Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 3418 Emotional Changes Students in the upper elementary grades are sometimes moody. These mood changes are the normal result of the changes their bodies are going through, and of their need to figure out who they are and how they fit into this complicated world. Students at this age can be very sensitive to criticism, and many are easily embarrassed. Peer relationships can be especially difficult. Friendships and peer alliances change quite frequently as a result of varying maturity levels and changing interests. Shifting relationships or the end of a friendship can be hurtful, especially to the child who didn’t initiate the shift or put an end to the friendship. The best way to support your child during these years is to provide encouragement, love, and a stable home environment. Social Changes Children at this age typically have one or two best friends. Family relationships are still important, but as students progress through the upper elementary grades, friends become more and more important. Students also begin to take a much greater interest in the opposite sex, although boy-girl relationships often have an impersonal or matter- of-fact quality to them. Teasing, breakups, and interventions by well- intentioned friends are often a part of these early relationships. Students this age are beginning to explore and discover their own identities. They are becoming aware of who’s popular, who’s a good athlete, and who’s smart. They are also beginning to wonder what other people think of them. Most students don’t want to be seen as different, and they try to blend in with their friends and classmates. Wanting to fit in, however, can make students more susceptible to peer pressure and more easily influenced by the messages they receive from the media (e.g., “girls must be thin,” “boys should be tough”). Students who are self-confident are less influenced by media mes- sages and peer pressure. It is, therefore, important for parents to help their children build their self-esteem and develop a strong sense of who they are.