What Are Appropriate Behaviors for a Six-Year-Old and Seven-Year-Old?

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While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental milestones occur, there are general timelines for when we expect to see certain accomplishments. So, what are appropriate behaviors for a six-year-old and seven-year-old?

Appropriate Behaviors for a Six-Year-Old and Seven-Year-Old

While every child is different and there are no hard-and-fast rules about when certain developmental milestones occur, there are general timelines for when we expect to see certain accomplishments. Relatedly, some children may be advanced in one area and slightly behind in another.

The behaviors listed below are those that are typically achieved during the six and seven-year-old years and are shared merely as a guideline. As parents, we may wish to help our children play to their strengths and consider interventions to support and strengthen their weaker areas; consulting with professionals can help determine appropriate paths for intervention.

Motor Skills

  • Gains greater control over large and fine motor skills; movements are more precise and deliberate, though some clumsiness persists
  • Enjoys vigorous running, jumping, climbing, and throwing etc.
  • May still have trouble staying still

Cognitive Behaviors

  • Span of attention increases; works at tasks for longer periods of time
  • Understands general concept of time (e.g., today, tomorrow, yesterday) and speed (e.g., some things go faster than others)
  • Recognizes seasons and major activities done at certain times
  • Enjoys problem solving and sorting activities like stacking, puzzles and mazes
  • Enjoys the challenge of puzzles, counting and sorting activities, paper-and-pencil mazes, and games that involve matching letters and words with pictures
  • Recognizes some words by sight; attempts to sound out words
  • In some cases, the child may be reading well
  • Is likely to reverse or confuse certain letters (e.g., b/d, p/g, g/q, and t/f)
  • Folds and cuts paper into simple shapes
  • Can tie laces, string (like shoes)

Speech-Language Behaviors

  • Can identify right and left hands fairly consistently
  • Arrives at some understanding about death and dying; may express fear that parents may die
  • Loves humor; loves telling and hearing jokes/riddles
  • Enthusiastic and inquisitive about surroundings and everyday events
  • Talks a lot and asks many questions; able to carry on adult-like conversations
  • Uses appropriate verb tenses, word order, and sentence structure
  • May experiment with slang and “potty” words

Social-Emotional Behaviors

  • Uses language rather than tantrums or physical aggression to express displeasure
  • Talks self through steps required in simple problem-solving situations (may be “internal” dialogue)
  • Becoming less dependent on parent, but still needs closeness and nurturing
  • Generally eager to please; needs and seeks adult approval, reassurance, and praise
  • May complain excessively about minor hurts to gain more attention
  • Often can’t view the world from another’s point of view
  • Limited frustration tolerance; may be moody
  • Understands behavior in terms of “rules” as opposed to ethical or moral standards; understands when s/he has been “bad”
  • May be fearful of the unknown (e.g., the dark, noises, etc.)

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Barrie Morganstein, Ph.D.
Dr. Morganstein works with clients of all ages by providing individual therapy, family therapy, and psychological assessment. In her therapeutic work, she specializes in Parenting, Behavioral & Emotional issues in Children, Auditory & Other Sensory Processing Disorders, ADHD Coaching, Self-Esteem & Identity, and Motherhood Issues such as Post-partum Depression & Anxiety. Dr. Morganstein regularly conducts psychoeducational and neurodevelopmental assessments for individuals of all ages and specializes in Auditory Processing Disorders, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. She is an expert in working with Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing clients conducting both therapy and psychological assessments; she is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), but adapts to a wide variety of communication needs and preferences.

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