such thing.
• If other children laugh at them after they made a mistake, it will be devastating.
• They don’t like to be scolded by other children or adults over what they personally find to be innocent.
Can be harsh on others
• They might tell another child that their idea is terrible.
• Or they might rudely tell another child they “have no friends.”
• They might jokingly “test” another child, such as asking them if they know a hard math equation. They think they are being funny, but it can come across as very intimidating.
• They might not be able to focus in class. They might prefer putting on silly plays or such instead.
• They can’t find things. You tell them something is by the sink, and they look everywhere except by the sink.
Sleep issues and physical growth
• You might see major sleep issues. They might even talk or walk in their sleep.
• Towards the end of the milestone or into the next, they grow. They get taller and slim down.
• Their hand strength increases. They might be able to nearly shuffle a deck of cards.
New Abilities Summary
• They show a serious interest in becoming healthy and working towards it.
• Similarly, they work towards many other goals, such as doing homework, learning, or making something work well.
Interested in being healthy, modifies their behavior to achieve health
• They take an interest in being healthy, based on what kind of actions they think lead to their or other’s personal health.
• They might get upset when they see an adult drinking an adult beverage. It’s bad for them.
• You might find yourself talking to them about how being “fat” isn’t necessarily a problem and nor are they “fat.” They become sensitive to such issues now.
• They also take steps to move towards what they see as healthy or proper.
• They might 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.
• They might want to make their favorite breakfast on Sunday. This way, they can have it every day throughout the week.
• Or, similarly, they want to do a lesson every single day. They might even ask for homework or otherwise like homework. They want to get smart.
Works at things until they are right
• Similar to wanting to be healthy or smart, they work at individual things until they get them done right.
• They are totally committed to figuring out the best way to make a pancake.
• They might all of a sudden challenge themselves to swim a new stroke while at the pool.
• 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 eventually come up with some ingenious solution: a running start makes the airplane fly further.
• Challenges themselves to solve math problems in the “hardest” way possible
• They “hate” doing things, but they utterly insist on completing those things (such as their homework) until it is finished.
• They might even explicitly state their goals and how they are working towards them. They bubble, “I love to learn about engineering! That’s why I watch engineering shows and learn about science and do math problems!”
• Their physical posture might reflect how forward-moving they are. As they lean over a paper to do a math problem, it looks like they are about to do a 100-meter dash.
• They love to read books on their own now, especially if you set aside a special time for it.
• They might 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 are “up” for anything. They love doing projects or lessons. They have a glow and smile to them as they do it.
Proactive, especially to help other people
• They take a stunning amount of initiative, especially in social settings.
• They take over situations, in the most surprising of ways. At a party you threw, they get up and nominate themselves the emcee. They take over, telling jokes, talking to all people there.
• When people passing by need directions, if they know the way, they are eager to help.
• They can be stunningly patient and reliable when working with other children. They help a child play a game. When one of the pieces breaks, they even move to fix 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 might get a game out that they think another child will like.
• They might 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).
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.
• 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.
A particular interest with how things are written or laid out in 2-D space
• They take a particular interest in how things are laid out or written on paper. The actual placement of things is novel to them.
• They are enamored by something like the answer they got to a problem was four and the question number is also four.
• They, again, take an interest in getting punctuation right. They finally add apostrophes correctly.
• Or they bubble that they are going to add commas properly when texting their grandma.
• Again, they can be a space cadet when finding things. You tell them to look for something by the sink and they look everywhere but the sink. It’s as if their mind is processing something, some question that has to be answered internally before they can focus, about how everything is laid out in space.
• They can be very prolific artists right now. They draw many things.
• They also take a noted pride in drawing “realistically.” Their word.
A beginning understanding of other’s worldview
• They start to digest how others see not just objects differently than they do but how people can have entirely different world views.
• They openly ponder many times, “How can anyone think that!”
• 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! In doing this, they are anticipating how another person will think and act.
