These are the fun and enthusiastic years. Imagination runs wild and first graders have a ton of energy and want to have a blast in everything they do. There’s also lots of growth to celebrate physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The best way to support your child in this phase is to be with them. Even though they are starting to read, they still want you to read with them. Even though they like to be around friends, they still want to be around you. Even though they like doing cartwheels in the backyard or play with their friends at the playground, they still like it when you’re watching.
Psychologically, their brains are wired for attention. They repeat the same things over and over or even act out on purpose. This attention-seeking behavior is your first graders way of determining if he/she really matters. To the first grader, negative attention is still better than being ignored.
"Do I have your attention?"
Your first grader needs to know you see their efforts, their ideas, their accomplishments, and their failures.
Designate 10 minutes each day to give your child your undivided attention (without your phone). This might be easiest to do when your child is done with school and he/she is having a snack, recounting their day, and beginning to play. Don’t just be there – be present.
Parenting Your First Grader by Kristen Ivy and Reggie Joiner
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
How Planning Can Make You a More Present Parent
How to Be More Present with Your Kids
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