Third Grade Emotional Development

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They criticize others harshly, including adults.

Third graders might not be quite as mean-spirited as they were in second grade, but they compensate with a newfound ability to notice the imperfections of others, including their teachers and parents. As they form exclusive social groups, they decide which peers don’t belong, which is a form of criticism in itself.

What you should do: Be ready. You might be in for an angry tirade at some point in your child’s third grade year. Realize that the forming of opinions is a normal developmental milestone in your child’s life, but the way it plays out can be hurtful.