Child Development and Milestones: Your 6 Years 4 Months Old
So many exciting milestones to look forward to with your 6 years 4 months old child, parents!
Your little one is now 6 years 4 months old! Doesn’t every day feel like a brand new day as you grow older together with your child? You’re both learning so much together as you walk along this path of parenthood together, and along the way, you’re bound to notice just how much your child is developing.
Now that your child is at 6 years 4 months old, he/she is starting to make better sense of the world around him/her. As a result, it could lead to some fears (or anxiety), from ghosts and a dark room, to criticism and discipine.
But rest assured parents, this is all part of your little one’s development this month. In this article, we’ll explore more aspects to your 6 years 4 months old child’s overall development. Parents, do note that this is not a diagnostic tool but a guideline. Do not hesitate to speak with your doctor to clarify any doubts at any point in time regarding your child’s development.
Let’s take a closer look at the milestones your 6 years 4 months old child may have reached.
6 Years 4 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
At 6 years 4 months old, your child wants to do almost everything alone, and this new-found independence might be hard for you to deal with. After all, it is a reminder that your baby is growing up! Rest assured though, that this display of independence is a sign your little one’s development is right on track.
Part of it is to do with the fact that your child fine and gross motor skills are improving rapidly, allowing him/her to do certain tasks alone. Around now, 6 years 4 months children would be able to dress themselves, catch a ball skillfully, and tie their shoelaces.
Parents, it would be good to note that your child might start to complain of more physical pains such as tummy aches, leg pains, among others. This is due to the increased awareness of his/her own body.
At this stage, your child’s average height and weight* should be as follows:
– Height: 117.8 cm (46.4 inches)
– Weight: 21.6 kg (47.5 lb)
– Height: 117.3 cm (46.2 inches)
– Weight: 21.2 kg (46.6 lb)
Let’s take a look at other physical developments of your 6 years 4 months old child:
- Adeptly handle zips and buttons.
- Brush his/her hair.
- Skip, and catch a large ball.
- Draw more realistic pictures (e.g. is able to recreate a person consisting of a head with eyes, mouth and nose, and a body with arms and legs).
- Show improved balance and coordination.
- Eat meals alone.
- Draw and write with better control.
- Ensure that your child has one hour or more of physical activity clocked in each day.
- Introduce physical activity early. Encourage active play; be a role model to your child through having an active lifestyle yourself.
- Consider swimming lessons and fire safety training for your child.
- Identify your child’s interest in any particular sport through engaging in various sports, then build on that.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
If you think your 6 years 4 months old child is falling behind in any aspect of physical development, it’s best to speak to a doctor. Meanwhile, be on the lookout for these red flags in your little one:
- Noticeable and consistent loss of skills that he/she once had.
- Inability to perform basic tasks like wearing his/her own school uniform.
- Bed-wetting: if your child was previously dry at night but now starts to wet the bed again. Bladder and bowel control is usually mastered by this age.
- Difficulty falling asleep at night or staying asleep.
Your child’s curiosity about the surrounding world seems to have no limits, and that’s perfectly fine as through every single question asked and answered, your little one learns. His/her attention span has also improved, allowing your child to focus better than ever on a task, whether at home or school.
It also helps that your child has an increased ability to relate to perspectives of other individuals that might be different from his/her own. This helps your child to form more sound relationships as he/she learns how to navigate the art of social relationships and interaction.
Your child also has a good understanding of what’s right and wrong.
Keep an eye out for these developments in your child:
- Increased awareness of right from wrong.
- Shows rapid development of mental skills.
- Learns alternative ways to describe his/her experiences and talks about thoughts and feelings.
- Focuses less on oneself, and shows more concern for others.
- Develops close friendships.
- Has the ability to form more complex thoughts.
- Demonstrates increased curiosity of the world.
- You could answer your child’s many questions with questions of your own to encourage critical thinking.
- Bring your child to interesting places that encourage curiosity and learning, such as the library or museum. Even a walk in a park provides many opportunities for learning about the environment and nature.
- New challenges might be scary to your child, especially because of fear of failure. Here, it it will greatly help for you to extend your unwavering support. Reassure your child that you are always there for him or her, no matter what.
