Your 6-year-old now
Misdeeds deserve consequences, right? But in order to hand down a suitable consequence, you need to understand why your child misbehaves. Did she do it on purpose or was it an accident? Does she know the difference?
At 6, your child is learning the difference between accidental and intentional behaviors. Most children don't plot to do wrong. Baseballs sail off course and through windows; pants get ripped; things happen.
Yes, you may have told your child thousands of times to throw the ball away from the house. But kids this age are impulsive and have trouble visualizing future sequences of events; they often can't see what effect their actions will have until something bad happens.
In the event of an accident, grit your teeth and try to stay calm. Talk about the implications of her behavior. Try to involve your child in an appropriate remedy: helping to clean up what was broken, for example.
But sometimes, kids know exactly what they're doing wrong. Kids intentionally act out when they're angry, frustrated, tired, or feel under pressure. Put yourself in her place. She has so little control over her life. She's bound to go over the line occasionally as she tries to assert herself. While you can't let her get away with bad behavior, be sensitive. You may need to deal with the underlying issue by making sure she gets more rest or role-playing other things she can do to manage her anger.
Your life now
All of this social pressure can wear on your child. Sometimes she'll need to shut out the world and play alone, avoiding the stress of managing peer relationships. Balance playdates with plenty of private time.
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