About Age Eight

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Physical Development:

Growth still slow and steady; arms lengthening, hands growing rapidly.
Eyes ready for both near and far vision. Near-sightedness may develop this year.
Permanent teeth continuing to appear.
Large muscles still developing. Small muscles better developed. Manipulative skills increasing.
Attention span getting longer.
Poor posture may develop.

Characteristic Behavior:

Often careless, noisy, argumentative, but also alert, friendly, interested in people.
More dependent on his mother again, less so on his teacher. Sensitive to criticism.
New awareness of individual differences.
Eager, more enthusiastic than cautious. Higher accident rate.
Gangs beginning. Best friends of same sex.
Allegiance to other children instead of to an adult in case of conflict.
Greater capacity for self-evaluation.
Much spontaneous dramatization, ready for simple classroom dramatics.
Understanding of time and use of money.
Responsive to group activities, both spontaneous and adult-supervised.
Fond of team games, comics, television, movies, adventure stories, collections.

Special Needs:

Praise and encouragement from adults.
Reminders of his responsibilities.
Wise guidance and channeling of his interests and enthusiasms, rather than domination or unreasonable standards.
A best friend.
Experience of belonging to peer group; opportunity to identify with others of same age and sex.
Adult-supervised groups and planned after-school activities.
Exercise of both large and small muscles.

Ask Dr. Susan