Child development and milestones: Your 6-years-9-months old
Your 6 years and 9 months old is exploring the world with a brain thirsty for knowledge! Find out more about the milestones he/she will reach at this stage.
By this age, your child is probably a primary school bub, making his or her academic mark. It’s a big step forward in your child’s development. In fact, more independent than ever, your child may seem like a big kid already. But your little one needs your support in building his or her confidence and character now more than ever.
Let’s explore some of the achievements that await to be unlocked at this point in your little one’s life.
But, do remember that each child is different. Not all children develop a specific skill at the same time. These milestones are guidelines, not strict rules on development.
6 Years and 9 Months Developmental Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
Around this time, your kid will be more capable of doing a lot of things—some of them might even include dangerous activities! So, make it a point to remind your child to be careful whenever he or she plays in public places and keep an eye on him or her even when you’re in the comfort of your own home.
During your kid’s ninth month at age six, this should be the median height and weight*.
- Height: 120.5 cm (47.4 in)
- Weight: 22.6 kg (49.7 lb)
- Height: 120.1 cm (47.3 in)
- Weight: 22.2 kg (49 lb)
As your kid grows, the need for independence increases. Resist the urge to do everything for your six-year-old! If you let your child do things on their own, they will rise to the challenge. They will be able to dress themselves, tie their own shoelaces without assistance, and ride a bike without training wheels.
With more refined motor skills such as climbing, tumbling, running, and hopping, you may start engaging your child in dance lessons or organised sports like soccer. He or she can also start swimming lessons at this time. Fun days are ahead!
- Encourage your child to explore new things and try out activities that interest him or her.
- At this age, many kids may show an interest in illustration. Buy plenty of art materials and make sure you save the best ones and to compliment your child on his or her masterpiece!
- As your child gets more interested in sports, a lot of ‘normal accidents’ can happen, like falling off the bike or scraping his knees. Familiarise yourself with first-aid remedies.
- If your child is training to ride a bike without training wheels, buy all necessary safety gear to avoid serious accidents. A helmet is a must!
When to See a Doctor
- When your child has trouble holding a pencil or is fully unable to hold any art material.
- If your almost-seven-year-old is having a hard time keeping up with peers during playtime.
- If your child is having problems with simple hand-eye coordination like catching a ball.
Your little one has officially entered the primary school years. There will be a lot to absorb at this stage, and school is going to be a huge part of his or her life. It’s important that your child makes the transition to big school well. When your child thinks of school in a positive light, learning is fun and easy.
The good news is you can expect a more focused child at this stage. Your little one should now be able to maintain 15 minutes of focus when it comes to school work and follow a series of three commands in a row!
Your child’s mental abilities are also growing in leaps and bounds, so expect him to understand a whole lot more about the world, including simple humour and puns. You may even see a little jokester on the rise!
Your child’s ability to read, tell time, and understand the concept of numbers should have also improved.
- At almost-age-seven, your child is still developing a sense of distance. Always hold your child’s hand when crossing the street to prevent any accidents.
- Fire safety training is also useful during this age since your child is capable of understanding instructions. Install smoke alarms in your house and teach your kid what to do when fire hazards arise.
When to See a Doctor
- If your child is not able to follow simple instructions.
- If your child lost a skill that they once had.
Social and Emotional Development
The apple of your eye is exploring the world in his or her own little way. Your support is critical at this stage because your child is building confidence, as well as coping mechanisms for times of adversity or stress.
At this age, children start seeking independence from their family, so don’t be surprised when they start volunteering to do simple chores in the house. Gradually give your child more responsibility, and don’t get too upset when your overzealous little helper breaks a plate. Accidents will happen.
Your little one is also starting to recognise social cues which leads to approval-seeking not just from parents, but from peers as well. Your child will also start paying more attention to friendships and teamwork.
- Build your child’s confidence by recognising accomplishments and showing affection regularly.
- Let your child know that you are always ready to listen to his/her problems. Try asking your child about school, friends, and even things that bother him or her.
- Kids at this age are prone to cheating, lying, and stealing. This is normal behaviour. When you catch your child lying, use it as an opportunity to teach good values. Remind him or her of the importance of taking turns and the consequences of his/her actions.
- Encourage your child to join groups and engage in community work. Support him or her to take on challenges to improve problem-solving abilities.
- Teach your kids to make simple decisions. Let them choose which toys to play with or sports to engage in.
When to See a Doctor
- If your child often avoids social interaction.
- If you observe signs of low energy, depression, or anxiety.
Speech and Language Development
Your precious one is sharing their discoveries with everyone, and it’s just the cutest thing!
At age six, your little one should be able to be understood by strangers 90-100 percent of the time, be able to make jokes, as well as promises. Your child will even be able to make purchases at the store – with adult supervision, of course. Six-year-olds often forget to get the change!
Your child’s vocabulary should be extensive – 2,600 to 7,000 words now. He or she will also start using comparative and superlative adjectives like small, smaller, and smallest.
Knowledge of language is at a complex level. Your child should be using most of the grammatical markers like pronouns, possessives, tenses, and conjunctions correctly.
