We spent four posts looking at the six-year old, the six/seven year old transformation and the “how’s” of doing Waldorf Kindergarten, specifically the six-year old year, at home. If you missed those posts, here is your chance to go back and read them here:
There is also this one about understanding the six/seven year transformation:
Those may be of help to you and put in in the right framework to study more specifically about the seven-year old.
The Gesell Institute’s fabulous book, “Your Seven-Year- Old” brings some of the characteristics regarding the seven-year old to light:
- In general, this is an age of inwardness and withdrawing. However, the seven-year-old doesn’t know where to stop with that and seems to often appear so silent and withdrawn that “ it seems that he might be more comfortable and content if there were actually no other people in the world.”
- People do not behave in a way that pleases a child of this age. The child thinks people are mean, picking on him or her, unforgiving, unfair, hateful. The child also thinks people do not like them.
- The child of this age is an intense worrier – more worries and fears than any other age.
- Moody, morose and melancholy are other adjectives the Gesell Institute uses to describe this age.
- The Seven-Year-Old feels strongly that parents like the other children in the family better than him.
- It is an age of easy crying, easy disappointment.
- He lives in a world of thought where he likes to think things through, and he takes in everything around him and reflects on it although he may not talk about it to you!
- There is a new sense of independence, but also a sense of not being especially adventurous.
- Seven is not known as an age for humor per the Gesell Institute (although I personally think that this may depend on the temperament of your child!)
- Less selfish than at six, but very self-absorbed.
- Time alone with special pursuits is prized, as is a room of their own to “retreat and protect their things.”
- Has high standards, high ideals, wants to do everything right. Some teachers call this the “eraser age” as they erase so much, are anxious, want to do everything right.
- Increasing control of the body, the temper, the voice, the striking out of six
- An age where the child can fatigue quickly and may need help in protecting themselves from their own demands.
- Gets along well with mother at this age, less demanding of their mothers, although there can be arguing with mother and the child can engage in a real battle of wills. The child cares what the mother thinks of him or her.
- Fathers are needed. Girls are very sensitive to reprimands by their father, and may be jealous of the attention their father gives to their mother. Boys enjoy their fathers and time alone with him is greatly treasured. Both genders will seek out their fathers for information on things outside of the home.
- Seven fights less than age six with siblings. They are at their best with babies age 2 and under. The most enthusiasm is for a baby not yet born! Seven also is good with siblings much older than they are. With siblings close to the same age, the argument is that things are not fair.
- With friends, less fighting and squabbling although play is still not completely harmonious. The good news is that Seven is starting to be aware of his friends’ reactions to things. Group play can still end with destruction of materials or fighting – this age needs adult supervision.
- Eating: May leave the table frequently if distracted by something, but better able to sit still and eat.
- Sleeping: Most seven-year olds are headed to bed around 7:30 and can often get ready for bed by themselves
- Health: Tend to be healthier than at six. Fewer colds usually.
- Increased understanding of sense of time – clock time, months, season, birthdate,
- Academic work: It is important to keep in mind that a seven-year old is easily fatigued and must be protected from so many demands. Reading may be coming along at this stage, spelling is usually not great, a seven year old is typically not ready for cursive, far fewer number reversals, requires the teacher to be close.
In Part Two of this post, we will look further at the anthroposophical point of view of the seven-year-old.