With kindergarten behind him or her, your child is ready to take on first grade. Or maybe he just finished first grade and is moving into second. Either way, the first and second grade years bring social changes. I am already seeing the changes in Thomas this summer as he works on the transition between first and second grade.
Find out what you can expect as your child reaches these milestones.
1. More Interaction
This tends to begin with first grade and increases in second grade. Rather than doing their own thing in a room with others, first and second graders generally love to be with other kids close to their own age. Parents will likely begin to notice their first and second grader ask for more play dates, want to have friends over, and look forward to birthday parties and other group events. In addition, children this age tend to develop closer one-on-one relationships, and seek out a “best friend.” They will show preferences for one friend over another.
Children generally thrive on and love routine. They still do in first and second grade, and routine may become more important to them as they grow and expand their social awareness. To help them adjust, parents can set up a routine at home that can help them adjust to the social changes they are experiencing.
3. Relationship Skills
As your first and second grader keeps forging those friendships, he’ll hone relationship skills. Parents will likely note a difference in how their child interacts not only with peers, but also at home. Your child is becoming more aware of the feelings and attitudes of other people, and parents can build on these budding skills at home.
4. Influence from Others
As first and second graders become more oriented toward their friendships, parents will probably observe the influence of peers coming in to play like never before. The family begins to have less influence than friends and others outside the family.
Socially, your child will likely become more independent in first and second grade. He will be more confident in interacting with others and won’t be as likely to need your help in interacting. He is becoming his own person, and this tends to become evident around first and second grade.
Parents may be surprised at the opinions their child begins to express at this age. As noted above, he’s becoming his own person, and that includes thoughts and opinions. He might question why he has to learn or do something when he doesn’t see the relevance. Kids this age often have a lot of questions!
It’s interesting to watch your children grow up. Being prepared can help make the experience a smoother one.