5 and 6 Year Olds

Wondering why your 5 year old is slightly aggressive or your 6 year old is all of a sudden defiant? You are at the right place. This documents the childhood developmental stages. Each milestone starts with a child who becomes difficult and ends with new skills. In almost every case, what they become so bad at is what they will soon to get very good at!

Here are the quick links for frequent users. This was last updated on June 29, 2020

Early Elementary Milestone 1: 5 years
Early Elementary Milestone 2: 5 years, 1 month
Early Elementary Milestone 3: 5 years, 5 months
Early Elementary Milestone 4: 5 years, 5 months, 2 weeks
Early Elementary Milestone 5: 5 years, 6 months
Early Elementary Milestone 6: 5 years, 6 months, 2 weeks
Early Elementary Milestone 7: 5 years, 8 months
Early Elementary Milestone 8: 5 years, 10 months
Early Elementary Milestone 9: 5 years, 11 months
Early Elementary Milestone 10: 6 years, 2 weeks
Early Elementary Milestone 11: 6 years, 1 month
Early Elementary Milestone 12: 6 years, 2 months
Early Elementary Milestone 13: 6 years, 3 months
Early Elementary Milestone 14: 6 years, 6 months
Early Elementary Milestone 15: 6 years, 9 months
Early Elementary Milestone 16: 6 years, 11 months

Lower Elementary Milestone 1—Conceptual Problem Solving
Starts: 1 week before 5 years old
Most Intense: 5 years, almost 2 weeks
Ends: 5 years, 2 weeks
Irritable Period Summary
Sense of Entitlement
• A high sense of entitlement. Might throw their wrappers, etc., and fully expects you to clean up after them.
• Expects adults to cater to them immediately. Upset that you brought the wrong X (e.g., a type of snack), no matter how hard you try to predict what they might want.
• Very aggressive, impulsive, and entitled. You might say you are going to the store and they come up to you and kick you and demand you take them
Taunts other Children
• Likes to play practical jokes on other children, seeming to purposely rile others up. They might give a child an empty bag of cookies or hide another child’s favorite toy or shoe
• Wants to play with others a lot and may hit or take to get the attention; plays jokes or steals things just to get attention
• Constantly provokes other children. If you ask them about it, they might say, “Because I want to have fun with them!” It really is healthy connection forming, but they don’t know how to do it yet.
• Verbalizes their confusion, e.g., “Five year olds don’t know right from wrong”
• Taunts children when they “win” in a fight or game
• You might expect at least one socially embarrassing public incident with your aggressive or easily hurt/upset child during the most intense period
Feels very Vulnerable
• Feels very easily slighted, defeated, or vulnerable. Might ask you to protect the more
• May have overwhelming scary dreams in which people take their stuff
• May take action to protect themselves from threats, like bringing a toy gun “in case of monsters” or making monsters out of Play Doh and pretending to kill them
• Some of the last milestone may still be present or may even be shifted entirely by one milestone for some children: fear of death and dealing with the impermanence of life.
Most Intense Period
• Some children seem to tend towards whining and others toward aggression. Whichever your child is, a high amount of that. A high amount of taunting other children, harassing them, or taking their things. May become violent or emotionally out of control in their attempts to get other children to play with them
New Abilities Summary
This one is marked by being able to take a small bit of information, remembering it, and projecting it and applying it in the future. They can handle highly complex situations about future events. Hence the name, “Long Range Conceptual Problem Solving.” It starts out subtle at first and then explodes
Long Range Conceptual Problem Solving
• You can give them information for a long-range problem, and they do well. You can give them a map or information about something, and they memorize it and apply it later
• Takes small bits of information and applies them long term. For instance, “Hey, when I carry this bowl of cereal carefully, it doesn’t spill. Maybe I can be careful all the time!”
• Thinks of realistic solutions to problems in which there is a long-range issue or several steps to achieve something, e.g., you might get a dog but first we should really put in a fence.
• Follows along with complex, abstract descriptions, such as a technical problem a parent had at work
• Enjoys solving and thinking about issues where the solution may be complex. Might mimic playing a doctor and thinking of the best solution to heal a sick patient or they think about how colors go together, like pales for spring season and oranges and blacks for Halloween, and mix and match them to their delight in their wardrobe and coloring
• Capable of if/then logic about a course of action. For instance, “Mommy tells me to wipe 5 times but if there is no poop, I can stop wiping.”
• Wonders things like how grocery stories get stocked or how do people write books?
• Very likely to come up with new, creative ideas after you show them something. For instance, you show them how to make a “shooter” with a cup and a balloon and they try to make a trampoline for themselves using similar principles
• They come up with their own solutions to problems that you would have never thought of. For instance, to make a cup more rigid, they put two cups together, nestled, while doing a science experiment
• Interested in learning to solve life events, such as watching a video about preparing for a tornado
• Starts to “keep score.” In a game you didn’t even know you were playing, you have 0 points and they have 1 point already
• Absolutely loves doctor’s appointments and how the doctor thoroughly checks every single part of them
• Stays in character for a long time and with great poise, such as behaving in the manner of who they are dressed up for Halloween would behave
Better at Handling That Things Don’t Always Go Their Way / They are Wrong / Other People’s Opinion Matter
• Good at handling when their things get destroyed: get sad rather than angry
• Might resolve to do something even better if something of theirs gets destroyed or something doesn’t go their way. They can re-center really well and focus on a new solution.
• Aware that their solutions and knowledge might be wrong, such as looking at the stars and saying, “I see a star! But I don’t know if it’s a star. It might be a planet.” They can “pivot” like this in their thinking and actions
• Capable of a more robust negotiation where you go back and forth to come up with a solution. They might love to do a handshake and say, “Deal?” Overall very aware of the whole situation and where they fit in. Very happy to think of both themselves and the family’s needs.
• Advises you to do something but then remembers you should consult other people too, e.g., “Let’s do this thing. But lets talk to Daddy about it first.”
• Gives full and sincere apologies with detailed reasons for their inability to fulfill a promise: “I’m very sorry it took me a long time. I was stuck in the bathroom. I couldn’t get my pants up. Then I had trouble with the lock ….”
• Help other children when other children get hurt, such as helping a child put on their shoe, when it fell off or they can’t get it on
• Extraordinarily kind and considerate
• Wants to help their siblings learn things
• Notices positive things about their siblings and compliments them
• Thanks you for taking care of them
Academic Changes
• Capable of doing lessons where you separate nouns from verbs, or notice how prefixes and suffixes change a word. It’s great fun for a child
• Capable of writing out numbers to 100
• Can be given two blank squares that are both the same and together they add to 4, what are they?
• Handily does a Geopuzzle, a jigsaw puzzle of countries, in a way in which they understand these are countries of the world
• Might like a game like Flag Frenzy, where you match flags on two cards
• Can understand some basic economics, such as some money or other goods are needed for consumption, some for trade, some for savings
• Initiates their own projects more, such as digging in your supplies to find paper and crayons or watercolors so they can draw, color, or paint
• Potential encyclopedic knowledge of favorite topics

