Your 6 3/4-year-old: What's next?

Your 6 3/4-year-old: What's next?

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Your 6-year-old now

What can you expect as your child stands on the brink of 7? These two years are developmentally similar, but things go a bit more smoothly now that the transition to full-day school is more familiar. Many of the behavior quirks of sixes – gnawing hair and shirts, being unable to sit still – are related to the stresses of the transition to school.

Many of your persistent reminders begin to pay off at 7, as your child is better able to control her behavior, manage self-care, and interact well with friends.

Seven-year-olds tend to be calmer and less aggressive than sixes. They've made the slight separation from total dependency on parents and begin to become more peer directed. Seven-year-olds are often quieter and like to spend more time alone. All that said, you'll find changes take place gradually.

Your life now

One activity your child will love to do for her birthday: review her life to date. Go through old photo albums (or all those digital pix you've never had a chance to print out). Get out her baby book, if you kept one, and tell her stories about her birth and babyhood. Your child will revel in seeing how she's grown and feel all the more grown-up for being able to reminisce about "when I was a baby." You both might enjoy the activity so much that you make it an annual part of future birthday celebrations.

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