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 July 9, 2021.

Quick Links

Seven Year Old Milestone 1: 7.1.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 2: 7.3.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 3: 7.5.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 4: 7.9.0
Seven Year Old Milestone 5: 7.11.0

Eight Year Old Milestone 1: 8.3.0
Eight Year Old Milestone 2: 8.4.0
Eight Year Old Milestone 3: 8.5.1
Eight Year Old Milestone 4: 8.6.3
Eight Year Old Milestone 5: 8.8.0
Eight Year Old Milestone 6: 8.8.3
Eight Year Old Milestone 7: 8.10.1

Seven Year Old Milestone 1 —Big Ideas and with Precision
: 7.1.0, give or take
Most Intense: 7.1.2
Ends: 7.2.0
Irritable Period Summary
Marked by annoyingly weird behaviors such as:
• Grabbing other children and spitting on them
• Rubbing their genitals in public
• Repeatedly opening and closing a door (within inches of where it opens and closes)
• Inserts their things into other’s things, such as wrapping their string for a pulley around another child’s
• Won’t stop tapping or harassing others
New Abilities Summary
• This is marked by the ability to handle, imagine, or create big theories, ideas, action, and projects, and to handle many fine details that go along with it
Big Projects with Detail
• Takes on big projects that require detail.
• They might make a book with elaborate detail, such as a Fan that picks up a Box and they go over an obstacle course and find gold. They have detailed drawings of all of this.
• Dying to do something physically demanding that requires a lot of delicate skill, such as Parkour
• Takes on a big challenge that also requires precision, like you go on a scavenger hunt and they announce, “I can find a grain of sand!”
• Really wants to do big things where they are the hero. They might want to clean up the environment of all trash.
• Or be the first woman on the moon.
• Very precise with details. You might ask, “A month has 30 days, right?” And they reply, “Um, Mommy, a month can have 29, 30, or 31 days.”
• Likes a big challenge such as to memorize all 50 states or put together a large LEGO set
• Cannot be stopped from doing enticing big challenges, such as building a large Lego set; will do them even if you say not to.
• Opens up all doors in the house looking for big projects to do
Captivated by Beauty
• In deep awe of beauty, such as sunsets, sunrises, or cute animals
Heightened “Situational Awareness”
• Love to walk into a “big” place where a lot of things happen in which they might imagine themselves participating. Examples are a college campus or a baseball stadium
• Recognizes when something happens that is bad or quirky or odd that it was bad or quirky or odd but puts it into perspective.
• For instance, you accidentally pop a balloon after they created a balloon to carry something, and they tell you “That was …. Weird and crazy, and I was angry,” but later admit it was pretty funn.
• Initiates more jokes where they recognize that how they say something or what they don’t say or the actual subject matter is actually the funny part.
• For instance, they pass it and say “There’s the good old Waffle House!”, e.g., they understand dead pan
• May be starkly judgmental of others such as those who are “weak minded” or who make “dumb designs” or “dumb decisions” (A very, very adult like judgment)
• Highly functioning within a family or team. They are aware of how they function and how others function and how to make it go smoothly
• Extremely helpful and encouraging. They might encourage their younger sibling to read and they will help them “if they get stuck.” Or they talk about how they can successfully “settle” difference between children
• With work to overcome obstacles, they can help more around the house such as doing a load of laundry
• More able and willing to get their own drink and make their own cereal
• May take ownership over their health such as announcing they are making some dietary changes
• Sensitive however to if they are the smartest/best child; may get jealous of other children: can they outsmart other children?
Projects Big Ideas into the Future or in a Different Realm
• They can imagine an alternative reality: what would it be like if I shrunk to the size of an ant?
• Thinks about what they might be when they grow up
• Takes on very adult like personas. “Call me science John”
• The growth into “wanting to be an adult” is real. You might catch yourself wondering where your little boy or girl went!? They are 7 now, Mom and Dad!