Early Elementary Milestone 2 — Sliding Scales
Starts: 1 week before 5 years, 1 month
Most Intense: 5 years 1 month, 1 or 2 weeks
Ends: 5 years, 2 months, 2 weeks
Irritable Period Summary
• This one is marked by similar behavior as the last one but in a more relentless way
• Can vary for children: some might show only short bursts of aggression, others might be more relentless
• Still very often entitled and likes to punk other children and sometimes chases children around to kiss them or play with them
• Sometimes just won’t back off. You might have to yank them off of their sibling.
• Cries longer after being hurt. For instance, someone doesn’t give them a hug when they wanted one and they can’t shake their pain for the rest of the night or until they get a hug
• You might expect yourself to be rather stressed out right now, with how frequently and intensely demanding they get. “I just GOT you a [type of food].” “Stop SCREAMING.” “God, does it ever stop!?”
• Demanding of more and more things. Takes your stuff especially, such as your phone.
• Might get more upset when a particular adult comes home or comes over. Very often, boys react strongly to male adults
• Announces that their feelings are hurt
• May get upset if you change something or throw away something you didn’t know they really, really loved, like the generic picture that came with a picture frame you bought
• Bossy towards other children about what the rules are: tells children they aren’t allowed to go “too far away,” other children aren’t allowed to open the door yet, etc.
• Very upset if something or someone they really like gets taken away for any reason
• Might just want more hugs
• Might stay up late, wanting to talk
Most Intense Period
• Relentless, intense behavior where they won’t back off and demand a lot. It greatly dissipates after the intense period but you still may see some bossy behavior or some intense behavior, depending on life situations, until the end
New Abilities Summary
The dominant new ability is an ability to see how relationships change over some variable, such as how any variable Y can change over variable X.
Notices how things change over a scale
• Notices how things change over a continuum, e.g., as they move away from a light source, their shadow gets bigger or smaller; or the reflection of their head gets bigger or smaller as they move a spoon; or their voice gets louder as they get closer
• Can project the course of something over time, e.g., by the time you get home it will be dark or by the time they are 7 years old, they will outgrow their car seat
• Wonders about how things are measured over time. For instance, if a baby is one day old, does this make them 0 or 1 years old?
• Very precise in how things work or what they want. For instance, “Yeah, my seat belt is tight but not too tight.” Or they might think about a detail about a very future event, such as, “When I die, I am not sure if it will be in the daytime or nighttime.”
• Love to think about how things move across a surface or time. They might be interested in how they can slide across a hard floor easily (but not the carpet) or how they can build two imaginary cars: one fast and one slow, and they move differently.
• Interested in how big or small things can get, e.g., the very smallest and biggest animal in the ocean
• Draws elaborate pictures, such as a large ocean with the type of fish that would live on the bottom, middle, and top
Quantifies the world
• Uses cumulative analytics to understand the world, e.g., counts how many times one person scores points over another and they persist at counting or they want new clothes and they want an entire new wardrobe with 5 new shirts, 6 new pants, and 7 new socks
• Likes economic mental solutions, such as how saying “100 verys” can replace “very, very, very, very…” or how grouping objects into 10s makes it much easier to count them
• Very, very good at adding and subtracting. Easily does numbers with a sum up to 20. They take pride that they do this “in their mind.”
• Handily puts things in a specific order, such as all even or odd numbers/loves to think about skip counting by even or odd numbers
Can think of paradoxes / notices irony
• Thinks of more complex paradoxes, such as “Is it a taco made of bells or bells made of tacos” about Taco Bell or they notice that moving the van one way causes objects in it to move the opposite way
• More situational awareness, like “Why does this coffee cup have snowflakes on it when the weather is nice?” or “Oh, the animals in [a movie] are talking now.”
• Can ask really intelligent questions if you ask a question of them isn’t clear. Like you ask if “front and back” are antonyms or prepositions and they tell you, correctly, that they are both
• They can pull out one variable of something and plug in another. They might make up jokes like, “The store is Dollar Duck,” about the store Dollar General. If you think of it like an algebraic equation, they deal with certain things as variables.
• Stronger interest in adventure stories that are longer, such as lengthy history stories or a story about a cave exploration
• Nonchalant about death now, may make up stories about people dying (whereas they just came out of milestones where they had a high fear of death)
• Stronger ability to learn things on their own, e.g., the features that come with taking a photo on the iPad
• Growing initiative in taking over their own learning, e.g., wants to do a particular project and says so
• May explore their private parts