Eight Year Old Milestone 5 (8.5.0) — Disciplined Habits
Starts: Mildly at 8.5.0
Most Intense: For about a week at the beginning, 8.5.0-8.5.1, they can be absent-minded, angry, and even aggressive. After this, they show they really want you near, which is sweet, although a sign that something is up. They can also be very sensitive.
Ends: 8.5.3 at least
Irritable Period Summary
Fears and nightmares
• This milestones starts off mildly, with but some new fears and nightmares. These, however, are very good indicators that something is up.
• They might start to worry that things are “omens.” You hit a bird when driving. It’s an omen of things to come.
• They have nightmares but explicitly tell you they “aren’t afraid of them.”
• Their nightmares are such that disaster suddenly strikes, and they might even need to act. A house is built and then struck by a tornado. Or they dream that you are driving your vehicle and then randomly get out and they have to take over.
• They are very absent-minded.
• It can very much be, “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.
• They can’t answer the waiter or waitress. They order a hot dog. They get asked what side they want. They say a hot dog.
• You ask them to change something on the TV, because one thing isn’t working. You have to keep asking, over and over. They are just too darn upset that something isn’t working. They are upset in a slow-moving, spacey kind of way.
• They start to try to make wiser decisions on their own behalf, such as going to bed before watching more TV. But they take forever to decide.
Head and eye issues / growth
• At some point, their eyes might 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.”
• Or you might just notice how much they can dart their eyes all around. When asked how they feel when they do it, they say, “It’s fun.”
• They might describe the exact amount of light they like to be on. If it’s too bright, it bothers them.
• Doing particular things might give them headaches right now
• You might see some sleep issues.
• They are completely oblivious to your requests to come to bed.
• They might fall asleep on the way home from something big and exciting.
• They might wake up at night and talk to you, but they don’t remember it in the morning.
Really wants you close
• If you are apart, say they are on a trip, they express just how much they miss you.
• They might write down that they want you to read to them every night.
• They can be very sensitive, especially in social situations, such as if other are ignoring them.
• They found out a cat they like died. In 1987. They are still sobbing about it.
New Abilities Summary
• They are very disciplined in how they go about things.
• They might decide to improve their diet, and they do it in a very thorough way. They go over what it is they eat every day. They decide to change a few things here and there, perhaps forgoing cookies for a while.
• Maybe they are committed to having one vitamin per day. They get it themselves.
• They aren’t going to use their computer for another week. They commit to it.
• They are super responsible about things. They are very good at packing their own suitcase. You ask them to pack a few items on the day of departure, and they do. They even though of a few other things.
• When leaving a hotel room, on principle, they might make the bed.
• When they RSVP that they can’t make a party, they are sure to be extra apologetic, such that there aren’t hard feelings.
• They are appreciative of ways to help them take care of themselves, especially for a problem they have. If they have chapped lipstick, give them chapstick, etc.
• They show they can follow with incredibly complex thinking.
• For instance, if a man named “John Null” gets into a database, his last name, “Null,” can cause the data to get wonky.
• They can count in hexadecimal.
• They can understand the Monty Hall problem.
• They can compare the pins you use to sew to mechanical pins you use for other things.
• They make up hard challenges for themselves, such as figuring out how many feet are in ¼ of a mile.
• They can think of something like, “What if you went back in time and killed your grandfather, but then … you were never born.”
• Their thinking can be genius level. They can figure out how many ways two 2×4 Lego bricks can go together. They protest that a book they are reading about it is wrong. They are right.
• Perhaps with this complex thinking, their conversations get deeper.
• You might read a book together and find yourself talking about it in depth.
• As noted, they can understand something like the Monty Hall problem. It takes quite a bit to explain this, and then for them to work through it.
• You might find yourself talking to them extensively about social problems they have with friends.
• You might find yourself talking to them about questions they have, such as about puberty.
