Article slideshow title
The deck goes here
By GreatSchools Staff
The third grader's brain
"Is this good? It's not good? You didn't say it was good right away, so you think it's bad. Now I hate it and have to do it over again!"
Many eight-year-olds are hypercritical, particularly of themselves and their efforts. Their judgmental self-loathing seems to indicate pitiful self-esteem, and mommies and daddies might worry, but . . . don't! Self-flagellating third-graders are just passing through a brain development stage known as learning "evaluation." They'll inflict this new cognitive skill on themselves, and also on you! Third-graders enjoy catching parents and teachers making mistakes, but they'll also beg for praise to alleviate shame in their own perceived flaws.
Here's a flurry of contradictory adjectives that can describe a third grader: exuberant, self-deprecating, gregarious, obnoxious, friendly, secretive, silly, bossy, dramatic, defiant, cheerful, affectionate, curious, resistant, helpful, rude, know-it-all, insecure, easy-going, impatient. This tangle of at-odds traits is due to the young brain's evolving — and confusing — abilities. Here's what’s happening in your third grader's smart, jumbled, and often very funny mind, and how you can help your child along:
Photo credit: andy white