Early Elementary Milestone 3—Hero-Worship and Inner Motivation
Starts: 5 years, 3 months, 3 weeks
Most Intense: 5 years, 5 months
Ends: 5 years, 5 months, and a few days
Irritable Period Summary
• Lingers on primary caregiver, wants hugs more often
• Playfully aggressive, e.g., “boxes” you
• Imaginary friends and scenarios, e.g., has invisible computers that are really tall, wide, or alternatively very small
• Wants particular caregiver late at night
• Cries more easily
• Occasionally angry and aggressive (near intense part)
• Might describe more about how their mind works, e.g., their mind stacks things
• Tests and tricks others to see if they are smart or not
• Nightmares
• This one is “long” but the behaviors are quite mild except near the most intense part
New Abilities Summary
• Likes things that are “deep,” e.g., closes their eyes and acts out something dramatic
• Loves triumphant songs, e.g., The Ants Go Marching
• Strong interest in playing an instrument and in a moving way
• Loves acting out real adventure stories, e.g., escaping Roman persecution in catacombs
• Wants to get stronger, or smarter, etc., e.g., uses weights and announces they are getting strong
• Interested in real news events
• Explodes in self-directed learning, e.g., makes up their own stories and writes out books
• Makes up games to play
• Very quirky
• For lack of better word, understands irony, e.g., makes up a joke that Elsa from Frozen is “The Queen of Queen,” a queen of a city named Queen!
• Talks to “invisible” things, such as pretending to type a message on a computer to an unseen person

Early Elementary Milestone 4—Competitive and Goal-Oriented
Starts: 5 years, 5 months, 2 weeks
Most Intense:
Ends: tbd
Irritable Period Summary

• Tears up more often
• Wants to “spend time” with primary caregiver more often
• Wants to talk with adults in their adult conversations, such as when mom and dad talk after they go to bed
• Stubbornly wants a say in bigger decisions, e.g., where, when, and how to cross a road
• Imaginative stories, e.g., something imaginary is in their pocket or their closet is filled with something that may fall on them
• Describes how their brain works, e.g., it’s “going crazy” or is like a “gear box with pistons pumping”
New Abilities Summary
• Actively wants you to beat them at a game
• Loves the idea of “challenges” or “getting to the next level” in a competition
• Likes to hide
• Evaluates a situation logically, e.g., do I have enough time to go to the bathroom before trick or treaters come to the door
• Loves to find and build patterns, e.g., 3 colors together as the “American Flag,” grouped together often makes X many flags
• Strong desire to have loving relationships with others
• Very kind and considerate of others; offers to help out
• Willing to stay “in character” if acting as a character for any reason, e.g, stays in character if dressed up as someone for Halloween

Early Elementary Milestone 5—Competitive and Goal-Oriented
: 5 years, 5 months, 2 weeks
Most Intense: At the beginning and again at 5 years, 6 months
Ends: 5 years, 6 months, a few days
Irritable Period Summary
• It starts with wanting an extreme amount of control over a common situation. They night become distraught that an adult left the house, before they were able to say goodbye. Or they might stubbornly want a say in bigger decisions, such as where, when, and how to cross a road
• Tears up more often
• Wants to “spend time” with primary caregiver more often
• Might harass other children
• Wants to talk with adults in their adult conversations, such as when mom and dad talk about redecorating the bathroom
• Imaginative stories, e.g., something imaginary is in their pocket or their closet is filled with something that may fall on them
• May see a reappearance of some old imaginary friends
• Describes how their brain works, e.g., it’s “going crazy” or is like a “gear box with pistons pumping”
Most Intense Period
• During the more intense period at 5 years, 6 months, they might want you late at night or to sleep in the same bed as you. They might tell you they are having nightmares—or you might directly ask them about it. They might have some extremely terrifying nightmares: they get killed in a variety of ways, they become a murderer, worst of all they worry you might get killed
New Abilities Summary
• They absolutely love the idea of getting better and better at something at this one, in particular going from one “level” to the next. They attack challenges with verve. They have highly complex ideas and imaginations, which yet are also practical.
Competitive and Goal-oriented
• Actively wants you to beat them at a game
• Loves to be peppered with challenges, such as math problems
• Loves the idea of “challenges” or “getting to the next level” in a competition
• Likely to love “parkour” and making up fun challenges with their bodies, e.g., jump off a curb and spin before you land!
• Wants to try to keep up with adults even when they can’t, such as walking on a long walk
• Willing to stay “in character” if acting as a character for any reason, e.g, stays in character all night if dressed up as someone for Halloween. Or they might have a constant stream of consciousness about something, e.g., “Everyone. Stay in your seats. This is your captain speaking.”
• They love to learn to read, by reading. They’ll follow along with every word as you read to them
• They like to finish what they started, such as a book. They like to keep track of what they did, such as with a sticker chart
• Highly concerned about how they will do as an adult. Will a man marry them? How many girls/boys will date them?
Mentally Complex and Imaginative
• Highly imaginative and creative. They can, for instance, make up their own April Fool’s jokes now. They might tell you some cake crumbles are mouse poop—joke! Or you might sing a song and they think up new lyrics, such as you sing “Mary had a Little Lamb,” and they make up some new lyrics about what the lamb then does after following Mary to school that kind of sort of rhyme, after thinking about it for a few minutes
• Playing a game like charades is fun, where they have to come up with a thing or situation to act out for others to guess
• Their art work gets more complicated. They might draw a tablet and draw each individual app well or an entire scene in which a bee pollinates a flower
• Science lessons, as such are fun: what is man made or natural? Which animals lay eggs and which have live young? Doing these lessons while in nature is especially fun
• Evaluates a situation logically, e.g., do I have enough time to go to the bathroom before trick or treaters come to the door
• Loves to find and build patterns, e.g., 3 colors together as the “American Flag,” grouped together often makes X many flags
• Very kind and considerate of others; offers to help out
Paradox and Complexity
• Asks about paradoxical things, like:
• Does our brain have a brain?
• When videotaping their favorite actor in a movie, they would see the camera, wouldn’t they?
• Loves Reverse Russian jokes, such as, “In America, we play games. In Soviet Russia, games play you!”
• If you point out the idea to them, they might love to find “Easter eggs” in movies, such as Rapunzel can be found in the Frozen movie
• Strong desire to have loving relationships with others: they want to be with and have a “best friend.” They may become distraught after they part with their best friend or beg to see them. One person in particular is now definitely their best friend. This tends to be strong on one particular night around the intense period or over a few nights

