Any links to Amazon are affiliate links.
Six year old girl schedule and development. How to deal with emotions and what six year old girls are like.
This is a summary for Brinley from 5 years 10 months old to 6 years old. She is now 6!
Sleep is great! Brinley had one night where she woke up crying because her leg hurt. I am 99% sure it was from growing pains (the 1% is reserved just for the fact that there is always a chance it could be something else). I gave her some pain killer and rubbed some Deep Blue oil on her (the doTERRA Deep Blue products are fantastic for growing pains!). Other than that night, things have been great!
Eating has shifted some. She has always been a great eater, even through the typical picky slides toddlers go through. She has started to say she doesn’t like certain foods and not want to eat them. There isn’t one food group she is directing this toward, but I would say most foods fall into the meat category. Brayden and Kaitlyn both spent YEARS not liking meat. They basically didn’t like meat until they were about 5-6, so it is funny to have her start to be picky about it now.
During this time period, Brinley did not do much. She did a rock climbing summer camp. I was really proud of her for taking that on because she is so afraid of heights. She has a natural, real phobia. But she is also determined to overcome that fear, so she constantly pushes herself. She had fun and got to where she would climb the whole wall!
She also did piano lessons. If you follow me on Instagram, you know Brayden is her teacher now. Our teacher we have had since Brayden was five moved and all of the local teachers were full. Since Brinley is so basic, we decided we could try having Brayden teach her for this year. I don’t think it will be great long-term. Very few piano teachers teach their own children, so I am sure a sibling teacher relationship will not be fantastic, but it will have to do for the year. In case you are wondering, we do pay Brayden for being her teacher.
We are nearing the end of summer and this time period covers two months of summer, so I wanted to give a summer reflection. Brinley has always been one to really like her structure. She has always struggled with Saturdays because they are different from her Monday-Friday. Summer has been one long Saturday. She has handled it better than she has in past years, but it is still hard for her.
A thing that compounds the problem is that since she is the fourth child, she has older siblings involved in things. That involvement leads to disruptions. Her two sisters both play soccer. Kaitlyn has had practice three days a week and McKenna has had practice twice a week. All different days and times. Brayden has had swim lessons four days a week and piano lessons the other day. We just have things that make it so each day is a little different. Each day has a different flow and feel.
This leads to some emotional breakdowns.
I think it will be good for her to start back up with school in a couple of weeks. Her days can be ultra consistent with just some differences in her evenings.
Speaking of emotions. My husband and I were talking about Brinley and how emotional she can get. She is a super emotional person. She is advanced in her feelings, but not advanced in her maturity to handle those feelings. So she feels things more intensely and deeply than the average five (now six) year old, but her maturity to express and manage emotions has not grown as fast as the emotion itself.
So I have been working on expressing emotions with her. We play a game in a time of non-conflict (read up on training in times of non-conflict here) where I say an emotion and she shows it on her face. I did this with all of my other children to help them recognize those emotions exist and to name them. Brinley knows those things already, so I never really did the game with her.
What Brinley doesn’t do is express the emotion she is feeling appropriately. So when we play the game and I say, “Show me, embarrassed”, I point out to her her face. THIS is how a person who is embarrassed acts. She understands it logically. The trick is connecting it on an emotional level. I point out embarrassed doesn’t look angry nor sad.
So the next time she is embarrassed and responds in anger or crying, I remind her, “Remember what embarrassed looks like? This isn’t how it looks.” That helps her step back and try to express the appropriate emotion that she is feeling.
I really realized this month that as Brinley is anticipating something, she can be difficult and disobedient. When she is looking forward to her birthday or a big event, she gets hyper-focused on that and for whatever reason becomes more stubborn. It could be her emotions are heightened–I haven’t been able to analyze it deeply. As her birthday approached, she became more difficult. As soon as it was over, she was much better!
We had a couple of vacations during this period. They were both only four days long and close to home. She did great at these. She slept well and was pleasant.
We took all four kids to their first concert. We saw Phillip Phillips at an outdoor concert. It was fun, BUT Brinley definitely was not old enough for this. She has been to many, many musicals and performances, so I thought she would be fine, but I guess a concert is missing a storyline to keep attention. Plus it was late, which didn’t help her feel great about being there. She was bored (that is not commentary on Phillip Phillips; he was great!). So we will wait a couple of years before trying her at a concert again.
This is our basic summer schedule (you can get more details about this summer schedule here):
Brinley gets up at 7:30 each morning.
In McKenna’s latest summary, I did a slideshow of the time period I discussed in the post. I got great feedback, so I am going to keep that going! Here is Brinley’s. This covers two months. Music is from https://www.bensound.com/.