Parenting Perspective: Normal behavior for 6-year-olds
February 1, 2010 (WPVI) -- This week I'm looking at what's normal behavior for your six-year-old. Mostly, it's a fun age of high-energy learning. In the book YARDSTICKS: Children in the Classroom 4-14, Chip Wood describes 6-year-olds as "industrious" and interested in learning. Sometimes they bite off more than they can chew, so parents and teachers need to focus more on the process, not the outcome of the "work." Also, keep in mind that the importance of your 6-year-old's friends rivals parents and teachers in their social development.
Six is a time of dramatic physical change. Your child or children are still teething, getting better vision and are usually busy talking, humming and whistling through their day. They love cooperative projects with other kids, but their enthusiasm can often outpace their skills. So try to be encouraging and be ready to redirect them to something they can actually accomplish if they get in too deep. Your child is starting to have logical reasoning, so it's a key turning point for understanding cause and effect. Sixes understand rules and other people's points of view better than younger children.
Here are some bullet points to help you understand your six-year-old better:
- They want to be first and are very competitive
- Love surprises and treats
- Can be bossy, teasing or critical of others
- Easily upset when they're hurt
- Enjoy explaining things and sharing
- Love jokes, guessing games, poems, riddles and songs
- Tend to complain a lot
- Love to color and paint; like to experiment with clay and other media
- Increasingly interested in computers
- Like to "work" doing reading and writing
- Enjoy and learn from field trips
- Use temper tantrums and teasing to try out authority in relationships
Try to remember that with sixes, an ounce of encouragement can produce a wonderful hug or grin. An ounce of condemnation can lead to pouting, tears and withdrawal. Even your tone and body language can have a big impact. So try to keep scolding and discipline gentle and fair. And remember, your six-year-old will do better when you take the competitive edge off learning games and just try to have some fun!
monica malpass parenting reports, parenting, monica malpass
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