3rd Grade  Social & Emotional Development

The late elementary years are a time of great personal and social growth. As children grow older, they become better at making decisions, solving problems, and working in groups. Early adolescence begins around the age of 11, and this brings along its own challenges. As children’s bodies begin to change their emotions can seem to change at a moment’s notice. Developing your child’s social and emotional skills can help him manage his emotions and behavior and make responsible choices. The concepts highlighted in this section are based on the five sets of competencies developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Keep in mind every child develops at his own pace, both physically and emotionally. If you have concerns about your adolescent’s development, please contact your health care provider or your child’s teacher or school counselor, or visit our additional resources page.

Social & Emotional Development


Self-awareness is the ability to accurately identify emotions and the behaviors they can trigger, as well as accurately identifying personal strengths and weaknesses. Put simply, it is about knowing what makes you tick. As your child enters this late elementary age, he is more likely to be able to grasp the range of emotions he experiences and what causes them.

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Self-management is the ability to control your actions and emotions, and being able to recognize emotions is a key building block of self-management. It is a social-emotional skill that is associated with academic success. Self-management also covers skills like impulse control, goal-setting, and perseverance. 

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Social Awareness

Social awareness is the ability to understand and respect the perspective of others, and to apply this knowledge to social interactions with people from diverse backgrounds. During the late elementary years, your child is learning how to better-manage and control his feelings when interacting with others. 

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Relationship Skills

Having good relationship skills is simply the ability to make and keep rewarding relationships with friends, family, and others from a wide range of backgrounds. During the late elementary school years, your child is not only discovering more about herself and her emotions, but also learning how to deal with relationships and peer pressure.

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Responsible Decision-Making

Children are not born with the ability to make responsible decisions. It is a skill that is learned over time and involves making mistakes and learning from them. As your child becomes more independent, he’ll be faced with making more decisions on his own. Director of the Rutgers Social and Emotional Laboratory Maurice Elias says that it is important to build this skill before the teenage years, when problems and decisions can have more serious consequences.

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Parents' Guide

Research has shown that those with high emotional intelligence have better attention skills and fewer learning problems, and are generally more successful in academic and workplace settings. We offer the following examples as a guide to help you continue to be a strong, positive influence on your child's social and emotional growth, and to reflect your own skills in the process.

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Other 3rd Grade Growth Charts

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