Early Elementary Milestone 6—Explains and Evaluates Ideas
: 5 years, 6 months, 2 weeks
Most Intense: The beginning
Ends: 5 years, 6 months, 3 weeks
Irritable Summary
Bedtime Issues
• Gets back up out of bed and may eavesdrop on parents
• Gets back up out of bed and wants to talk about what they are excited about or can do, say new math problems
• Intentionally lies, might push a kid and blame it on another child
• Or might intentionally do something, like put something in a straw, then put their hands in their pocket and whistle like it didn’t happen
• Sometimes jerks their body around, almost in a spasm
• Expresses love to many people
• May make romantic advances towards an adult or older sibling. It happens only on one night, towards the very beginning, then doesn’t happen again
Most Intense Period
• Stays up late, wants to talk
New Abilities Summary
What is Real or Fake? How do you KNOW?
• They know what is FAKE and REAL. Cinderella is so FAKE. Julius Caesar actually existed. He is REAL.
• Critical of ideas, such as if Santa really exists. Needs PROOF to prove it so: did Santa eat some cookies or not?
• Wonders how people derived information: how did people learn what’s inside our body?
Perceptive / Lies / Understands Lying
• Can identify when characters from a story are lying, such as if a character is told they have to kill a baby and they say they will—but it is a lie
• Loves to give you “tricky” problems, perhaps “tricky” math problems
• They make up “lies” in their jokes and play now that are cute. They might pretend to look for “the Titanic,” a sunken ship, in the bathtub, but routinely find their baby brother’s foot, not the ship, much to baby brother’s delight
• Can handle a more complex, “reverse” way of thinking about something, such as “can you touch green?” No. This is an adjective so it’s not something you can touch
• Highly perceptive. If given the idea, they can find “Easter eggs” in movies, such as that Rapunzel shows up in the movie Frozen or that the genie’s magic carpet is in Princess and the Frog
• Highly aware of how others see them. Others will be so “jealous” of them.
• Strongly opinionated on how they would act in complex political situations. Would they obey a cruel king? NEVER.
• The British unfairly taxed the Americans. RUDE.
Explains Their Ideas
• Can explain ideas they have by using examples, e.g. uses hands to explain how earth revolves around the sun
• Can think of a creative way to explain an idea such as a “constitution,” by explaining that if two people in the house are fighting over if they lights should be on, they could put together a constitution to guide the process
• Depending on their personality, might explain what is in their inner world to you by making up an elaborate play, such as they were lost at sea and you thought they were dead and so you were screaming, “Nooooo!” but they weren’t actually dead
• Might make up an elaborate story like there once was a family that no furniture except a sleeping bag, which they all slept in. Then they had a baby and the sleeping bag wasn’t big enough. The mother and father went to buy furniture and kidnappers came and tricked the kids and pretended to be the mother and father for 15 years. Then the mother and father came back and the children went on to marry and have children and everyone was happy.
• May like to write out a story such as a Princess wanted to marry a Prince, but then found out he was evil
• May act out one of their favorite stories with devastating detail
• Wants to draw out an idea they have, perhaps for how to build a slide off their bed
• Throws themselves into making a nicely organized, colorful art design, such as coloring a peacock’s tail
• You might talk with them about freedom of expression, etc., now as they are so excited to express themselves
• If you read a story, history or other, and ask them to repeat back what you just read, they can, such as, “The Mayans fought other armies and got weaker and weaker like the Romans.” They might not always want to answer such questions, however.
• They follow along with stories like they are watching a football game or similar. They know all the key characters and what is going and compares it to other stories. They are totally into it. They clearly see it in their head well
• Notices and evaluates absolutely everything while going about. As they drive in the van, “Store, store. Tree, tree, tree. House. Neighborhood. Stop sign. Store.”
• Notices after touring through somewhere or driving and seeing something, “That was really neat.” It’s in how they nominate themselves as the decider of this that this comes across as strikingly new and intelligent
• Loves to write their thoughts down and they might write: grocery lists, activity logs, ideas to solve problems, emotions, a story
• They love to learn new words and see maps and read the more complicated words you find on a map like “Istanbul” or “Russia”
• Can spell well; enjoys work with homonyms
• May get excited over a topic they love and enthusiastically tell you how much they love it, such as a love for numbers
• Similarly, they may become passionate over someone in one of the stories they hear, such as someone who ended slavery
Realistic Solutions for Complex Problems
• Comes up with realistic solution for a relatively complicated life problem such as how to catch a mouse or how to reach a high smoke detector
• Comes up with not just the solution but alternative solutions in case the first one fails. For instance, they put a pillow under a bridge or slide they are building “in case they fall”
• May set up an entire history scene, say out of army men, and comes up with unique and different ideas for how to win a battle, such as building ramps to get over a wall
• They have good ideas about how to solve more worldwide problems, such as not coughing on people in restaurants to not spread virus
• Very excited by powerful solutions, even mathematically, such as how you can get to a really big number quickly by doubling numbers
• Excited to clean the house
• Or they might say something like, “I just feel like the whole world is good. I just FEEL that.” Like they imagine big things in their mind and try to make sense of complicated themes
Mental Variability
• Beginning signs of understanding two separate dimensions that make up an object, e.g., it can be big and light like a balloon or small and heavy like a small concrete block
• Or they might say they want to be two things, a doctor and a warrior, and they understand some of the complexity of that, such as you can go to school to be a doctor but where is warrior school?
• Or, further, if they become a doctor and they want to be a mother, who will look after their children?
• Can say something like after one of their socks gets a hole in it, “let’s get more socks, but get an odd number so I have pairs”

Early Elementary Milestone 7—Draws Conclusions from Proof
: 5 years, 8 months
Most intense: 5 years, 8 months to 5 years, 8 months, 2 weeks and again at 5 years, 8 months, 4 weeks? Or is this 2 milestones?
Ends: 5 years, 8 months, almost 4 weeks AT LEAST
Irritable Period Summary
Bedtimes Battles
• Stays up late; goes on and on about something, like how much they love to learn from the books or videos they watch
• Nightmares, perhaps of flying uncontrollably into outer space
Needs Connection
• Tears up more often
• Might say, “Mommy, mommy, MOMMY” a lot
• Wants your attention a lot
• Completely distraught if you so as much leave the house to get the mail, “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”
• Goes back to familiar activities from when they were younger
• Imaginary friends might make a re-emergence
Annoying, often Aggressive, Physical Habits
• Screams excitedly, like they don’t have control over it
• They are a bit like a “Mexican jumping bean,” like they can’t contain themselves. They might do cartwheels all over or can’t seem to not run into things as they run around
• In your face, annoyingly. Hovers over you, shakes tables, gets in your face, or keeps accidentally hitting you as they walk by, as if they have no ability to stay contained in their own body.
• Whining can get really out of hand (more likely in some children than others)
• They “get bored” easily and complain about it, often
• May get aggressive such as cutting up a sibling’s book
Still Loves to Trick People
• Still likes to trick people but in a more planned way, “I’ll tell my sister I’ll help her and then I wont!”
• Or they do something like put the skin of chickpeas on their nose, eat them, and tell you they are eating their own skin, as a prank.
Intentionally Picks Fights
• Makes up things to purposely bring distress on them. They might intentionally fall so they can cry, then cry, in an exaggerated way, like a younger child
• They do things that they know is not fair and will make everyone mad, but they do anyway. Their sibling might be doing a puzzle and they grab the very last piece that has to go in, wanting to do it themselves. They know full well this is wrong and they shouldn’t do it, but they do anyway.
• Or, as another example again in being purposely unfair, you might not be able to decide between Restaurant A or B. They have no opinion, but when you pick A, they declare they absolutely, uncompromisingly wanted B. They scream about how “SO UNFAIR” it is that you are going to A.
• Asks to play a game and then wails any time anything at all bad happens to them in the game, as if it’s a concerted attack on them
Most Intense Period
• Picks fights over seemingly trivial things, stays up late, cries
New Abilities Summary
Understands You Need Justifiable Proof for a Valid Conclusion
• Calls out lies definitively: a dictator promising peace and liberty if people would just trust him again is lying
• Uses proof to justify a position, e.g., “I know the earth is round because I stop seeing things in the distance”
• Formally investigates a theory in a methodical way, e.g., if I drop three different balls from a height, what sound do they make? Or “what do cars do if they roll down the stairs?”
• Interested in making sure others understand something correctly, such as making sure they have good directions to get something or go somewhere
• Argues, wants to argue, asks you to argue, or thinks about how to or how not to argue
Compares and Verifies Information
• Judges information as true or false based on past information, e.g., this book says the skin has two layers; this is “false” because another video said the skin has 3 layers
• Uses new information to clarify old information that was unclear to them, e.g., after you teach them about percentages, they go back to a place they heard that word before (they do this at previous milestones too)
• Capable of basic research, such as looking up an answer in a book
• Loves to compare what is the same and what is different between two things
• Reenacts something, such as from a story, with stunning detail, such as a very perfected bow “like a prince” with full earnestness, or reenacting what a weird character from a book looks like
• Loves to learn new things and be tested on their knowledge
• Makes up words to explain a thought, e.g., birds on a wire must be “electricity-proof” as they are somehow not being electrocuted
• Can make up a joke or poem intelligently based on the pattern of the typical joke or poem format, e.g., can do a Reverse Russian joke such as, “In Soviet Russia, games play you!”
• Can mentally hold on to two dimensions of a problem, e.g., be fast and quiet at the same time to get an object out of someone’s room
Budding Moral Reasoning
• Strong desire to do what is right and be not just good at something but someone with a good character
• Less enchanted by silly points or noises in a story and understands the moral theme better, such as that The Gingerbread Man in the same title story is being cocky and taunting and this causes him to get eaten (before the child probably ran around the room like the The Gingerbread Man)
More Personality
• Might say “seriously.” Like, seriously, mom.
• They might tell you, “Ok, Mom. I’m going to break this down for you.”
• Likes to tell jokes, like the chair is sitting on them
Mentally Speedy
• Loves fast paced games such as “Plumber” on tablets (more likely of highly mechanically-talented child)
• Notices the range of things, e.g., certain children are between the ages of 1 and 5 and others are not
• Very fast at solving logic problems
• Noticeably better strategy at playing games
• Reads fluently
More Responsible
• Interested in keeping areas around them clean
• Interested in many chores such as laundry and making their own sandwich
• Loves to sort items into categories or sort objects around the house
• Loves to do science experiments and learn about science

