Your Six-Year-Old (page 2)
Typical Behaviors of Six-Year-Olds
Six-year-olds are often complex individuals. They are changing rapidly—growing more mature, more independent, and more daring and adventurous during this stage of discovery and exploration. The eagerness, curiosity, imagination, drive, and enthusiasm of the six-year-old are perhaps never again equally matched in intensity at any other time during childhood.
- Experiences great change in physical growth; may have frequent illnesses
- Does everything with speed; rapid physical growth is mirrored in rapid physical activity
- Tires easily
- Chews pencils, papers, fingernails, hair due to continual teething
- Is learning to distinguish right from left
- Reacts with his or her whole body; tends to organize and express new experiences through muscular action
- Is noisy in the classroom; talking, humming, whistling, bustling much of the day
- Likes to explain things and is quick to do so
- Loves jokes and guessing games
- Uses boisterous and enthusiastic language
- Worries and complains a great deal
- Is constantly in a hurry, rushing to be finished
- Is now the center of his world; wants to be first and best
- Is competitive and enthusiastic
- Can tease and be bossy
- Is very dramatic
- Doesn’t always tell the truth and finds it hard to admit to wrongdoing
- Tends to be a poor sport; invents rules
- Values friends equally with parents and teachers
- Finds it almost impossible to make a choice; wants both of any two opposites at the same time
- Begins a major transition in intellectual growth
- Delights in cooperative projects, activities, and tasks
- Loves to ask questions
- Learns best through discovery
- Attempts more than can be accomplished
- Likes fixed routines in school; is easily upset by the slightest change
- Has an insatiable appetite for new experiences
- Enjoys the process more than the product
- Still may reverse letters and numbers when writing or reading
Typical Behaviors of Six-and-a-Half-Year-Olds
As children move toward the age of seven, they become more balanced. This is a truly delightful time when the lively responses so characteristic of six come into full bloom.
- Is more calm
- Begins to slow down
- Asks many questions
- Responds with liveliness and enthusiasm
- Loves playing guessing games
- Has a wonderful sense of humor
- Loves new places, ideas, and information
- Is proud of every accomplishment
- Is warm and loving
- Has great capacity for enjoyment
- Enjoys intellectual tasks as a welcome challenge
- Is more aware of the surrounding world and curious about how things work
- Begins to approach the world logically for the first time
Six-year-olds tend to have a difficult time with themselves and others. They are extremely anxious to do well, to be the best, to be first, and to be loved and praised. Any failure is hard to accept.
An ounce of praise produces a radiant smile but an ounce of disapproval produces tears and withdrawal. They are insecure and their emotional needs are great. As such, they cry often and can fuss about mealtimes, bedtimes, and play situations.
If parents can meet these needs with patience and understanding, the six-year-old can be a gentler, easier companion. Since children this age are constantly in a hurry, they rush to finish just about everything, including schoolwork and chores. They are more interested in the process than in the product and their work tends to be sloppy. Parents can offer little tricks to help the six year- old child learn to organize his or her world and stay on task.
The purpose of this pamphlet is to provide an overview of the typical, normal behaviors of young children at different ages and stages of development. Not every child goes through these somewhat predictable stages, and those who do have their own unique styles and individual timetables. Our advice to parents is to work with these stages, channeling behaviors and actions into positive outcomes without trying to prevent individual behaviors or characteristics.
Reprinted with permission of the Gesell Institute. Copyright © 2010, Gesell Institute of Human Development. All Rights Reserved.
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Child Development Theories
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- The Homework Debate
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Social Cognitive Theory