Child development 6-7 years

Now a lot happens for many children, both how they think and understand and that they can do more physically. Many people begin to understand what time is and that life changes in different ways.

All children are unique and develop differently. However, there are some characteristics that are common and typical for most children in an age group. These are described here.

The age divisions are not exactly accurate. To understand and recognize your child you may also need to read about the child’s development 5-6 years or about the child’s development 8-9 years.

The development is different at different times

The development is different at different times and can vary greatly from child to child, even between siblings. Even though children of the same age have reached different distances, it tends to level out gradually.

In connection with a new period of development, the child can sometimes become anxious, change his mood and need more closeness or attention than before.

There are individual conditions and events that can affect how a child develops, both in the short and longer term. For example, it may be if the child is born prematurely, has a disability or is involved in a major change in life.

You are important to your child’s development

The child needs you to develop in every way. You are needed for such things as food and nursing, but also for the child to be able to build up a good self-esteem and be stimulated in its development.

You need to be there and be active and involved.

How the child thinks and understands

How the child can imagine things is constantly evolving. At this age, imagination and abstract thinking can be very fun for the child. Abstract thinking means that the child understands things that are not in the present or that cannot be touched, such as height, weight, height, numbers, size, shapes and colors.

How the child thinks and thinks about himself

How the child is with people in his/her surroundings largely determines what the child thinks and thinks about himself. If the child is treated with respect and is confirmed, it is easier for the child to think good things about himself. This, in turn, can make the child more courageous and daring, and then they can get more positive attention from the surroundings.

Similarly, the child may end up in a vicious circle if he is constantly subjected to criticism and negative attention.

The child needs to try what they like and want

It is important for the child to try what they can, like and want. It affects how the child thinks about himself. It is also important for the child to discover what the environment likes and dislikes, wants and does not want. By treating the child himself with respect for his will, but also being told how others want and feel, the child learns that it is okay to think and want different.

As the child matures, it is important that you both talk about and show that everyone feels different, both children and adults. And that it’s okay. Now the child is not developed enough to choose and make decisions about important things. Therefore, do not give too much responsibility.

Usually to organize and have a single interest

Collecting different things is common and the child can spend a lot of time organizing and ranking their collections. It is also common to have one or more interests that the child wants to know all about. For example, it can be facts about space, about dinosaurs, or to experiment and explore how different things work.

It is also common for children to think that they always have to do certain things in a certain order, many times and in exactly the same way. It can be a way of trying to gain control in a world that is perceived as changeable and somewhat unpredictable.

So-called magical thinking is common at this age. For example, the child may think that something terrible will happen if they do or say in a certain way. It may also be, for example, that the child believes that they can influence events and people with their own thoughts.

How the child perceives time

Children at the age of 6 often think about what time is and begin to understand how different things are connected. You can get questions about what time it is or about different days and seasons. Children of this age have a better understanding of the difference between past, present and future and between short and long periods of time.

The child compares similarities and differences. They can begin to understand what concepts that greater, greatest, less, least, easiest and heaviest mean.

Some children of this age can tell details about their day, others cannot remember what they ate for lunch today.

How the child feels

Around the age of 6, many children enter a period when they need to be more independent. This can be noticed by the fact that the child wants to be with friends, among other things. They also often want to do things on their own.

Sometimes this phase begins a little before the age of 6 and sometimes a little later. For some children, this period of development is very clear, and in others it is not very noticeable.

Hard to know how much you can expect

Sometimes the child wants to manage himself and challenge himself. Sometimes the child wants to be cared for and not to take responsibility. As a parent, it can be difficult to know how much the child should handle.

Sometimes it can be good to say to the child: “You can do more than you think”. Sometimes you need to reassure the child that they are who they are, and that it is by daring to try as you learn new things, even if you fail.

The child’s imagination can be both uneasy and scary

The child’s great imagination and the child’s understanding of what is happening can make the child worried and afraid. It is not uncommon for children of this age to be afraid of certain situations or things. For example, children may be scared of things that can happen to the body, such as hurting themselves and getting sick. Some other examples are being afraid of darkness, thunder or some animals.

Be shy or scared at times

Some children may be afraid to go to parties, meet people they don’t know as well or to do other things they think are scary. Then the child needs support to dare. For example, you can join the party.

If the child does not dare to try, they may become more afraid. It can make them dare to do even fewer things in the future.

Worried about being away or falling asleep in the evening

During this period the child can both become more and more independent but at the same time understand that they are very dependent on others. Perhaps the child realizes that you, as a parent or other close person, will not be there forever. This can be difficult for the child.

It can take a long time to break up or to fall asleep in the evening. Going to bed at night can be experienced as a form of separation. If you have struggled, it is therefore good if you can become friends again. Then it often becomes easier for the child to fall asleep.

Take the child’s concerns seriously

Take the child’s concerns seriously, such as questions and thoughts about death. It can be difficult to know what to answer and say if you do not know what the child understands. By asking the child what they think, you get an idea of ​​what maturity level it is reasonable to talk about. You can tell how you think about these issues yourself, that there are many other ways of thinking and that the child has the right to have their own opinion.

