The Group Three stage starts to recapitulate in most humans around age eight to nine years of age. Below is from Ages and Stages of Development

Eight Years Overview

What I’m Like: My curiosity and eagerness to explore new things continues to grow. Friends are more important. I enjoy playing and being with peers. Recess may be my favorite “subject” in school. I may follow you around the house just to find out how you feel and think, especially about me. I am also beginning to be aware of adults as individuals and am curious about what they do at work. Around the house or at child care, I can be quite helpful.

What I Need: My concept of an independent self has been developing. I assert my individuality, and there are bound to be conflicts. I am expected to learn and read and to get along with others. I need support in my efforts so that I will have a desire for achievement. Your expectations will have a big impact on me. If I am not doing well in school, explain to me that everyone learns at a different pace, and that tiny improvements make a difference. Tell me that the most important thing is to do my best. You can ask my teachers for ways to help me at home. Problems in reading and writing should be handled now to avoid more trouble later. And busy eight-year-olds are usually hungry!

Nine to Eleven Years Overview

Children from nine to eleven are like the socks they buy, with a great range of stretch.  Some are still “little kids” and others are quite mature. Some are already entering puberty, with body, emotions, and attitude changes during this stage. Parents need to take these changes into account when they are choosing child care for this age group. These children begin to think logically and like to work on real tasks, such as mowing lawns or baking. They have a lot of natural curiosity about living things and enjoy having pets.

What I’m Like: I have lots of energy, and physical activities are important to me. I like to take part in sports and group activities. I like clothes, music, and my friends. I’m invited to sleepovers and to friends’ houses often. I want my hair cut a certain way. I’m not as sure about school as I am about my social life. Those of us who are girls are often taller and heavier than the boys. Some girls may be beginning to show signs of puberty, and we may be self-conscious about that. I feel powerful and independent, as though I know what to do and how to do it. I can think for myself and want to be independent. I may be eager to become an adult.

What I Need: I need you to keep communication lines open by setting rules and giving reasons for them, by being a good listener, and by planning ahead for changes in the schedule. Remember, I am still a child so don’t expect me to act like an adult. Know that I like to be an active member of my household, to help plan activities, and to be a part of the decision-making. Once I am eleven or older, I may be ready to take care of myself from time to time rather than go to child care. I still need adult help and encouragement in doing my homework.

As children enter adolescence, they want their independence. Yet they still want to be children and need your guidance. As your child grows, it’s easier to leave him at home for longer periods of time and also ask him to care for younger children. Trust your instincts and watch your child to make sure you are not placing too much responsibility on him at one time. Talk to him. Keep the door open. Make sure he is comfortable with a new role of caregiver and is still able to finish his school work and other projects.

Eleven to Fourteen Years Overview

Your child is changing so fast—in body, mind, and emotions—that you hardly know her anymore. One day she’s as responsible and cooperative as an adult; the next day she’s more like a six-year-old. Planning beyond today’s baseball game or slumber party is hard. One minute she’s sunny and enthusiastic. The next she’s gloomy and silent. Keep cool. These children are in process; they’re becoming more self-sufficient. It’s Independence Day!

What I’m Like: I’m more independent than I used to be, but I’m quite self-conscious. I think more like an adult, but there’s no simple answer. I like to talk about issues in the adult world. I like to think for myself, and though I often feel confused, my opinions are important to me, and I want others to respect them. I seem to be moving away from my family. Friends are more important than ever. To have them like me, I sometimes act in ways that adults disapprove of. But I still need reasonable rules set by adults. However, I’m more understanding and cooperative. I want nothing to do with babysitters—in fact, if I’m mature enough I can often be by myself or watch others.

What I Need: I need to know my family is behind me no matter how I may stumble in my attempts to grow up. This growing up is serious business, and I need to laugh and play a lot to lighten up and keep my balance. I need you to understand that I’m doing my best and to encourage me to see my mistakes as learning experiences. Please don’t tease me about my clothes, hair, boy/girl friends. I also need privacy with my own space and things.

From the Article Rebel With a Cause: Rebellion in Adolescence (and why the antidote is not punishment but real independence) by Carl E. Pickhard, Ph.D.

Two common types of rebellion are against socially fitting in (rebellion of non-conformity) and against adult authority (rebellion of non-compliance). In both types, rebellion attracts adult attention by offending it.

The young person proudly asserts individuality from what parents like or independence from what parents want, and in each case succeeds in provoking their disapproval. This is why rebellion, which is simply behavior that deliberately opposes the ruling norms or powers that be, has been given a good name by adolescents and a bad one by adults.