Early Elementary Milestone 8—Moral Reasoning
Starts: 5 years, 10 months
Most intense: 5 years, 10 months, 1 week
Ends: 5 years, 10 months, 1 week (?)
Irritable Period Summary
• Picks fights over petty things such as who had something first
• Stays up late
• Short term memory becomes bad, becomes absent-minded, e.g., forgets something you just taught or told them
Most Intense Period
• Very absent-minded and stays up late but you can definitely see the wheels turning
New Abilities Summary
• Willing to accept the complexity of moral dilemmas, such as in a story if a person has to choose between lying or killing someone
• Capable of evaluating complex moral themes such as that one code of rules is ruthless but another is meant to help a person
• Expresses that learning how to be good is difficult
• Capable of handling a thought such as “Drinking alcohol when you are angry may make a person angry” and they might vow to never drink it
• Very capable of noticing the nuanced details about how people behave or what factors are involved and how such details change over time, e.g., “My sister is becoming less bossy,” and cites examples
• Can give a full dissertation on something such as what their happy and sad part of the day was
• Loves to learn new words but now is very thoughtful as they slowly think about what they just learned
• Very persistent in applying a principle as a way to operate, e.g., They know “It is best to do activities by first learning about them” and they initiate this on their own or you might ask them to sit still and they don’t move one single inch
• Follows along with and loves highly imaginative stories such as Wizard of Oz

Early Elementary Milestone 9—Deep Compassion and Responsibility
Starts: 5 years, 11 months, a few days
Most Intense: Towards the beginning
Ends: 5 years, 11 months, 3 weeks
Irritable Period Summary
• More playfully aggressive in how they interact with others (might poke their siblings or the like)
• Frustrated more easily and lays the blame at other’s feet
• Very, very concerned that others are treated fairly, for instance, may become extremely upset if someone misses a turn when playing a game
• Needs long and meaningful hugs at times
• Might “harass” you such as repeatedly hitting your butt (a most potentially annoying behavior if in public!)
• A very heightened sense of responsibility and becomes exasperated if things don’t seem to be going well, such as if they forgot their coat somewhere or they think they’ll be late
New Abilities Summary
• Underneath all of the behaviors in the irritating period is a sense of deep compassion and responsibility. It is positive growth on its way
• Cleans up messes on their own initiative, maybe even out of concern for others, such as they don’t want others to trip
• Deep sense of compassion and responsibility towards others, may verbalize how they do not want to hurt people
• More academic, can be handed a problem that they will solve themselves more readily and quickly such as “How many days of the week have 6 letters in them?”
• Can do open-ended problems better such as “make an animal shape out of these tangrams” or “name an ocean that is not the largest ocean”
• Potentially great and rather aggressive strategy when playing board games—can easily see several moves ahead of their current move
• Can relate learning about highly abstract ideas from past lessons, e.g., the Greeks had democracy just like a Commonwealth
• Can do much more complicated problems and in their head, such as 55 + 56 = 111

Early Elementary Milestone 10 —Conservation
Starts: 6 years, 1 week
Most intense: 6 years, 2 weeks
Ends: 6 years, 3 weeks
Irritable Period Summary
• Gets mean all of a sudden
• Harasses siblings and won’t stop even if asked (loss of impulse control)
• Loses control of their emotions such as if they lose a game
• Stays up very late, wants to build or do things and wants to talk to you
• Brings blanket or lovey around
• Interested in sizes of things, e.g., can they fit into a tiny space of some kind, asks you if you also perceive how things fit in each other
• May talk about their brain, e.g., it is “interconnected”
• Won’t focus or do school work
New Abilities Summary
• May develop cognitive function of “conservation”: understands that matter stays the same regardless of the container it is in
• Can answer questions such as if something should be measured as length, width, or volume
• Strong interest in identifying animals and grouping them in the animal kingdom
• Can do creative open ended logical patterns, such as making organized and neat shapes out of perl beads