At this age it is common to dream a lot. Most children also have nightmares sometimes. Being worried is part of the development and worry often shows up in the dreams. Talk to the child about what they think and feel. It can help the child to sleep more calmly. You don’t have to worry if the child is otherwise well.

Seek help if your child is very worried and your support does not make it go over. Read more in the chapter If you need support.

To talk about emotions

At this age, many children can begin to express their anger in words instead of in action. You can help the child by trying to put into words what the child seems to know. For example: “It seems you are sorry now”. Sometimes it may be that the child is sad although they react with anger, for example. You can also try to talk about that. For example: “You sound angry, but maybe you feel sorry?”.

Don’t make fun of, not pretend to, downplay or explain away what the child feels. What the child experiences is real and important, and is part of how the child thinks and thinks about himself.

Do not use irony

Children of this age do not understand irony. If you, as an adult, say one thing but mean another, it is common for children to feel confused and insecure.

Talk after you fight

When the child has calmed down after a fight or an outburst, you can ask how they felt when you were fighting. You can also tell how it felt to you. It can be good for the child to put words into their feelings and experiences. That you talk can also make you have a safe relationship.

How the child is with others – social development

Playing with friends is important for children’s social development. By being with others, children can learn to pay attention, resolve conflicts and play.

Beginning to understand that people think differently

At this age, children begin to understand that different people may think differently about the same situation. But it’s still hard to imagine that two can be right at the same time. Either the child is right or the other is right.

Sleep over with a friend

Some children want to try sleeping with a friend or letting a friend sleep over. But what the child thinks will be fun can feel in a completely different way when it is evening and it is time to sleep. Be prepared that the child may want to sleep at home in the end and that it will not be a failure to change. Maybe the child can try again at another time?

Start or go to school

It can be a big difference to start or go to school versus going to preschool, family daycare or having been home. This means new expectations that the child will be able to, among other things, fit times, understand instructions and keep track of their clothes and things.

The change can be both delightful, exciting and difficult. How the child experiences the school depends, among other things, on the child’s personality and where they are in their development. What it is like at school is of course also important.

Many children feel great and are strengthened by coping with new situations. For others, the new challenges may well be great. You are a good support by allowing the child to react in different ways and understand that they are going through a major change.

May need to be small

Just as when the child was younger, during the day they can strive to be good and try to cope with the requirements, because after school they need to be small and not do the same things. The child has tried to cope with everyday life in school and only needs to be afterwards. You may need to take it a little quieter with leisure activities when the child receives major changes in everyday life.

The child learns to cooperate

The fact that children understand that they are dependent on others means that they often try to cooperate more, both with children and adults. Children are also getting better at arguing for their cause. Children can often be very stubborn and convinced based on their new knowledge of how things work and are connected.

Listen to each other

When the child talks to others, they better understand what the other is thinking and feeling. In order to have a relationship where you trust and respect each other, it is important to really listen to what the child is saying. The child also needs to understand that it is important to listen to others. Think about how you talk to each other and if you usually listen without interrupting.

Important with justice and rules

The fact that the child understands that they are part of a whole can also lead them to think about justice and distribution. “Why does she get and not me?” can become a recurring issue.

Children begin to understand the benefits of all following the same rules and therefore many people enjoy games and sports.

Usually the child can and does

At the age of 6-7, it is common for the child to do this:

  • Understand and think it is good to work with others.
  • Test their ability by competing with others.
  • Begins to understand how they are perceived by others.
  • Concentrates on longer moments.
  • Have patience and wait for their turn.
  • Discusses with others and comes up with a solution.

Tips on fun things you can do together

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Play different kinds of games together.
  • Let the child discover his world by, for example, being out in nature, making excursions, visiting libraries and museums.
  • Make a mini garden in the window. In small pots you can plant different spices and flowers.
  • Give the child a calendar and a bell if they ask about days and times.

Language and communication

At the age of 6, it is common for children to learn many new words and they like to experiment with them. Some children begin to take an interest in reading. Children of this age often appreciate rhymes, frames and fun stories.

Now the way to communicate and children are changing the topic of conversation in a softer way.

Full and nasty words can be exciting

Many children also find it exciting to test what effect nasty and ugly words can have on the environment. These are often words they learn from older friends.

It is important that you set a good example and do not use words yourself that you do not want your child to use. Don’t be angry if the child swears or says ugly words. Instead, ask if the child understands what they are saying, and explain otherwise what it means. Also tell others that you can be sad or angry if you use it.

Tests what words mean

When children discover a word for the first time, they guess what the word might mean. The child then tests the meaning in different situations. If the child notices that the word means something else, the child changes their interpretation of the word. It may be good to talk to the child about what different words mean. As you speak, base your child’s thoughts on the word.

Ask follow-up questions and be curious about what the child is telling

Help develop the child’s language by asking follow-up questions about what the child is talking about. Try to develop the conversation by introducing new concepts that relate to what you are talking about. You can also try to talk about something that has happened before or talk about what will happen in the afternoon or later in the evening.

Try to understand what the child wants to tell. Help the child to be clearer if you do not understand. For example, you might say, “Now I didn’t quite understand what you meant. Can you show me?” Ask yourself until you understand better. It shows respect for how the child thinks.

Different media

There are different perceptions about how different screens such as computer, TV, tablet and mobile phones affect children. It is important that the time in front of the screen does not replace the time when you are together, or replace the time when the child is allowed to move and play outdoors. Many TV programs, video games and computer games that are adapted to the child’s age and ability can be fun and good as learning, but should not be the only way the child learns things.

You as a parent set boundaries around and teach the children how to handle different media. You make decisions that you think will be best for your child. A general advice is to avoid extremes. Never allowing a child to come near a screen can give a disadvantage to other children. Giving children unlimited screen access is harmful and competes with other important activities.

Think about what you think your child is capable of. It can differ between children of the same age. Customize that child to look after their personality. Look with the child, talk about what you see and experience. You or an older sibling may need to get in the game and help the child if needed.

Keep in mind that children can be scared of things you don’t think they are scared of.

Time limit how much the child is allowed to use screen time. Too much screen time before bedtime often results in worse sleep. You can limit the time in a clear way by, for example, setting an egg bell on a ringing ring, and then allowing the child to finish the game and the current moment. Help the child finish by saying “now it is only five minutes left”. It also gives the child some time perception.

Do not allow children to watch adult programs or play games with violence. News programs can also contain violence. Turn off unpleasant background noise.

Think about how you use media yourself when you are with your child. Children do as adults do.

Usually the child can and does

At this age, it is common for the child to do this:

  • Plays games and follows rules.
  • Understand what past, present and future mean.
  • Can quarrel and discuss to get his will through.
  • Begins to become interested in reading and writing.
  • Writes his name.
  • Ask questions like: How far? How big? How loud? How long?

Tips on fun things you can do together

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Make name games, play charades and tell puzzles to the child.
  • Play rhymes, it is usually fun and also helps the child’s language development.
  • Tell funny stories and read funny books.
  • There are several good and educational video games and computer games that children can use.
  • Have the child play with jokes toys. They usually think it is very fun with pads and the like.
  • Read books together and try new words.

The body and how the child moves

Children under the age of 6 may find it more difficult to control their movements than before. What the child just did well can suddenly become difficult again. For example, pouring drinks from a jug to a glass can be difficult without spilling. It is a natural part of the development and is not because the child is careless.

Children have a great need to move

Children aged 6 do not want to sit still. The fact that children of this age are physically troubled does not at all mean that they are mentally worried or that there is a problem in some other way. Some children need to move more than others.

Good on the smaller and finer movements

Many children can easily do the smaller, finer movements such as sewing and wood beads. Children of this age can often tie their shoes and cut patterns and figures with scissors.

Unable to be in traffic itself

To be in traffic requires maturity and experience that the child does not have in years. Children have not yet learned how to use, for example, sight and hearing. Their reaction time is also longer than that of adults. Here you can read more about child safety.

Proud of their bodies

Many are proud of their bodies and experience joy in what the body can do. Confirm and encourage this.

Examine their bodies and the bodies of others

At this age, children begin to understand that girls and boys are different. They also start to become aware that, for example, they can kiss each other, which usually shows up in games.

It is also common for children to examine themselves and others. As long as it is done voluntarily and without the risk of the children hurting each other, you can let them continue to play. Have some supervision and pay attention to whether there may be any children in the game who dare not say anything and may not really want to be involved, or if the game goes too far.

Talk to the child that we look different and that the body is your own, that you decide for yourself. Ask if the child has any questions. Read more on Save the Children’s website about how to talk to children about the child’s body and to set boundaries.

Usually the child can and does

At this age, it is common for the child to do this:

  • Drops milk teeth and gets permanent teeth.
  • Getting hungry and eating more.
  • Be aware of the bodily differences between girls and boys.
  • Bicycles on a two-wheeler without support wheels.
  • Jumping on one leg.
  • Jumping jump rope.
  • Throws, kicks and receives balls.
  • Learn to swim.

Tips on fun things

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Let the child cling, climb trees and stretch and stretch the body.
  • Have the child try some recreational activity.
  • Let there be time for play and relaxation.
  • Have the child build with a lego, cut out dolls or something that requires accuracy and precision.
  • Play different hand clap games.
  • Hopscotch.
  • Skipping.
  • Arrange pentathlon on play for the child and friends.

If you need support

Seek help if you need support or have questions about or worry about your child’s development.

Here are some examples of what you can do:

  • Talk to your own network of friends, relatives and work mates, for example.
  • Talk to other adults, such as classmates or other friends’ parents.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher, or anyone else in the school who knows the child.
  • Join parent groups, for example, in school.
  • Contact student health at school. There, among other things, there are school nurse, doctor and curator. Read more about student health.
  • Contact a health care center.

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