Seven Year Old Milestone 2 —Finds “Easter Eggs” (Hidden and Deeper Meanings)
: 7.3.1
Most Intense:
: 7.4.3
Irritable Period Summary
• Uncontrollable aggression
• Can’t seem to stop themselves from slapping other children or throwing blankets
• Jumps all over couches and crashes into furniture; just can’t seem to control themselves; as if a house is not the proper place for a 7 year old child to live
• Has trouble doing mental things that used to be so easy, such as adding 4 + 4
• Tries to pull “pranks” on people which are likely annoying but which they sincerely think is in good natured fun
New Abilities Summary
Easter Eggs
• The most striking new ability is how well they find “Easter eggs” in life.
• For instance, they might notice, completely on their own, that in the cartoon Aladdin, the tiger has someone’s pants in his mouth and then later a prince is missing that part of his pants.
• Really feels the deeper meaning of any topic. If you talk about what having a boyfriend or girlfriend is, they get bashful and melt, as if they understand it could be them and they are imagining it
• Ponders things like “Did you know that dinosaurs are still with us?” Because dinosaurs evolved into birds and so their essence is still here. (A sort of “deeper meaning.”)
• Notices things that are not the intent of what is to be noticed. For instance, notices the set designs that make a movie work, e.g., the set design of Wizard of Oz is actually a painting. Totally fascinated by such things.
• Clear views on how the family, society, or government should work. For instance, “I don’t care what the law says! I will always help someone if I can!”
• Remembers past issues, such as a time a bully hurt them, and its deeper implications, e.g., they are concerned they were “weak” or they want revenge
• Loves to insert themselves into situations to make positive change. They might get their sibling a blanket or initiate something entirely new. They are amazed when you say, “Thank you, that was a help!”
• Fairly conflicted on many things. For instance, their favorite topic is history and they are really good at math but if you ask them, they want to be an artist. This isn’t “bad.” They are just all over the place and wanting to do everything and almost uneasy with having to make such a decision as what to be when they grow up—even though they are intensely interested in it. Is it realistic? Does it make sense? But their passion is what it is, gosh darn it!
• Similarly, they might announce, “Superheroes are just fairy tales!” as they clearly get excited and jump around while watching their favorite super hero movie.
• Readily gathers things to help them think. For instance, you start to describe how sunsets works and they gather up objects to be the sun and earth to understand how it works. Or they are working on a math problem and they draw it out on paper to help them think through it.
• Loves to look up information in an Almanac or Encyclopedia
• Completely commits to solving problems. They might get really excited to solve a mystery and say they need quiet because they need to think and listen. They might say they need to “think like a mastermind” to work through a problem.
• Voracious reader.
• They might like books like “Show Me How to Survive” or any others depending on their interest where they can enact positive change within a bigger, complicated environment
• It’s a delight really to teach them now. You can teach them a concept like “Adverbs are usually not needed in a sentence but help make it more precise.” For instance, “slowly,” in “Run slowly to the door” is the only word that is not needed. And they can apply this and find an adverb in a sentence easily now.
• May talk about their mind such as they can “break up any problem into a grain of sand”
• They might ask you to think through a problem with them or ask you to just sit and “think” with them.
• Their writing improves; the letters become smaller; and they are more willing to hold a pencil and make shapes correctly.