- There’s no such thing as reading too much! Try reading age-appropriate books with your kid to expand vocabulary even further.
- Reading also enhances imagination. Foster creativity with different literary genres and encourage your child’s passions. This will help to build the persistence to reach for goals in the future.
- Although it may get tiring at times, listening to your kid’s stories is very important. Communication establishes openness, and there’s no healthier relationship than one that encourages trust.
- Keep tabs on your movements and your words. A big part of your child’s development is learning from you.
When to See a Doctor
- If your kid has trouble answering in complete sentences.
- If your kid is isolated and is not talking as much.
- Doesn’t understand the concept of numbers, adjectives, and time.
Health and Nutrition
There’s no stopping your child from growing up! His or her baby teeth may now begin to fall out and get replaced by permanent teeth. Make sure to introduce your child to the Tooth Fairy!
Exciting times are ahead because of all the new people your child is meeting in primary school. Because he/she’s starting to form his/her body and self-image at six years old, it’s also important to maintain open communication. This will go a long way in making sure mental health is secured.
You can expect your child to grow fast during this stage of development. He or she will be gaining 4–7 pounds or 2 to 3 kg every year, and grow about 2.5 inches a year.
So basically, your child needs three basic food groups to keep a well-balanced diet — dairy, protein, and fruits and vegetables.
All in all, here are the caloric needs of your little one:
- Boys: 1,819 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,707 Kcal/day
Your child’s daily meals should consist of these:
As your child grows up, he or she would need the right nutrients to build muscles and maintain a strong build. Protein helps not only build but also repair tissues, this means that your child kind of gets a superpower of healing fast! So make sure your load up their plates with eggs, beans, meat, and/or beans!
Fruits are the main sources of natural vitamins and minerals. Also, it is important to know that different colours have different benefits. So, make sure your alternate your greens, yellows, reds, and purples to make sure your precious one gets everything he or she needs!
Just like fruits, these bad boys make your kid filled-up with enzymes that make the body strong and healthy! It also helps prevent the development of chronic diseases and excessive weight gain. Make sure your child gets all the benefits by alternating your colours on this one as well.
At almost seven, your kids would want to explore the world around them. To make this happen, you need to give them the energy and one great source of it is grains. It is loaded up with carbs to keep the body moving. Just make sure you get whole grains instead of processed ones as the latter ones tend to have less nutritional value.
At this age, your kid is starting to develop his or her permanent teeth. Calcium should be one of their essentials at this point. To make sure your little one gets enough of it, you need a healthy amount of milk, cheese, or yogurt. You can even have fun at dessert because some of the great food that contains calcium are ice cream, dessert type custard, and mousse! Be careful, though, as these food types contain high sugar content.
To have a better idea, here’s an overview of your kid’s daily meal:
- Fruits: three cups 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)
- Engage your kids in sports to make sure they have at least one hour of physical activity daily.
- Practice healthy eating habits in the house and stick to a balanced diet. It’s good for your kid and for you too!
- Your child needs around 9 to 12 hours of sleep, so make sure he or she goes to bed at the right time.
- Although we live among smartphones, televisions, and tablets, too much screen time has been found to have a negative impact on development. Make your child’s room a no-gadget zone.
- Keeping your child’s body healthy includes trips to the dentist! Visit the dentist regularly for cleaning and check-ups.
When to See a Doctor
- If your child is not getting enough sleep or is sleeping more than 9 to 12 hours a day.
- If your child’s growth is stunted.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
By this time, your kid should have gotten all his vaccinations. To be safe, check with your doctor if he has any follow up immunisations. To double-check, you can refer to this link.
Keep in mind that although your kid has a complete immunisation record, he or she might still get the common illnesses. Fortunately, there are ways to treat it at home.
Treating Common Illnesses
At this phase in your kid’s life, it’s normal to get the common cold, an occasional coughs, or a sore throat every now and then. But of course, you still need to keep an eye on your ball of energy before anything becomes serious. If his or her temperature rises above 38°C, make sure to immediately inform your doctor. As for the common illnesses, here are some home remedies you can follow:
- Fever: Even a slight fever may cause a slight loss of energy and it’s a little heartbreaking. So, make sure your little one gets a lot of rest. You can also apply lukewarm compresses on areas like the forehead, armpits, and groin areas. This will keep the temperature down.
- Cough: At times, a simple cough can just be clearing of the throat. Other times, it can be something worse. For times that the cough gets persistent, make sure your child is intaking a lot of fluids. A simple home remedy you can do is mixing ginger and honey with a glass of lukewarm water. Keep an eye out for yellowish phlegm as this may be a sign of an infection.
- Cold: For the common colds, you have to make sure that your child stays hydrated and well-rested. Examine if your child’s cold is accompanied by body aches and very high fever as this may be a sign of influenza. As much as possible, avoid buying over-the-counter meds before talking to your doctor.
At this age, it is important that you make sure your child is familiar with proper hygiene. Simple washing of hands can save you so much money from hospital bills and medication. Remember that prevention is always better than cure!
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Next month: 6 years 10 months
(*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards)