What is happening to my fourth grade daughter?

4th grade is no joke. In the twenty years in the schools, more referrals were made from parents for their 4th grade daughters than any other level. It’s not a coincidence. Previously, their 8 year old was still a child, played with everyone, listened to what you said, maybe obeyed, didn’t Sass. Then. Then. Who knows what really happens, but it does, and it takes over your once sweet child.

It is a pivotal time in social development. They realize that girls are girls and boys are boys, and never the two shall play platonically again. They recognize any differences in one another: glasses, weight, height, family structure, ethnicity, financial status, popularity status, primary hormonal changes. It is part of their development, and they need help navigating it. For many parents, I recommended the American Girl books series. They have great ones that you can read together and let that be a conversation starter. Yes, they can be mean. Developing empathy is a wonderful skill, but again, something to be taught and learned.

What can you do? Know that you’re not alone. You can navigate the “mean girls” by shutting down gossip. Ask, what is your purpose in saying that? Contact the other parents, to collaborate and discuss together as well.

Don’t worry, middle school is around the corner.