Northwest Spokane Pediatrics
What should I expect from my 6-year-old?
- Likes to take risks. “indestructible.”
- Begins to impose rules on play activities
- Cooperates with other children with some difficulty
- Seems to have boundless energy
- Dawdling is common as serializing tasks
- Values independence
- Likes to make simple decisions
- Counts to 100
- Asks endless "how-what-when-where-why" questions
- Begins to understand the difference between intentional and accidental
- Still has a short attention span (about 15 minutes maximum)
- Enjoys dramatic play
- Can be reckless (does not understand dangers completely)
- Improving basic motor skills
- Able to learn some sports skills like batting a ball.
- Uses crayons and paints with some skill, but has difficulty writing and cutting
- Permanent teeth erupting, both molars and front teeth
Meals should be a time for family to sit together without interference from radio or television. This should be a comfortable social time to discuss things amongst children and adults. Snacks should be healthy. Avoid sugar sweetened beverages.
Give small portions of food to your child. If he is still hungry, let them have seconds. Selecting foods from all food groups (meat, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) is a good way to provide a balanced diet.
Food preferences will vary. Balance good nutrition with what your child wants to eat. Major battles over what your child wants to eat are not worth the emotional cost. Bring only healthy foods home from the grocery store.
- Practice a home fire escape plan.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.
- Tell your child about the dangers of playing with matches or lighters.
- Teach your child emergency phone numbers and to leave the house if fire breaks out.
- Turn your water heater to 120°F (50°C).
- Everyone in a car must always wear seat belts or be in an appropriate booster seat.
- Don't buy motorized vehicles for your child.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
- Supervise street crossing. Your child may start to look in both directions, but is not ready to cross a street alone.
- All family members should ride with a bicycle helmet.
- Do not allow your child to ride a bicycle near busy roads.
- Children who ride bicycles that are too big for them are more likely to be in bicycle accidents. Make sure the size of the bicycle your child rides is appropriate. Your child's feet should both touch the ground when your child stands over the bicycle. The top tube of the bicycle should be at least 2 inches below your child's pelvis.
- Discuss safety outside the home with your child.
- Be sure your child knows her home address, phone number and the name of her parents' place(s) of work.
- Remind your child never to go anywhere with a stranger.
Discourage Interest in Tobacco Products
- Tobacco use is unhealthy. Parents are influential in teaching children to avoid tobacco.
- If a parent smokes, the parent should set a quit date and stop smoking. Modeling nonsmoking is a powerful example with important health consequences.
- Talk to your child about not smoking.