Seven Year Old Milestone 3 —“The Hulk”: Grows in Strength to Every Part of their Body, Takes Over Situations Easily
: 7.5.3
Note: May be broken up into two parts: an A part from the beginning until 7.7 and then a small break, and then a B part until the end
Most Intense: 7.7.3
Ends: 7.8.1
Irritable Period Summary
Ancy and Angry
• Walks around “ancy.”
• This ancy behavior and other behavior can be threatening: give them what they want or do what they want or get hit or slapped.
• Wants your attention more. They may be ever grateful if you offer a simple hug or a simple evening together. They may still curl into Mom or Dad
• Grumpy, won’t smile when asked
• Likes to trick and stump others, especially younger children
• Highly evaluative and might say something frustrating like “Let’s talk about [another child’s] weaknesses”
• Might have trouble with short term memory or tell you their brain goes “blank”
• Just randomly hits things out of anger, such as garbage cans. You might ask why they are doing it and they say, “I HATE GARBAGE CANS!”
• Gets very angry over entire situations, such as if they are at a restaurant they absolutely hate
• Growls, menacingly, at other children
Most Intense Period
• Very angry, aggressive, very upset over random things and entire situations
New Abilities Summary
• I like “The Hulk” image for this one: yes, the mild-mannered man who turns into the angry, green superhero full of muscles. It really is like some kind of hormone surges through them to take them from a more mild-mannered child to a strong one, who gets strength in places that didn’t have strength before. And like any new superhero, they can take over larger situations more handily. It’s also a sort of “the cowboy is in the saddle now” milestone
“The Hulk” Milestone: Grows Physically and Pushes Physical Bounds
• Pushes themselves physically a lot. They might try out monkey bars (when before they had trouble) or a new apparatus, like a witch’s wheel, or try to balance on logs in a creek.
• They love to do smaller things with their body too, like balancing a pencil on their fingers. They might try to pick up a big weight with their thumb, then tell you they have the “strongest thumbs!”
• Or, similar to nuanced physical challenges, they might challenge themselves to line up all birthday candles so they can see them in one line with their eyes.
• It’s as if there is a “strengthening hormone” in them and it’s extending out to every limb now. They are full of excitement, vitality, and strength, from their core out to the very tippy part of their fingertips
• Similar to being more alive in their body in nuanced ways, they might do something like make their eyes mysterious for selfies. They are very “self aware” at this one in this way.
• They love to do something that they think will help their health, for instance eating a new food and being amazed at their “super smart brain and quick reflexes!”
• They get very specific and dramatic with their physical body in how they play. They might kill “zombies” with a gun in a very pointed, specific way, pointing their toy gun exactly where it needs to go.
• They get better and faster at academic things and notice. In the irritable period, they probably had problems spelling simple words. Now they spell them right and quickly and take pride in that. Towards the end, they don’t even need to see words to attempt to spell them.
• Very likely to have a particular and possibly unusual hero now. Perhaps a sniper who crawled through enemy territory with venomous snakes slithering over them.
• Physically looks more like a “teenager” with longer legs and feet: so long they don’t know where to put them or do with them
• They take an interest in new foods: they might love the smell of coffee now
• In the irritable period, they were very angry and even menacing, kind of like turning into Hulk. But now they are calm and pleasant.
Cowboy in the Saddle
• Puts themselves in a fully responsible position over a large-ish situation. For instance, they set up an imaginary house with boxes or chairs and they pretend to be the Dad, Mom, or full architect of the whole thing who has to “think of everything.”
• They fully take over any lesson taught. They are very much like a “cowboy in the saddle” now. If you tell them energy increases mass, they are apt to grab a ball and start trying it. Or if you are charting something in a science experiment, they take over the charting.
• They imagine going to big places and how they would operate. They want to go to the Mediterranean Sea. But they’ll bring a jacket. In case it gets cold.
• Their experiments are highly orderly. They might line up pumpkins from smallest to biggest on a lever and jump on the other side to see what happens
• May really want to have total mastery over something, such as to play an instrument by themselves if they don’t already
• They are somewhat (not overly but somewhat) responsible now over some things like turning in homework assignments or showing up to places on time, semi-reliably
Loves to Push the Bounds
• They like to apply the lessons they learn in a more heroic way. So, if they are learning about all of the elements, they might like to think of the strongest element ever. Or they like to think about breaking the sound barrier, etc.
• They easily relate how the problem 7/2 is just like 70/2, and if 70/2 is 35 then 7/2 is 3.5. They go between the big and small easily.
• They’ll push the bounds in their own way: maybe going too far in a creek. They might have goals or challenges they make up and don’t give up on, like getting a stick that’s far away in a body of water. They want to push into the “unknown.”
• They might absolutely stun you with their new talents. They might come up with some solution to a very difficult problem or game that even the most talented adults wouldn’t.
• They grow in their adventurousness as they imagine their older selves. Before they wanted to be an artist. Now they want to be an artist and an explorer.
• They might get highly imaginative about impossible things, like “teleporting” back into history, or they make up a story about a baby elephant who is immortal, or they imagine a parallel universe or universes in universes, or they marvel how “complicated” the whole world is
Highly Evaluative
• Highly evaluative of things. They are the expert on anything—and they are dramatic. They don’t LIKE something. They LOVE it.
• This highly evaluative nature can take a negative turn, such as “Let’s all take about my little sister’s weaknesses.” I recommend being quick to defend any victim of their newfound judgment
But Sensitive and Perceptive
• They are much more aware of conversations about religions, sex, politics, etc. They are likely eavesdropping on you when you talk about such things, understanding much more than you realize.
• They are VERY sensitive to what you think. If you get upset over something, they will likely alter themselves to not do it again.
• Very aware of who they are and what others think of them.
• Might tell you things about themselves, “I like sleeping and reading. And that’s it.” Or they recognize they are “sensitive.”
• They may get indignant that you told them something. “Because they already knew that!” This is the sort of self-awareness they have now.
• They might notice something nuanced about a larger environment. For instance, you and another adult are arguing over if a place is louder or quiet than another place and they say, wisely, “The music is louder. The people are quieter.” They just really drink in the larger situation
• They are very apt to figure out that Santa is fake at this one: all on their own, just because they figured it out
• They can keep the larger situation in perspective. If they watch a scary movie and you explain that the special effects are just jello, they might sit through the scene consoling themselves, “It’s just jello! It’s just jello!”
Conflicts Between Their Core Personality/Will and the Larger Situation
• Their core personality is with them from birth. However, how they are different from other children will be in high gear now.
• They take over so much of the larger environment and are so uncompromising about their will in that environment that potential issues are sure to arise.
• For instance, if they are a strong introvert, they will NOT want to sit in the middle of a tightly packed group of children. Or if they are easily overwhelmed or frazzled, they won’t want to be at a party for longer than 4 hours—and they SAY SO now.
• Or, opposite, if they love parties, they absolutely don’t want to leave. Who they are is in full force.