• Any activity you do might turn into a lengthy conversation about…. Anything.
• They might even explicitly they love having said conversations with you.
Into checking weather
• They like to check the weather to see how warm or cold it is.
• They marvel at weather unlike their own. What would 100 degree weather feel like?
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
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Eight Year Old Milestone 6 —Giggle Fits 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.
• Their growing physicality, problem solving, and wonder might make them more dominant in situations where they shouldn’t be. They might interrupt their teacher, etc.
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 one 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.
• They are Ok with things going poorly for them. If a new a jacket or shirt is not what they want, they might think of a solution to fix it. They might say they’ll get a bigger hat for a jacket they got that doesn’t have a hood.
• They might get bored with the same old stuff, even their computer or tablet.
• As such, they make up their own stories to pass the time, such as about a time-traveling martial artist.
• They might already know what they want to be when they grow up. They are already working on problems they might deal with, such as becoming an engineer and making locks safer.
In Awe of Both the Freakish and Awe-Inspiringly Beautiful
• 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.
• In awe of the tenuous nature of life. They might say, “For us to be here, everything had to go the way it did.” If, say, Europeans hadn’t discovered America, they would still love in Europe (and might not even exist).
• But they also love the awe-inspiringly beautiful. They might wake up early one day and be totally in awe of the sunrise.
• 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 love learning about something like rocks and minerals, finding perhaps the very hardest rock.
More Sexually Magnetic
• It’s hard for me to type this out. So, I will just do it in the way I know 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
• They tell you, “I am going to get my own food! That’s how hungry I am!”
• Their voice might become naturally more loud.
• They might dominate in situations where patience is more desired, such as during a class.
Eight Year Old Milestone 7 —Respect for Other’s World Views
Most Intense: The beginning
Irritable Period Summary
Moody and Withdrawn
• They can be moody and withdrawn.
• They might be annoyed you asked them any question, such as what movie they want to watch.
A Certain Dorkiness
• I don’t intend to be mean in describing this as “dorkiness.” I would never say this to a child. It is however the best word to describe it.
• They grow in many ways and it seems to take them by surprise as to what they do. This is the “dorkiness” part.
• They might say a word wrong or let out of a funny sound, and it takes them by surprise.
• They sweat more.
• They have more bulk added to their body as well, which they don’t manage well at first.
Sensitive and Upset
• They might get unusually upset if something isn’t working right or doesn’t go well. Say their iPad charger broke. Normally they would work through it, but now they are upset.
New Abilities Summary
Respect for Other Worldviews
• Before if something went against what they knew to be true, they got defensive. If say a culture believed in dancing to make it rain, they protest, “That’s so stupid!” Now they calmly say, “But that’s just what they believed.”
• They might say, stunned, “Nothing is perfect! These stairs aren’t perfect! Escalators aren’t perfect!” It’s as if they realize that everything has risk in it and no idea, no product is fully perfect and right.
A Lot of Initiative
• They take on a lot of things and they do it entirely on their own initiative.
• They might go outside to play more, in different ways than they did before, on their own.
• They might go approach other children they don’t normally play with, just to see what they are doing.
• They anticipate problems well before they become a problem, even before you might. If you make a zipline where a balloon goes whizzing down, they realize they need to figure out how to get the balloon back up before you even send the balloon down.
• This general respect for other’s beliefs and initiative can cause them to surprisingly take on a huge amount of risk. You might casually ask them to see how high they can jump off of a swing. They, trusting you might have a good idea, take it to the extreme and get going REALLY high and jump off, taking a HARD splat on the ground. But they are totally amazed by it and fine.
Eight Year Old Milestone 8 —Joy in the Unexpected
Starts: It’s very brief, around 8.8.3
Most Intense: n/a
Ends: Ends shortly
Irritable Period Summary
Gets Angered and Aggressive More Easily
• They might be more sensitive to criticism. If you tell them about something they did that was unsavory, even it was when they were 4, they might get really upset.
