My boy YH is 6 years old this year. I realized that I have been writing so much about my baby YT’s progress that it seems unfair that I do not document some of his siblings progress at their respective ages. At 6 years old, the below are what my boy is right now:
At 6 years old, YH is good at all sports, especially in ball activities. He is able to play badminton, kick a ball, dribbling is not so perfect yet, swim a small lap of 10m, and cycle a 2 wheel bicycle (which he masters in half an hour just like his sister, secret to this: start young!). He is not so good in skipping yet and is learning “the ropes” right now. He has lots of energy at 6 years old and this easily sets off his active self. He needs lots of outdoor activities to let off the energy in him and finds staying still difficult which is more a characteristic of a boy than a 6 year old I think.
A 6 year old is still a young child in terms of emotional development. YH still needs a lot of tender loving care and loves me or Kel to sleep beside him. He still has his baby talk and sometimes I can’t help but still treat him like a baby. A 6 year old is happy, cheerful, energetic, active, ridiculous (can be irritating at times!), fun-loving, and has tender feelings too. They are empathetic, kind and helpful. YH is easy to understand and his actions easily interpreted. His mood is obvious. We find it easy to handle his emotions and know how to pacify him if he gets upset. A 6 year old also knows what is fair and unfair and wants justice done, so parents have to play judge and referee most times. Sometimes, I just let my kids “fight it out” unfairness or issues on their own so that they learn how to settle differences, with my fingers cross that there is no bloodshed.
At this age, they learn good and bad things easily from peers and we had a hard time teaching them not to bring swear words or unpleasant lingo back home. We tell our kids such words are undesirable and unpleasant to hear. We cannot stop their peers from hurling such words out, most of these kids learnt from either in their family or elsewhere and think it fun to say it out. Our kids think it fun too and not surprisingly, they do hurl out the words when they are upset. I believe as long as Kel and I do not use profanity, they will eventually learn that they should not use them as well. But I will still need to reiterate to them these are undesirable words when I hear them coming out from their mouths.
YH is sociable and makes friends easily. He is outgoing and vocal too. These traits may not apply to all 6 year olds but more dependent on individual character. He loves to try new things and is eager to do whatever you are doing, like beating eggs in a bowl, making a glass of milk, washing vegetables, etc. He loves to mimic his Papa in doing pumping, or having an arm wrestling contest with him, doing things that seem like an adult. He is a good playmate too.
Strategies for a 6 year old
I find that a 6 year old loves to be trusted. They have a sense of pride if you put a task on them and tell them you trust him to finish it. It doesn’t apply to academic task, not now I feel. But tasks like house chores, bring something to you, passing something to the teacher or keeping a small secret.
2. Letting your 6 year old help you
6 year olds are extremely helpful. YH helps around the house, but you have to ask at the right time, and not when he is playing halfway. They love to do what adults do. YH loves to be tasked to take care of the baby, however, being a boy and he is still young, we still have to keep an eye on him doing so. He may get so distracted with toys that he forgets to watch where the baby is crawling to.
3. Managing emotions
YH tries to control his tears when he is upset. However, if I give him a hug, he will cry out loud like a baby with tears pouring down like rain. He tries to be a grown up boy and yet his feelings are often still fragile. I find it important to handle his emotions with care at this age. At times, he loses it and cannot control his anger too well, my approach is to give him a big hug to stop whatever he is taking out on, then when he calms down, talk to him that his actions are wrong and there are better ways to handle the situation. Being 6 only, reasoning with him may not get into him and he may drift off if he is confused with big words or reasons he finds hard to grasp. It’s better to hug and tell him I frown upon his actions and he has to apologize for his actions. Short reasoning is good but not overly done.
All in all, a 6 year old is fun to be with. Independent and yet still needing mummy’s tender love and hugs and kisses. They have not reached a too independent stage that you feel you have to treat them as adults, and at the same time, you still get to enjoy cuddling them, holding their hands, and doing childish activities together, laughing at silly jokes and making funny faces.
We love you our dear YH!! You keep us on our toes so much, Papa and Mummy will remain young!!