Seven Year Old Milestone 4 — Dispenser of Life Wisdom: A Pre-Preteen
: 7.9.0
Most Intense: 7.9.3
Ends: 7.10.2
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, such as what restaurant you go to.
• Gets super angry. They might even get proud of how angry they are, as if they are showing off
• With their newfound leadership over other children, they might make too many decisions on behalf of others, such as showing them a cool new way to open a container that they learned
• As they find themselves to be the dispenser of all life wisdom, they really don’t like when younger children beat them at games
• With their newfound wisdom and leadership, they might start blurting out wisdom or answers in inappropriate places, such as a movie theatre, where you are supposed to be quiet
• They might dangerously make up their mind about something when mad. When you are leaving a place, they might dart off in a new direction, in a parking lot where this can be dangerous.
• They seem to grow in their appetite. Increasing how much food you offer them may help with all of this anger
New Abilities Summary
• Before they took over large situations as they saw such large situations arise. Now they are more likely to create the experiences they want. As my almost 8 year old said, “I like to try things and see the results.”
• They have a much broader view of larger situations, becoming dispensers of much advice, wisdom, and thoughts of these situations.
• They will figure out a solution to anything. If your calculator doesn’t have a negative sign, that’s fine. They can type in 1 – 2 to get -1 and use that.
• Self-initiates and executes more projects now. Perhaps it is initiating an entire art project or wondering how far they can push their dirt bike on a nature trail.
• You might find them lost in thought “thinking about what to do.”
• They’ll do things they were afraid to before, maybe go on a new amusement park ride
• Highly interested in helping out and taking care of younger siblings and in a way that you can somewhat trust them to do it well.
• They can handle situations that get out of control, even. If a child is distraught, they’ll start coaching them, “Hey! They are on our team! So if they win, we win. We can be happy about it.”
• They certainly start to notice other boys or other girls
• They really want you to be genuinely interested in what they are interested in.
• They are stunned by the babyish-ness of stuff younger children do. How can there be big, huge accidents in Paw Patrol but no car accidents? That makes no sense. They are so over that and moving on to bigger, more realistic, more important things.
• They have much “life wisdom” now. They might dress up as a ninja then fall to the ground, exasperated and martyred, “Ninjas never get to rest!”
• They are very particular about what they wear. They wear shorts at night. And particular shirts for particular weather. Maybe a particular outfit on Monday, etc.
• As such, they are intensely interested in when their laundry is done.
• They find things “above” a situation to be funny. They might paint a derby car to have a racetrack and a derby car on the race car. They find it funny.