• They might get aggressive with other children who try to stop them from doing something.
Judgmental, Has Disdain
• This milestone is under development. These are just notes. Your child might react to certain situations completely differently.
• They might be very judgmental and have disdain for someone who they see as lazy or stupid.
• When reading The Little Engine That Could, they might have disdain that the train stopped. “They should have kept up on their coal,” they tell you.
New Abilities Summary
Surprised by the Unexpected in Life, Takes Joy in It
• They are over the top happy. They just burst with joy.
• They take total delight in doing something they’ve never done before, such as sled ride down a hill.
• They are “just surprised” now. They fall off of a bed, which potentially could really hurt them. After they fall, they lay there in the same position and beam, “I’m just surprised I fell so fast!”
• They might do naked butt slides on a slippery bathroom floor.
• They might like talking about what of [something] is the very best. What is the very best car?
• They are mesmerized by certain questions about life. “What is time anyway?” they ask you.
• Or they come up with something like, “If the Titanic never sunk, WWII would have never happened.”
• They might figure out that cutting corners on a hiking trail cuts time. Or that specifically cutting something at a 30 degree angle is the very, very best way to go.
• They are more willing—to do anything.
• They try new food and possibly even like it.
• They want to try going on a long walk with you. They enjoy it.
• They stick with getting really good at something like throwing a frisbee.
• They tell you they LIKE to write.
• They want to learn how to spell.
• They might like reading to themselves in bed, well into the night.
Eight Year Old Milestone 9 —Escapes into Their (Mischievous) Thoughts
Most Intense: 8.10.3
Ends: 8.11.3 (next one starts soon again, see The Nine Year Old Milestones)
Irritable Period Summary
• They seem entirely angry but when you talk to them, they say they are fine.
• You might wake them up for something. At first, they seem angry that you woke them up. But then you explain why you did it. They are ok with it and assure you they are fine.
• Or you ask them to use the bathroom and they seem angry about it. Then they say, “It’s ok. I’m just mad that I hit the chair.”
Physical Growth and Sleep Issues
• They are certainly bigger and stronger. Their “depth” is bigger. From the front of their chest to the back of their back is bigger.
• They might sleep in until 1 pm.
• They are sweatier and it’s noticeable.
• They might fall more, such as off their scooter. (It comes with physical growth spurts.) But they handle it fairly well.
• More towards their ninth birthday, they get taller. Their feet and legs get longer. The might also get more leg hair.
Super upset that they can’t find things
• A book might go missing, which happens to just be under a book. They are super upset about it. They are convinced it’s been missing for two years (it hasn’t).
• Super upset you threw away something of theirs, even thought it was totally broken, dirty, or irreparable.
• Super upset if they can’t find something like the special golden egg when looking for Easter eggs
Super upset when things don’t go their way
• They might be super upset when they can’t buckle a belt.
• Or they might be super upset their sister keeps talking about something they don’t want to talk about.
• Incredibly upset if they, say, get a math problem wrong.
• If you ask them to do something that they think is unfair, they start to stew. They develop an entire case in their defense.
• They can be moody and even indignant.
• To say they have a “mind of their own” now is a total understatement.
• They might get aggressive in these situations where they get wildly upset.
• They might push their brother to the ground because their brother took a shortcut when racing.
• They throw something, as they are playing with it, such as a football. It hits someone and they shrug, “I told them to move and they didn’t.”
• These situations, which might happen on and off over the next two months or so, might be some of your biggest parenting challenges. I do not think it’s entirely inappropriate to get completely in their face about how inappropriate what they are doing is.
“Bored out of their mind”
• They are extremely bored.
• They might tell you they are “bored out of their mind.”
• They complain they are always bored. The only thing that brings any entertainment at all, they tell you, is reading books.
• They cannot stand to wait their turn in between turns during a card or board game.
