Parents have many questions about the developmental leaps of the six/seven year old. A few key points for this age:
- They are quick, physical and not especially deep thinkers.
- If they are getting into things you don’t want, they probably need to be busier.
- Six needs a ton of practical work and a ton being outside. Many times they will enjoy repetitive sensory experiences – sand, kneading bread, sifting, grating.
- Six doesn’t always get along with friends well, but being outside in nature is soothing. Six is happy to go to a creek and splash amongst the rocks.
- That being said, it is important that children in the five to seven year range have social experiences and opportunities. Some boys in particular do not do great in groups until the age of 7, but I think it is always helpful to lay that foundation.
- The six year old needs an authority in the home, a LOVING one, a CALM one, but an authority: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/11/19/preparing-for-the-sixseven-year-change-the-importance-of-boundaries/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/06/23/gentle-parenting-and-boundaries/ ….Go back and remember the steps of setting boundaries:
- “To me gentle parenting and boundaries involves several steps. The first step is to get clear with yourself as to what the values and rules are for your family. The second step is to figure out how you will hold this boundary in the moment, in a calm and unflappable way, and what are the tools you will use to help your child (hint: yelling is not a tool . ) And, what will you do if you feel as if you cannot hold the boundary anymore but you know you need to for your child’s sake? What is your plan? Third, what does your child learn from pushing against the boundary – what active ways do you have to help your child make restitution?”
- Figure out how to talk to your six year old. They don’t need a whole lot of information, to be honest. Here is a back post about talking to the seven and eight year old so you can see what is coming: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/26/how-to-talk-to-your-seven-and-eight-year-old/
- Some parents find the development a six or seven year old goes through really difficult; some children go through this phase and have a really hard time. You don’t have to like your child’s behavior, but you still have to connect with this child and you still have to love this child.
- Try speaking in pictures: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/01/talking-in-pictures-to-small-children/
- Peaceful living with the six year old: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/02/23/peaceful-living-with-the-six-year-old/
- Peaceful living with the seven year old: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/04/19/peaceful-living-with-your-seven-year-old/ and seven year old development: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/02/20/the-six-year-old-an-anthroposophical-view/ http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/04/18/your-super-seven-year-old-traditional-and-anthroposophical-views-of-development-part-two/ and Part One of that: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/02/18/the-snazzy-six-year-old/ and http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/04/02/your-super-seven-year-old-traditional-and-anthroposophical-viewpoints-part-one/
I highly suggest you go back to all of these back posts for review as these will most likely cover some of these questions:
For more about the intricacies of peer relationships at this age: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/02/05/peer-relationships-for-the-six-to-eight-year-old/
Favorite books for gentle discipline to inspire you: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/11/27/favorite-books-for-gentle-discipline/
A review of my favorite book for the six/seven year change: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/02/19/a-book-for-parents-of-the-five-to-seven-year-old/