When to Talk to Your Doctor? If your child:
- Exhibits aggressive behaviour, especially related to hitting, kicking or punching others often.
- Displays very withdrawn, worried, or depressed behaviour.
- Has difficulty communicating and joining other kids during play.
- Does not recognise his/her name when called.
- Finds it difficult to separate from you.
- Has difficulty following two-part directions like, “Put your bag away and then bring me your soccer uniform.”
Social and Emotional Development
At 6 years 4 months old now, your child places greater emphasis on friendships and it can sometimes be tricky for him/her as he/she learns to navigate tough emotions such as frustration of jealousy.
On the bright side, you might notice a greater level of patience in your child. In addition, what your child probably yearns for is your approval, and for you to be proud of his/her achievements.
Even with his/her growing independence, love and attention from you is still high up on his/her list!
In general, your little one will achieve these milestones at this age:
- Places more importance on peer acceptance. He/she is learning the ways of cooperating and sharing.
- Pays more attention to friendships and teamwork.
- Wants to be liked and accepted by friends.
- Gets better at describing incidents that happened: what he/she feels and thinks, as his/her interaction with peers increases.
- Starts to think about the future.
- Understands more about his/her place in the world.
- Limit direct commands, and let your child have the ability to make choices for him/herself.
- Don’t shy away from talking about tough topics with your child like peer pressure and bullying, of course in an age-appropriate way.
- Adopt a side-step approach rather than being confrontational, i.e. change the subject rather than let it escalate into an unpleasant situation.
- Support your child’s self-esteem, and encourage them to have fun and express themselves.
- Talk about your child’s feelings with him/her and help put words to these feelings.
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
- If your child is very shy or quiet after coming home from school, as this could be a sign of bullying.
- If he/she shows extreme signs of aggression.
Speech and Language Development
At 6 years 4 months old, your child shows the ability to speak relatively fluently and confidently, crafting complete sentences.
However, it is still noteworthy to know that while your little one might start talking in full and complex sentences, and engage in adult-like conversations, he/she might still find it difficult to describe complex ideas or events.
At this age is also when your little one starts to express interest in reading and writing so it is a good time for parents to introduce a variety of reading materials. Take your little one to the library for a visual treat while you spend that quality afternoon together.
Other speech and language milestones your 6 years 4 months old child may have reached by now:
- Crafts simple arguments.
- Follows a series of three commands in a row, for example, “Please wash your hands, put your books away and come down for dinner.”
- Starts to see that some words have more than one meaning.
- Uses simple present and past tense in a sentence.
- Expresses interest in reading and writing.
- Starts identifying word patterns.
- Frequently reverses letters and numbers.
- Try and get to know your child’s school administrators and teachers.
- Keep reading to your child, and have him/her read to you. It’s okay if he/she makes mistakes and never berate him or her for these.
- Participate in your child’s homework assignments, but as a facilitator, stepping in only whenever necessary.
- Practise classroom behaviour. Give your child small tasks to help fine-tune his/her focus, or simple instructions to follow.
- Have conversations about your child’s interests or perhaps his/her favourite animal or sport, which encourages him/her to listen, respond and question.
- Use counting to aid your child’s learning (“Let’s see if you can do that by the time I count to ten.”)
When to Talk to Your Doctor:
Be on the lookout for the following red flags.
- Has difficulty reading very short words or simple sentences.
- Stammers or stutters excessively.
Health and Nutrition: Your 6 years 4 months old
Your 6 years and 4 months old child is growing fast and to ensure healthy and steady growth, it is important to ensure that he/she gets the right types of nutrients. Apart from that, it is also crucial to ensure that your child is getting the sufficient amount of nutrition needed on a daily basis.
Nutrition and physical activity goes hand in hand so parents, be sure to help your 6 years 4 months old child get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Especially with a huge range of superfoods available in the market, you can help your child find the best option for his/her needs
- Always look for “100% whole grains” rather than “made with whole grains,” products which can have mostly refined grains in them.
