I was trying to get a little girl to move up closer to a couple of little boys in the lunch line. When I asked her if she would, she said, “No. They are nasty!” I told her, “Unfortunately, it will be a while before they outgrow that. Be patient with them.” She got this far away look in her eyes and said, “Some of them will never outgrow it.” Wow, out of the mouths of babes. She did not realize the truth of what she spoke.
Later that same morning in the lunchroom one of the custodians came over to me and asked me if I had kids. I shook my head yes. He said, “I can’t believe I was ever this brain dead!” LOL. He had asked some kid why he had thrown food and the kid got this deer in the headlight look and just sat there. He had no good excuse. Busted!
Here are a few things I have observed. They are broken down by age groups. See if you can identify any of these behaviors in adults you know:
- Kindergarten kids. They are in your face all the time and very needy. They have few social skills, are very possessive, and expect you to do everything for them. They are learning the art of tattling.
- 1st and 2nd graders. Slightly more skilled socially, but boys and girls do not respect the other gender. They have mastered the art of tattling and still want to be in your face and talk over you when you are talking.
- 3rd and 4th graders. At this age they are starting to find their friends and become aware that they either fit in or don’t. They tend to listen better than the younger kids, but they are more opinionated and still easily offended. They are learning the art of blaming others or blaming their circumstances for their bad choices.
- 5th and 6th graders. Wow. Not sure what happened to their judgment, but there is very little common sense at this age. If someone dares you, you do it. If someone pushes you or offends you in any way, you push back and at the very least give them your smack talk. Girls and boys are starting to be attracted to the other gender and there is constant giggling and whispering about each other. Neither gender understands the other one, but there is something that attracts them like the moth to the flame.
Unfortunately, you can probably think of adults that are still stuck in some of these behaviors. I think this explains why some kids can’t seem to adjust their own behaviors. Look at their role models.
I was laughing with one of my fellow 3rd grade teachers. I asked her, “Wouldn’t you love to have had ME as one of your students?” She rolled her eyes and said, “I would have had to be correcting YOU a lot!” I actually was a pretty good kid and seldom got in trouble. The times I did get in trouble were when I talked too much or was laughing about something. I found out in 4th grade math class that I could make people laugh just by burping. LOL. That was funny for the moment, but I caught it when I got home with Dad.
There is a proverb that says: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, understood as a child, I thought as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. If you are a grown up, it is time to grow up.