Early Elementary Milestone 11—Sex Hormone Surge
Starts: 6 years, 1 month
Most Intense: 6 years, 1 month until 6 years, 1 month, 1 week
Ends: 6 years, 1 month, 2 weeks-ish
Irritable Period Summary
• Wants to stay up late
• Clear increase in testosterone for boys, may show more interest in genitals, may notice him becoming faster at athletics
• May refuse to sit down and do any kind of “homework”
Most Intense Period
• Can’t/won’t concentrate, up late at night
New Abilities Summary
• Can solve a problem by thinking through it, such as finding what number added to -932,146 will make 6 (no joke—they can do this)
• Can understand and think through a process presented to them just then, i.e., the process of how to melt chocolate, “Oh of course, you put it in the mold, melt it, and freeze it”
• Can understand and use negative numbers in addition and subtraction games (note: games not equations or worksheets. Make it a fun challenge and they might amaze you)
• Very deliberate and focused on art work, can make a star pattern out of perl beads for instance with distinct color patterning
• Thinks through a complicated problem or process such as “If robbers attacked us, I would hide the baby first because the baby can’t defend themselves”
• Can make up complex stories, such as the last man to survive at the end of the world
• Excited to talk about what they might be when they grow up
• Explosion in independent reading—reads book on their own (about the length of The Three Little Pigs) and to retain what is in the book
• Can understand the idea of atoms (“the smallest things in the world!”)
• Can understand and gets excited for the idea of black holes
• Understands the idea that if you are driving in the van and you throw something at another person, it hits the other person
• Understands probability, i.e., “There is somebody in the world who has a birthday today”
• Understands ratios, e.g., if you have 1 apple to 2 oranges, what is the same ratio for 2 apple to oranges
• Fully understands weighty moral issues such as dropping an atomic bomb, however, doesn’t understand the need to make such an awful decision
• Moved by and may get emotional about historic stories, such as Rosa Parks
• Focused again on school work, may want to even be the master at X thing, such punctuating a sentence correctly
• For boys, much stronger at athletic things (no data for girls yet)
• Continued strong interest in studying topics, such as how leaves work
• Very sweet and nice, may actively help or serve siblings

Early Elementary Milestone 12—Free Thinker and Creative Design
Starts: 6 years, 2 months, 1 week
Most Intense: tbd
Ends: tbd
Irritable Period Summary
• Very mild behaviors, might
• Be silly or quirky on purpose like trying to write or read backwards or wear their hat backwards
New Abilities Summary
• Tell a story with drama, such as setting up the plot then revealing the answer by saying, “Wait for it … “
• Develops their own worldview, e.g., may tell you their thoughts on God or religion
• Makes up realistic designs to solve big problems, like a fish that can change colors and develops a nose to split atoms, etc. etc.
• Identifies the meaning of social behaviors better, such as saying “Your idea is a myth!”
• Strong desire to create art in high detail, such as a perl bead of the earth’s 3 layers

Early Elementary Milestone 13—Patterns in Patterns
Starts: 6 years, 3 months, 1-2 weeks
Most Intense: 6 years, 3 months, 2 weeks
Ends: tbd
Irritable Period Summary
• Gets back out of bed or stays up late
• Goes back to favorite activity from younger years, such as playing with a certain toy
• Becomes clumsy
• Easily hurt and sensitive
New Abilities Summary
• Sees patterns in patterns, such as it takes three of the number 40 to make 120 and 4 of the number 30 to make 120 and 3 X 40 is similar to 4 X 30
• Extremely helpful, may help out with chores for a young child like buckling them into a carseat or enthusiastically help clean up
• Extremely considerate, such as deliberately moving out of someone’s way so they can pass
• Notices the flaws in their parents and confronts them about it, such as if a parent picks their nails or is late or messes up a schedule
• Very deliberate in deciding how to dress, such as putting on a collared shirt on purpose to go somewhere nice or putting on a unique shirt (maybe bright green) when going somewhere in order to be noticed and well received
• Can make up a new word when they don’t know a word to describe what they mean e.g. “equalism”
• Makes up a very detailed story with numbers such as a pilot crashed and X survived, etc.
• Can do something detailed and that takes persistence, like make an origami frog

