Montessori Alliance

Your Child – 6 to 12 years

Second Stage of Development

By the time the child reaches 6 years of age he is mentally and physically healthy and is in a stable developmental stage. The outward signs of development become apparent as the child starts to loose his milk teeth. This is when the parent will often hear the phrase ‘it’s not fair!’ It is important the parent/teacher treats each child fairly and with consistency. Rules and boundaries are tested, with the child often ‘telling tales’ on siblings and watching to see how the parent/teacher deals with any transgressions. The adult is the model of justice the child absorbs, therefore remembering how you dealt with a similar situation in the past, actively listening to today’s problem without prejudging the outcome, and following through on any decisions made by doing what you said you were going to do, will all aid the child’s construction of his own moral compass.

The Social Child

Children’s clubs outside of school, such as soccer, gaa, dance, scouts, guides etc., allow children to negotiate a place within a more diverse social setting. The child will learn how to work in a team, leaders will be chosen and rules followed. As the child moves through this stage of development he likes to challenge himself and needs lots of outdoor physical activity. The child likes to compete with others and against himself and will give himself goals to reach. His personal goals could be something as simple as learning a new dance, running a race faster or winning a competition. Clubs allow the child to become part of a team and through this interaction and camaraderie, he will place the good of the team over his own needs. A wider circle of friends will allow the child to become aware of himself as a person, with his own thoughts and wishes, which may clash with his peers and result in him bending or changing his standpoint to ‘fit in’. Efforts by parents to bring their child to extra curricula activities will provide opportunities for the child to learn the skills necessary to get the most from society.


The child is striving towards independence and autonomy, but no man exists as an island, therefore duties and responsibilities need to be created and adhered to by both the child AND the adult. The child needs to feel ownership of his environment, he needs to feel that he has a place within it and that he is valued. Chores and duties within the home increase his sense of self-esteem and belonging. As a parent/teacher set chores that will challenge the child and from which he will get a feeling of satisfaction on completion. But be aware, just as you do a job to the best of your ability the child will do the job to the best of HIS ABILITY. Chores can be a good way to introduce pocket money although care needs to be taken about choosing which chores the child receives payment for. Everyday chores, such as putting his clothes in the wash-bag or tidying his room should be done as a matter of course and shouldn’t elicit payment. Although as an adult meaningful chores and duties such as loading the washing machine, hanging out clothes and cooking have a tendency to remain adult chores, try to delegate some of these to the child. Perseverance, a calm demenour and proper instructions will help avoid potential ‘disasters’. Increasing the complexity and reducing adult support whilst still maintaining an aura of approachability, will all help the child in his task of becoming an independent being who lives in a community.

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