Seven Year Old Milestone 5 — Copies Adult Strategies
: 7.11.3
Most Intense: 8.0.1, give or take, and 8.0.3
Ends: 8.1.2
Irritable Period Summary

• After weeks of calm, acts out all of a sudden. Perhaps becomes aggressive with other children, such as pulling their hair
• Might draw the kind of things they draw when going through a milestone, such as angry faces
Wants Their Own Way, Big Time
• Doesn’t like when things don’t go their own way. They might throw everything over a balcony
• Very upset when something they decided or planned doesn’t go as they expected. Perhaps glue doesn’t dry the way they thought it would. It is totally wild, nearly unbelievable behavior in how upset they get.
• Gets really angry when they want to make something right and someone is in their way.
• For instance, they want to do a project and they made a mistake and need extra pieces to fix it. They are very angry if someone else is using those pieces.
• Gets really upset if they can’t figure out how to play a game or how to win
Thinks They are Right, When They Aren’t
• They are completely wrong about something but totally insistent they are right. They might think a restaurant has their favorite meal, when it doesn’t, and yet they command you all to go to the one they think has it.
• Or they are completely confused about the rule of a game and insist you follow it, even though they are wrong. This causes a lot of confusion, tears, and problems.
The Past Gets Kicked Up
• They go back to old favorite books and toys from when they were very, very young
• They might remember particularly traumatic events from when they are younger and even again try to “punish” the people they perceive as responsible.
Most Intense
• They remember things from long ago that were unfair and are completely distraught about it. Or they are extremely upset someone else is in their way of making something be right.
New Abilities Summary
Copies Strategies
• They pick up on the exact nuances and style of how adults do things
• They might calm a younger sibling down, enacting the same tactics and timing that adults around them do.
• They might see a younger child is injured and so they hold their hand.
• They might build an interesting toy out of LEGOES for a young child.
• Or they spin them in the air so the younger child feels like they are flying.
• Really great at coming up with ideas to help younger ones, such as playing Rummikub can teach a younger child the idea of consecutive numbers
• They can copy your strategy at a game with minimal instruction, such as how to win at Tic, Tac, Toe.
• They might finally beat you at a game that is challenging, such as Laser Chess
• Can reliably set up their own projects and science experiments, in fact are likely to stubbornly takeover
• When they get to a place, they size it up for how they might act in it: “Oh, there are lots of places I could hide here!”
• Might be good at doing and learning new highly physical things, such as snorkeling
• Yet, oddly, comes up with bizarre, magical solutions, such as their favorite shirt that no longer fits can magically change size if they just sit down with it on.
• Loves to think they can “transport” themselves magically to a different place or time
Relates Ideas
• They compare and contrast relatively advanced ideas.
• They learn exoplanet HD 80506b is the hottest known planet. Is this planet finally hot enough to melt Tungsten, a metal with one of the highest melting points!? They get out their encyclopedias to check.
• They relate some life lesson you are trying to tell them to something they’ve seen before and they are accurate about it. For instance, you teach them about trusting their instincts around predators and they say, “It’s just like Star Wars! Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts!”
• They might come up with a clever solution to help them solve something. As they are working through a problem on fractions, they get nacho chips to help them solve it. “And then I get nacho chips.”
• They can handle academic challenges with multiple moving parts, such as solving something with two equations. If A + D = 11 and A – D = -7, what is A and D?
• For a mathematically inclined child, rips apart math challenges. For instance, to get two numbers as close to 0 as possible as a fraction, “Put the biggest number on the bottom and the smallest number on top”
• Might reduce an abstract idea down to its parts. After solving a complex algebraic equation, they say thoughtfully, “It’s not complicated. Everything becomes simple.”
Wants HARD challenges
• Challenges themselves to things like folding a paper as many times as they can
• May throw themselves into something like gluing Styrofoam plates and cups together to make a boat
• They might do something like program their own computer game. They say, “All I know is this is going to be hard,” as the proceed to do it.
Evaluative of Adult-like Decisions
• Tells you talking about something is a “waste of time.”
• Tells you buying 2 pizzas instead of 1 is a “waste of money.”
• Really wants an allowance; perhaps they have big life goals to do with the money
• More reasonable and less angry. They willingly go along with what you ask, such as turning the TV off for bedtime
Intricate Use of Their Hands
• They like to do more with their hands, especially using each finger
• They may really like playing “Thumb War”
• They might interlace their fingers in complicated ways
• They may really take to things that require a lot of dexterity with your hands, such as making pancakes, drawing silly faces, or using a paper cutter

