chapter  7
The Extraordinary 6-Year-Old
ByKimberly M. Jayne
Pages 12

Six-year-old children are complicated creatures who are growing and changing rapidly. They are in a constant process of expansion and growth. The healthy, developing six-year-old's brain is becoming more integrated as communication between the left and right hemisphere increases. Six-year-olds are also experiencing rapid physical growth and may get sick frequently. A six-year-old is learning to distinguish their right hand from their left, known as motor development, but may have difficulty translating this skill to other people. By the age of six, children increasingly adopt socially constructed gender-specific behavior and avoid behavior associated with the opposite gender. Six-year-olds are transitioning from the preoperational period of cognitive development toward the concrete operational period: from concrete to abstract thought. Six-year-olds are typically in the self-protective stage of ego development. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is the most developmentally appropriate intervention for six-year-olds. Filial therapy is also an appropriate intervention for six-year-olds, especially if the presenting concern is related to the parent-child relationship.