Parents usually dislike adolescent rebellion not only because it creates more resistance to their job of providing structure, guidance, and supervision, but because rebellion can lead to serious kinds of harm.

  • It can cause young people to rebel against their own self-interests, rejecting childhood interests, activities, and relationships that often support self-esteem.
  • It can cause them to engage in self-defeating and self-destructive behavior, like refusing to do school work or even physically hurting themselves.
  • It can cause them to experiment with high-risk excitement, like accepting dares that as a children they would have refused.
  • It can cause them to reject safe rules and restraints, like letting impulse overrule judgment to dangerous effect.
  • And it can cause them to injure valued relationships, pushing against those they care about and pushing them away.

So adolescent rebellion is not simply a matter of parental aggravation; it is also a matter of concern.

Although the young person thinks rebellion is an act of independence, it actually never is. It is really an act of dependency. Rebellion causes the young person to depend their self-definition and personal conduct on doing the opposite of what other people want.

That’s why the antidote for rebellion is the true independence offered by creating and accepting a challenge — the young person deciding to do something hard with themselves for themselves in order to grow themselves. The teenager who finds a lot of challenges to engage with, and who has parents that support those challenges, doesn’t need a lot of rebellion to transform or redefine him or herself in adolescence.

Rebellion in Early Adolescence (9-13)

Serious rebellion typically begins at the outset of adolescence, and when it does many parents think this opposition is against them. They are usually mistaken. Rebellion is not against them; it is only acted out against them.

Rebellion at this age is primarily a process through which the young person rejects the old “child” identity that he or she now wants to shed to clear the way for more grown up redefinition ahead. Rebellion at this age proclaims: “I refuse to be defined and treated as a child any more!” Now he knows how he doesn’t want to be defined, but he has yet to discover and establish how he does want to be defined.

How should parents respond to strong rebellion at this stage? When requests are met with delay, use patient insistence to wear down resistance. And try to move the early adolescent from acting out to talking out. Begin by asking, “Can you help me better understand what you need?” See if you can get the young person to put their feelings into words. Having been given a full hearing and having had his or her say, the young person may now be more inclined to let parents have their way.

Just because they won’t heed what parents say and want at the moment doesn’t mean that reference is not worth giving. Since rebellion is often reinforced by messages from peers, parents should keep getting their message in there. The son or daughter who ignored that direction today may decide to follow it tomorrow. Why? Because young people know that is parents and not peers who ultimately have their best interests at heart.

Rebellion in Trial Independence (18-23)

Rebellion starts in early adolescence with the young person resisting parental authority by saying, “You can’t make me!” It ends in the last stage of adolescence, trial independence, with the young person resisting personal authority by saying, “can’t make me!”

Having dethroned parental authority for leading her life and supplanted it with her own authority, she finds herself rebelling against it. It’s like the young person is saying, “Nobody is going to order me around, not even me!”

For example, the young person knows he has to be on time for a job, but he can’t make himself get up in the morning. The young person knows she has to study, go to class, and turn in assignments, but she can’t make herself do the college work. Both he and she know they shouldn’t drink so much at parties because of how they act and what they let happen, but in the company of friends they can’t make themselves stop. The old Walt Kelly quote really captures this conflicted age: “We have met the enemy and they are us.”

What can parents do at this point? They must let the consequences of the young person’s resistant choices play out and not interfere. Ending this rebellion against self-interest and accepting their leadership authority in life is the last challenge of adolescence. It must be met before young adulthood can truly begin.


From the Article The Rebellion of the Over-Criticized Child by Leon F Seltzer, Ph.D.


When parents regularly show disapproval of their child, perhaps the most emotionally charged defense for the child is to act out their hurt and resentment through some form of rebellion. It’s like: “If you’re going to criticize me all the time, I’ll give you something to really criticize me for. You’re being so unfair to me! And this will show you that you can’t control me!”

The child’s defiance, their resentful, angry pushback, is best understood as expressing vengeful disapproval of their parents’ disapproval. If the child takes offense at how their parents look at them, speak to them, or act toward them, then provoking them in turn by retaliating against their rigid dictates can be almost irresistible. It may feel as though such aggressiveness, or hostility, is the only viable route toward reclaiming their compromised pride, dignity, and self-respect.

Research studies on discipline consistently show that strict, or authoritarian, child-raising actually produces kids with lower self-esteem who behave worse than other kids—and therefore get punished more! [the same cycle Barish laments]. [It] creates behavior problems in children [because it] deprives kids of the opportunity to internalize self-discipline and responsibility. [And, indirectly] it teaches kids to bully [for the kids are accidentally being taught that might makes right].