Eight Year Old Milestone 1 — Sensitivity
: 8.3.0
Most Intense: 8.3.1
Ends: 8.3.3
Irritable Period Summary

• May have nightmares, such as a black hole sucked them in while a tornado was 60 feet away
Aggressive, with Their Hands
• They started to get good at using their hands in intricate ways in the last one. Now, they might want to stab an apple with a knife
• Or they want to draw on a balloon, which keeps causing it to pop
• Unusually sensitive to criticism. Getting mad at them causes them to tear up big time.
• Very embarrassed by personal/hygienic problems. May be frustrated the solution isn’t more discrete or easier to enact.
New Abilities Period Summary
Heightened Sensitivity
• They take their time picking out what flower they want. They like the orange-yellow one. They like the shade.
• They might get really good at drawing things, such as tulips.
• They cut out a heart. On one side is your name. On the other is theirs
• They love creating something artistically. They might make a salad with a layer of lettuce, then cucumbers, then tomatoes, then repeat, then a cherry tomato on top and a circle of cheese wedges all around it.
• They might make a Kitty statue in Minecraft for their sister, because they know she loves cats.
• They are stunned by the beauty of things. Say Dominoes fall earlier than you wanted. They say, breathless, “That was beautiful!”
Perceptive Wisdom
• They size up larger systems
• If you are at a restaurant, they think about its operations. They might say, “So they basically spend money to make money.” They need a building, equipment, etc., to sell ice cream.
• They follow along with adult jokes like “Cosleeping with a 5 year old is like being with an octopus looking for its keys.” That IS funny, mom.
• They tell jokes like, “Guys! Physics is cancelled today!”
• When they play 20 questions, the answer they have in their head is “the person who says ‘I give up.’” Therefore, you don’t win until you give up. But then: you won!
• They are enamored by something like the answer they got to a problem was four and the question number is also four.
• They understand when you say you are “stealing” something of theirs that you are just joking around and they play along, “Stealing!?”
Growing Patience and Maturity
• When they hear you talking about missing a bin, without moving they pipe up, “Yeah I took that thing. I needed it to make a lesson for my brother.” It’s that they hear you and contribute without wavering from what they were doing, say watching a video, playing a game, or doing homework.
• Shows adult-like maturity. If someone is confused, they put everything down and say, “Ok.” Like, “ok, let’s pause here,” so they can explain what’s going on. They understand there is confusion, and they need to rectify the confusion itself.
Wants to do Dangerous Things
• They want to do DANGEROUS things.
• Perhaps setting a marshmallow on fire over a campfire
• Or cutting paper with a paper cutter


