Why do I think fourth grade is beautiful? Because this is the place and time in a child‘s life when they are innocent enough to still try anything. They believe they can run faster than lightning. They believe they are strong as an ox. They are willing to take on most challenges and have no concept of failure. They see themselves as invincible. Within that naïveté there is simplicity that is pure and good. They still have dreams of being astronauts, doctors and firemen. They listen to their parents (for the most part) and believe mom and dad are the smartest people in the world. But the best part about this age group is that they still firmly believe in themselves. They are confident and strong and they believe that they can be anything they want to be as long as they work hard because that’s what their teachers and parents have told them. Fourth grade is the tipping point for confidence building that sticks. Factors such as friends, teachers, and family all play a critical role at this point in a child’s life. Just like the “School House Rock” song says; [age] 10 IS the magic number. After this age, peer pressure comes into play. Some resist because of the confidence they built and tools they have gained from strong family, teachers and coaches, while others unfortunately fall victim.
Note: The ages of 7 to 13 are critical for positive growth and confidence building. These elementary school years are at the core for building self-confidence. Age 7 is where we start to see children grapple with confidence, and parents need to pay close attention by encouraging and reaffirming their child in most activities. Age 10 is where things can either go very right or very wrong in your child’s development.