Your child’s first year in primary school is eventful not just for him/her, but for you too. You will have to adjust to being away from each other for longer hours. But at 6 years 7 months, you probably have got the hang of it.
Experts refer to this stage of your child’s life as “middle childhood.” Your 6 years 7 months old is asserting his independence on one hand. But on the other, he/she still needs security from the unfamiliar big wide world. This is something only you can give him/her.
Your child’s approach to play is complex now. Now more than ever, he acts out the things he sees in books or television. For instance, at lunchtime, he/she’s a Ninja turtle and a gospel singer at dinner.
Talking about food, your 6 years 7 month old should have at least 1,600 calories daily. He/she’s extremely energetic and involves himself in fun physical activities daily. You will need to help your child make sure his/her body stays strong and healthy.
6 Years 7 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
It seems that overnight, your child has transformed from chubby toddler to lanky, energetic primary-schooler. Your child’s limbs seem to be growing like the magic beanstalk. He/she is growing at a rate of 2.5 inches or 6 cm every year, and is also adding an average of 3 kg annually.
At this age, your child may also enjoy testing physical limits, like running in a zig-zag pattern, jumping down steps, and doing a cartwheel.
You’ll also notice him/her getting better at combining gross motor skills like running to kick a ball or skipping while turning a rope. These physical skills depend on how often your child practices them. Structured sports like dance classes, tennis, and soccer, can all help. But lots of opportunities to run, kick, throw, cartwheel and more are just as important.
Your child’s fine motor skills are well developed now. So he/she can now brush his/her teeth and do other daily hygiene tasks without your help. You’ll also notice your child being able to cut out irregular shapes and write smaller letters inside the lines in school books.
Your 6 years 3 months old child will also experience the following:
- Beginning to be aware of body image.
- Baby teeth will fall out in readiness for first molars.
- Exhibits a wide range of physical skills.
- Muscles will gain mass and it will reflect in your child’s overall weight.
- May have a 20/20 eyesight.
- Would become extremely energetic.
- Is getting better obeying the rules of a game.
- Your child will need all the physical activity he/she can get.
- Encourage your child to play outdoors.
- Play with him/her as well. Get involved in the jumping and kicking and throwing. It’s not only a source of exercise for you, but a bonding session for you both. In the process, you will also help build his/her confidence.
- Supervise your child when he/she’s engaged in risky activities, such as climbing.
- Talk with your child about how to ask for help when he/she needs it.
- Keep potentially harmful household products, tools, equipment, and firearms out of your child’s reach.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Be very observant of the following signs. They may indicate that something is wrong. In the event of such a situation, please see your doctor as soon as you can.
- If your child begins to show regression in his physical skills, it is a red flag.
- Your child is unable to sleep at night.
- More physical activity can put your child at risk for injuries from falls and other accidents. Visit the hospital if this happens.
- If your child wets the bed quite often.
Your 6 years 7 months old child continues to feel an increasing awareness of right and wrong. He/she may “tell on” peers who he/she thinks are not doing the right thing.
At this age, your child’s attention span is still increasing and he/she will be able to handle more complicated tasks at school and at home. You’ll also notice that your child should be able to:
- Tell you their age.
- Count to and understand the concept of ’10.’ For instance, they can count 10 pieces of chocolate.
- Express themselves well through words.
- Begin to understand cause-and-effect relationships. ‘Magical thinking,’ which is typical of preschoolers quickly fades around this age.
- Can read and write properly.
- Is able to grasp the concept of time.
- Can tell the time.
You must teach your child that it’s okay to make mistakes. Let your child see you trying new things and making mistakes. This helps him/her understand that learning and improving are all about making mistakes, but the key is to never give up. These additional tips will further help you parent your 6 years 7 months old child.
- Show affection for your child. Recognise his/her accomplishments.
- Help your child develop a sense of responsibility—ask him/her to help with household tasks, such as setting the table.
- Talk with your child about school, friends, and things he/she looks forward to in the future.
- Talk to your child about respecting others. Encourage him/her to help people in need.
- Help your child set his/her own achievable goals—he/she’ll learn to take pride in himself/herself and rely less on approval or reward from others.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
You must see your child’s paediatrician if your child shows any of the following signs:
- Difficulty reading or other possible signs of disability.
- Something that’s bothering your child, like bullying.
- A mental health issue or stress.
- Refuses to stay apart from you.
- Enjoys spending his playtime alone.
- Acts withdrawn from activities.
Social and Emotional Development
At 6 years 7 months, your child will continue to build friendships and understand relationships. It is not uncommon to have flare-ups in these relationships. The kids are trying to make sense of emotions, like jealousy. Rest assured that these squabbles will disappear just as quickly as they began.
As your child navigates these relationships, he/she will draw strength and security from those he/she feels closest to. Peer acceptance becomes more important than before; and your child is learning to cooperate and share.
As your 6 years 7 months old continues to assert his/her independence, he/she will often want to engage in daring, sometimes dangerous tasks.
With your child’s growing language skills, you’ll notice that he/she is increasingly better at describing what has happened, what he/she feels, and thinks. Your child will often talk up his/her skills or behaviour – for example, ‘I can eat 10 hamburgers at once!’