- When serving red meat or other sources of iron (leafy greens, tofu, beans), it is recommended to pair it with a food high in vitamin C, such as sweet potatoes or tomatoes—it helps your child’s body absorb the iron better.
- Serve smaller portions to your child and give him/her second helpings only if asked for.
Kids around this age should ideally consume the following on a daily basis:
The recommended daily dietary guidelines for a 6-year old is to be at least 1,200 calories, including foods from a variety of nutrient groups such as dairy, protein as well as fruits and vegetables.
Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 1782.0 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1672.0 Kcal/day
One of the most important nutrient groups for a growing child is dairy. A child this age requires 2.5 cups of milk or yoghurt in his/her diet—just be sure to choose low-fat options.
Try these great options and sneaky ways to add incorporate dairy into your child’s diet:
- Dark-green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, peas and collard greens.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese into veggies, omelettes and pasta! So subtle, he/she wouldn’t even know.
- Serve yoghurt as a dip, coupled with sliced fruit.
- Blend cheese into mashed potatoes or meatballs.
- Use milk as an alternative to water when making some hot chocolate goodness. Also works well with oatmeal, pudding and pancakes!
For kids aged 6 years, the CDC recommends at least 19 grams of protein daily. For parents dealing with a picky eater, do not fret!
Some great sources of protein that children typically enjoy include:
- Home-made chicken and cheese pizza
- Yogurt parfait with layers of fruit
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Scrambled eggs with cheese
- Tuna sandwich
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Pasta with chicken or turkey
- Meatballs with pasta or in soup
Fruit and vegetable group
With just a little bit of creativity, you can make this fun for you and your 6 years 4 months old! Get your little one to help you out at the kitchen as well, and observe how this helps his/her language and maths skill.
A child this age will need at least 1 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of vegetables per meal.
In a nutshell, here’s what you child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):
- Fruits: three cup for boys; three cups for girls
- Vegetables: two cups for boys; two cups for girls
- Grains: four ounces for boys; four ounces for girls
- Proteins: 36g for boys; 36g for girls
- Milk: 17-20 ounces for boys; 17-20 ounces for girls
- Water: 1500 ml for boys; 1500 ml for girls (around six cups)
- Introduce fruits and vegetables as snacks. Keep fruit washed, cut up and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
- Serve salads more often.
- Add lots of vegetable to meat and pasta sauces.
When to Talk to Your Doctor? If your child:
- Is severely under- or over-weight
- Vomits or gags often while eating
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses: Your 6 years 4 months old
Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered at this age. Do check with your doctor for common ones your child needs on a more regular basis, like the flu shot.
As your child spends more time in school, he/she could expect to contract more common colds and the flu. There may also be rashes that develop on his/her body which you should keep an eye out for. Encourage your child to tell you if there is any discomfort on his/her body, or if you notice any itching.
Ultimately, it is important for parents to remember that all children experience growth differently. Each and every child is unique. When it comes to milestones, they are just guidelines and not set in stone.
Treating Common Illnesses
To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold – try the following:
- To treat Fever
- Use lukewarm water to sponge your child, especially dealing with high temperatures up to 39 degrees celsius.
- Dress your child in light clothing to allow heat to be diffused
- Ensure that your child is still eating properly and is well hydrated
- Try medication like try using children’s ibuprofen or Paracetamol. However, it is advised not to use both medications together.
- Do NOT use aspirin in children that could lead to Reye’s syndrome—a life-threatening illness that affects the liver and brain.
- To treat coughs and cold in kids
- Serve half a teaspoon of dark honey, such as buckwheat, which works effectively because they are high in antioxidants.
- Try feeding your child chicken soup as it is said to have anti-inflammatory properties while also clearing his/her nasal passage.
- Have your child drink ice water, cold or warm juice, or decaffeinated tea mixed with honey.
- Place a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room, near him/her to help loosen chest and nasal congestion—a great remedy to help tackle coughs at night.
- Prop your child’s head up with a pillow or folded towel which can help him/her to breathe easier.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child,
- Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius
- Has unusual bruises, bumps or rashes
- Complains constantly of headaches or other aches
- Has been vomiting or has diarrhoea for more than two days
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