Eight Year Old Milestone 2 — Self-Initiated Willpower
: 8.4.0
Most Intense: 8.4.1 or just after
Ends: 8.4.1 or just after
Irritable Period Summary
• Their body seems to go to “mush” more
• Very snuggly
• Loves hugging again
• Just want to linger and talk
• Can get very angry if they are interrupted
• Might not be able to focus in class. They may prefer putting on silly plays or such instead.
• They “hate” doing things, but they utterly insist on completing those things (such as their homework) until it is finished.
New Abilities Summary
Self-Initiated Willpower
• They have striking, self-initiated willpower
• They may announce they aren’t using their computer until 5:30 pm that night. They’ve decided this is good for them. And they impressively commit to it.
• Or, similarly, they want to do a lesson every single day. They want to get smart.
• They may commit to learning something mundane, like proper punctuation. It’s more on principle now. They want to get it right. And learning it seems more intuitive for them now. They can be very, very fast at learning.
• They might all of a sudden challenge themselves to swim a new stroke while at the pool.
• They might want to make their favorite breakfast on Sunday. This way, they can have it every day throughout the week.
• Challenges themselves to solve math problems in the “hardest” way possible
• They are upset you are drinking a beer. It’s bad for you.
• Very “up” for anything. They love doing projects or lessons. They have a glow and smile to them as they do it.
Stunningly Patient and Mature
• They are very wise and patient as they handle life and its twists and turns.
• When their younger brother is upset, they patiently respond to all of their brother’s requests. Just to have their little brother push them away. And they are Ok with it.
• They put their younger brother’s sunshade up in the van. This is because it’s soon to be afternoon and the sun will be in his eyes.
• They may wisely encourage their young sibling to do open-ended play, after they got a particular game out for them (instead of playing the actual game).
• As they look for a piece of paper, they all but sing to themselves, “If I were a paper, where would I be?” They clearly accept responsibility for this potentially frustrating task.
Works Out a Best Practice for Something
• They might “debug” solutions. They want to figure out how to make a giant airplane fly. And it’s a running commentary, “Ok, this failed, that failed, this worked.” They can be blunt. To their sister, “So. That didn’t work,” or “You failed at that.” But they eventually come up with some ingenious solution: a running start makes the airplane fly further.
• Totally committed to figuring out the best way to make a pancake
• They bubble over with what they love to learn, “I love to learn about engineering! That’s why I watch engineering shows and learn about science and do math problems!”

Eight Year Old Milestone 3 — Disciplined Habits
: 8.5.1
Most Intense: The beginning
Ends: Maybe a week after it starts
Irritable Period Summary
Very Absent-Minded
• They are very absent-minded.
• It’s very much, “Earth to [child’s name]?”
• You ask them a question and they can’t answer. They might get up and just leave.
• A dentist asks them “What grade are you in?” And they stare off into space, at something else, not answering.
• Completely oblivious to your requests to come to bed
• They start to try to make wiser decisions on their own behalf: go to bed or watch more TV? But they take forever to decide. (I somewhat recommend giving them a bit of freedom during the irritable portion.)
Head/Eye Issues
• Schoolwork gives them “headaches” right now
• At some point, their eyes may go crazy. Their eyes might dart all over, to the left, right, up down, as they almost fall asleep but fight it. They are incredibly “zoned.”
• They may have nightmares. They might tell you they have nightmares “but they aren’t scared of them.”
New Abilities Summary
Disciplined Habits
• They self-impose regular disciplined habits on themselves
• Maybe they are committed to having one vitamin per day. They get it themselves.
• Or they engineer their diet. They have two sandwiches per day, noodles, juice, and meat every other day.
• They might announce that they are now a vegetarian.
• They are currently not eating cookies.
• They aren’t going to use their computer for another week.
• They make up hard challenges for themselves, such as figuring out how many feet are in ¼ of a mile.
New Skills Involving Their Whole Arm
• Before, they had new skills related to intricate use of their hands. Now their entire arm is stronger and they use it more often.
• They might swing a heavy bag around and around in a windmill fashion. You are slightly worried for the TVs in your house when they do this.
• They might start doing handstands all the time or one-handed handstands.
• They might enjoy hanging on high bars, such as monkey bars.
• They are noticeably taller, and their arms and legs especially are longer.



Eight Year Old Milestone 4 —Giggle Fits and Adventures
: 8.6.3
Most Intense: The beginning
Ends: 8.7
Irritable Period Summary
Physical Accidents
• 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.
Problem Solving
• 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.
Physically Confident
• 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 5 —Respect for Other’s World Views
: 8.8.0
Most Intense: The beginning
Ends: 8.8.1
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 6 —Joy in the Unexpected
: 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.
More Willing
• 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 7 —Escapes into Their (Mischievous) Thoughts
: 8.10.1
Most Intense: 8.10.3
Ends: 8.11.3 (next one starts soon again, see The Nine Year Old Milestones)
Irritable Period Summary
Emotionally Mismatched
• 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.
Space Cadet
• 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 .
“Business” Math
• 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.

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