• They can’t stand to do something like sand down a wood toy instead of assembling it right away.
• They can be an absolute space cadet right now.
• You go to give them instructions, say of how to dribble a basketball, and they don’t hear you whatsoever. They are totally engrossed in trying to figure it out themselves.
• This might help you parent. They really need things broken down for them right now, and at the appropriate time. It’s not just “get your clothes.” It’s “get your clothes out of the bathroom and put them in the laundry basket.”
Hard on Themselves
• Towards the end of the milestone they can be hard on themselves.
• They might get nervous around the opposite sex.
• They might compare themselves to others.
New Abilities Summary
Physically and Socially Daring
• They might get really high on a swing—way too high—and jump off. They aren’t bothered by taking a full on splat. They liked that they impressed everyone.
• They might surprise you by getting themselves upside down on a gymnastics bar.
• They might be purposely daring and mischievous in their facial expression. Like purposely raising their eyebrow.
• It seems like they are purposely pitching things just to see the reaction it gets from people. It’s a genuine trial and experiment. This is the stuff that helps them grow in social skills.
• They might open and pop an umbrella in one fluid motion. You expect them to then hail a taxi with how adult like it is.
Insightful, Mischievous Connections
• They take the disparate parts of an overall theme and connect them.
• If you read about The French Revolution, at the end after reading about (think guillotines, etc.), they say, “Remember, it all started with a tennis court!”
• If you transition from reading about something lighthearted like St. Patrick’s Day to Soviet Russia, they note ironic/funny nature of such a harsh transition.
• They say “muahahahahaha!” when they make such connections.
• They might joke that they want to “kill themselves.” I believe they are just joking but it can be VERY disconcerting.
• At a playground they might tell you, “There are safety hazards all over and this swing is just bad design!”
• Or they tell you “Everything is sadness.” Because “everything has a little bit of sadness in it.” But it’s easy to overcome. “You just have to find a little bit of happiness.”
Escapes into their Thoughts
• They might go off to their room just to read. They’ve never done this before.
• They have THOUGHTS about what they read and experience.
• They might say, “You read about Nazis and at first you think ‘oh they are bad.’ And then you read the next thing and you think, ‘oh they are even WORSE.’”
• While attempting to read to them, they have a LOT of commentary.
• But they tell you, “you can keep reading while things BOGGLE MY MIND.”
• They might be crazy excited about something like star gazing.
• They might take forever to decide on their birthday wish as they blow out their candles .
• They use math to figure out how to advance themselves personally or financially.
• A good way to make money is to buy something for $25 and sell it for $30.
• If you get a pizza after reading 4 books, your family will have to read 20 books so all 5 of you can get a pizza.
• They love hearing that if you invest $100, it might make $15 with 15% interest. And then THAT $115 will make 15% interest
• They might figure out what meal combination will get them the most calories (as the calories are listed on the kid’s menu).
• Some businesses are totally affordable for what they offer. Others are totally unreasonable. No one should pay more than $500 for any toy. Ever.
• They can pretty easily handily things like multiplying fractions or decimals.
• They can be taught “math tricks” now. I fully advocate a conceptual approach where they develop number sense and linger here for months if not years. But after a while, little tricks help. Like “Six times eight is forty eight!” It rhymes.
• They also note any other cycle.
• They might note that “smart people get healthier because they are smart. And healthy people get smarter because they are healthy!” They love this.
• But they notice despondent cycles, as well. If leaders are corrupt and abusive, it sets off a despondent cycle where the powerful keep putting into place bad ideas.
• They might love to start an obstacle course that they work on day after day, trying to get better at.
• They note, mischievously, when playing a game, “Oh! The hunter has become the hunted!”
Takes Over Projects
• They can take over entire projects on their own.
• They might make a slingshot, from instructions, on their own.
• They might figure out how to spell a word by writing it several different ways until one looks right.
• They might make a pot holder all on their own now.