Expect some lying, cheating, and stealing at this age as your child is figuring out where he/she fits and what’s acceptable.
At this stage its a good idea to pay attention to the following to better parent your 6 years 7 months old:
- Let your child make his/her own choices about sports and toys. Make a wide range of examples available.
- Put steady time limits on video games, computer use, and television. Make sure screen time doesn’t cut into physical play, enough sleep, and family time.
- Keep reading to your 6 years 7 months old, and have him/her read to you.
- Install parental controls on computers and television.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about tough topics like peer pressure, violence, drug use, and sexuality. Find age-appropriate ways to answer questions without adding to confusion or fear.
- Consider swimming lessons and fire safety training for your child.
- Teach your child that it’s ‘OKAY’ to make mistakes. Let your child see you trying new things and making mistakes. This helps him/her understand that learning and improving are all about making mistakes, but the key thing is to never give up.
- Encourage your child to be aware of the consequences of behaviour and see things from other people’s points of view. You can do this by asking questions like, ‘How do you think Jane feels when you do that?’
- Use discipline to guide and protect your child, rather than punishment to make him/her feel bad about themselves. Follow up any discussion about what not to do with a discussion of what to do instead.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
You must visit a doctor if your child:
- Has a stutter or lisp when talking.
- Faces difficulty following instructions.
- Finds it hard to make friends.
- Is aggressive with other children.
Speech And Language Development
Your 6 years 7 months old can speak in complete sentences! This must make you very excited. He/she is learning 10 new words a day and his/her vocabulary is growing. It is no wonder that your 6 years 7 month old is so chatty. He/she often tells jokes and is growing his/her sense of humour.
Your child has come to understand the purpose and function of language. His/her sentences are simple and contain seven words or more. By this age, most sound patterns are established, although your child may still struggle with “r’s” or may say words like ‘pisgetti’ instead of spaghetti. At this age, your child should:
- Follow a series of three commands in a row.
- Start to see that some words have more than one meaning.
- Start to verbally express a sense of humour.
- Show significant growth in mental ability.
- Begin to read books that are right for his or her age.
- Sound out or decode unfamiliar words.
- Know day from night and left from right.
- Be able to tell the time.
- Be able to repeat five numbers backward.
As much as possible, continue to read to your child. It is the best way to build his/her vocabulary and have him/her increase the word bank. Occasionally, encourage your child to read back to you. Let him/her write down the words that interest him/her, and you can organise a mini spelling bee for your child.
You’ll notice that your 6 years 7 months old probably talks a lot, and a lot of his/her conversations are questions. Be patient and try to answer all the questions.
At this age, he/she may be able to carry on conversations that are adult-like. Don’t be afraid to engage him/her. Play spot the difference games and have your child verbalise what he/she notices. Model correct pronunciation, instead of correcting your child when he/she makes articulation errors.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor if your child:
- Has difficulty following two-part directions like, “Put your bag away and then bring me your soccer uniform.”
- Shows no interest in trying to write his/her own name.
- Refuses to read.
- Exhibits lots of challenging behaviour.
- Cannot tell left from right.
- Is unable to spell even the simplest words.
Health And Nutrition
Your 6 years 7 months old needs at least 1600 to 1700 calories daily. This is also the time to cultivate healthy eating habits in your child. This is important not only for his/her growth and development but also for his/her learning abilities.
Because your child is extremely physically active at this age, he/she should be getting the right nutrition to match that energy. Also, try to encourage exercise in your child. Whether at school sports or as a family activity, exercise is important, and so is sleep.
Foods like dairy, proteins, grains, fruits, and vegetables are all important for your child’s growth and development. See this list of super nutritious weight gain foods that will help your child gain healthy weight and nourish his/her growing body.
Dairy foods like yogurt and milk contain important nutrients for your 6 years 7 months old. Your child will need about 3 cups of milk or yogurt in his/her daily diet. Typically, a child requires 2.5 cups of milk or yogurt in his/her diet—just be sure to choose low-fat options.
In case your child doesn’t like daily, you can find creative ways to infuse it into his/her smoothies, cereal, vegetables, and savoury food.
For kids aged 6 years, the CDC recommends at least 19 grams of protein daily. If your child is a picky eater, not to worry. Almost all children typically enjoy eggs, yogurt and fruit, and chicken.
Fruit and vegetable group
Fruits and vegetables provide you with the opportunity to get creative. Children typically need one cup of fruits and one cup of vegetables every day. So your best bet is to introduce them as snacks and infuse them into meals as much as you can.
- Keep your fruits washed, cut up, and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
- Serve salads more often, if possible every two meals per day.
- Experiment with vegetarian recipes or add more vegetables to meat dishes.
- Occasionally replace meat-based protein with vegetable-based protein.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
See your doctor as soon as you notice that your child:
- Is under or over-weight.
- Has unusual rashes, lumps or bruises.
- Has a fever over 39 degrees C.
- Often vomits during meals.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered by this age. But if that hasn’t been the case, we’d recommend that you check with your physician for those still left, on a regular basis.
As your child spends more time in school, he/she may or may not contract common colds and the flu. So keep an eye out for rashes or fever, itching or even bodyache. Encourage your child to share any feeling of physical discomfort and rush to the doctor if you are unsure of the cause.
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