Your child socially and emotionally

development at 6 years

Socially Savvy Six Year Olds

By age six children are aware of gender differences and play is often separated by gender. Relationships with peers are becoming more and more important in development. An increase in sharing, helping, and comforting others should be seen at this time. However, children will disagree and this is a normal opportunity to learn and develop social skills. Provide your child plenty of opportunity to interact with peers and help and guide them to solve social problems. Girls at this age are more likely to have best friends or close friends than boys are. Friendships provide emotional security and boost self esteem.

Is your child on track emotionally?

At age 6, children display self-regulating behaviors. This means they are developing the ability to voluntarily control their emotions and behaviors to achieve their goals. Children will display the ability to mask emotions and display more appropriate ones. For example, when they receive a gift they do not like, at this age children will be able to still respond with joy, despite their disappointment. It is crucial for adults to model appropriate emotional behavior during this time. Talk to children about behaviors and show them the appropriate response. Children are also beginning to understand that people may think differently and have different intentions than they do. Help your child think about other people's perspectives. The emotions of empathy and sympathy are developing at this time as well. At age six, children are learning to engage in moral behavior, not to avoid punishment, but because they now also believe it is right. Aggression should decline as children learn to control their emotions.