Early Elementary Milestone 14—Tremendous Initiative and Follow Through
Starts: 6 years, 4 months, 3 weeks
Most intense: 6 years, 5 months, 2 weeks and may get worse until 6 years, 6 months, 3 weeks at least
Ends: 6 years 7 months, 1 week
Irritable Period
• Sensitive
• Slightly Aggressive
• Brings lovey or blanket around
• As it continues, gets much more aggressive
• Seems to take conflict/”justice” into their own hand and may punch or hit other children who “deserve” it
• Threatens others, “Do this or I’m going to punch you”
• As if they have no control over it, randomly pushes, slaps, or similar to other people especially other children, almost like it’s an involuntary “tick”
• The fights may get extremely overwhelming / beyond what you are used to handling
• Compulsively interested in things, such as a microphone which they were introduced to for the first time and will NOT stop playing with it
• May stomp off to their room after a conflict
• Becomes really quiet and seems to be deep in thought
• Loves to hide, say while on a walk
• Purposely defiant, such as you ask them to draw a happy face and they draw a sad face or asking them to practice lines from a play loudly and they purposely mumble
• This one is quite simply marked by a child who cannot back off
Most Intense Period
The beginning of it is marked by a child whose wheels are clearly spinning. The most intense period marks when the aggressive behavior starts to get bad and which gets increasingly worse.
New Abilities Period
• Marked by a child who takes on bigger projects and follows through with challenges
• Passionate about their favorite intellectual or creative activity, such as solving math problems
• Highly specific in creating something, such as cars lined up in a race in a sort of pretend movie
• Takes great initiative in their own education, may ask to do a complicated new skill like learn how to code or sets up their own drawing station
• Very clever at solving complicated problems. Shows tremendous endurance in working through complicated problems.
• Very ambitious like “Can I read ONE HUNDRED books!?” May love sticker charts which show their accomplishment, such as how many books they’ve read
• Likes to pleasure read
• May read books about the level of Golden books or start to read a full chapter in a chapter book
• Announces they like to be alone
• Very reliably does what is asked of them, like put their coat away
• Narrates everything, such as the details about how to get a bike started
• Can solve problems like 18+18 in their mind by reasoning it out such as “18 + 18 is just like 20+16 and that’s 36.”
• Loves, loves, loves math games and other games
• Reliably commits to solving difficult problems, fight through the problem until they get the right answer
• Drops jokes or rhymes at appropriate times. Like you mention Christmas they say, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”
• Takes a much bigger interest in writing. May start to write their own books, write their first paragraph, spontaneously start writing down “big words” in a dictionary that they make, and can handily do lessons about capitalization and punctuation
• Likes to play like they are an adult, such as reading road signs (at all times reading and saying what the sign says to help you drive) or finding their way around a grocery store
• Announces they “can’t stand” how cute little children are or they may want to sink their teeth into them as they are so cute
• Loves to snuggle and be with you.
• May be self reflective that when they are nice to other children, they have a better time.
• Walks around with a bee bop or a swagger or like they are “the man.” A child who simply loves to be alive.
• Very aware of what their memory is capable of. They might announce, “I solved that math problem because I had it in my memory!” Oppositely, they might say, “My memory is so bad. I am having trouble remembering things that I used to know!”
• Very adult like sense of humor. They might say “I thought you’d never ask!” Or “Are you KIDDIN me!?” Or their sister asks for a Princess movie when they like Star Wars and they say, “Well you’re in luck because Star Wars has Princess Leigh.”

Early Elementary Milestone 15—Adult-Like Responsibility, Humor, and Pride
Starts: 6 years, 9 months
Most intense: 6 years, 9 months, 3 weeks
Irritable Period
• Out of sorts
• Lethargic
• Distracted easily
• Unfocused
• Recognizes they get distracted easily like “It’s so hard for me to not get my tablet out even though I know I shouldn’t.”
• Easily “bored”
• Slumps over because they just “don’t wanna”
• Sleeps in unusually late (10 am or later)
• Very sensitive and shy about private matters. If they get hurt or hit or don’t know something, they don’t want their friends to know and ask you to keep it a secret
• More easily hurt over simple things. They may get upset over something slight say at sports practice or not even want to go to practice
• Become momentarily confused. You might be in a store and they wander off and you call their name and they look all around and can’t find you or your voice even though you are right there. Or, they might not be able to tell which picture is of them in a black and white photo. Just sort of momentarily scatter brained often.
• Their face and head seem to get longer/elongate in the vertical direction
Most Intense Period
The most intense period is not marked by aggressive behavior but by a child whose mind is clearly going a mile a minute and just wants you a lot or does things like stay up late to talk
New Abilities Summary
• The strong responsibility and follow through seen in the last milestone is seen in this one but it’s more refined in execution
• Write sentences and very concerned to get everything in the sentence correct
• Handily takes on very complex math problems like “Something times 3 makes 51. What is it?” And throws themselves into it
• Very, very funny and adult like sense of humor such as, “I’ve seen a lot of things in my life in my 6 years!”
• Intently reads books as to extract information, such as a book on survival in the woods
• Take overs certain situations such as grocery shopping: gets the cart, the stuff, puts it on the conveyor belt. You get the impression they might be able to live on their own now.

Early Elementary Milestone 16—Socially Sensitive and Perceptive
Starts: 6 years, 11 months, 1 week
Most intense: 7 years
Ends: 7 years, a few days
Irritable Period
• Incredibly daring. Wants to do BIG and dangerous things, like canoeing. Might do something highly risky like all of a sudden jump into a lake
• Very socially sensitive. May get all of a sudden shy to enter a room with a lot of people
• Understands the social implications not just of words but of actions, e.g., may tear up if they find out someone threw something of theirs away, saying, “We found my drawing in the GARBAGE CAN.”
• Totally zones out at times, like you can say something 800 times and it doesn’t get through
• Loves having attention on them. Like you suggest getting a pet and someone has to feed it and they go “Oh man! Why is everyone looking at me!?” Games like duck, duck goose feel deeply satisfying to them at this age, where THEY are picked as the “goose”
New Abilities Period
• Very capable of doing something more socially independent, where you give enough patience, time, and guidance to make it happen. Like, with clear instructions, they go to a drinking fountain station in a crowded restaurant and get you some more water
• Very self aware of the activities they are doing. Like “Hey dad. Come work on this drawing with me. Let’s add more detail.” Or they say something like, “I like mystery stories. They help train my brain.” Or they slyly tell you, as if it’s a scandal, “Last night I read a book in my bed!” Or they matter of factly tell you what they are scared of and what gives them nightmares. It’s as if they can get outside of their body and look in at what they are doing and they are evaluating it.
• Understands the viewpoint of others on an intellectual level. Like “Ok, mom. I have a theory. It’s JUST a theory.” Like, “Hey mom. I have this idea. It’s just an idea. I know others might disagree.” Or similarly says something like, “Ok, I’ll do something if it seems important to you.” If it SEEMS important. To you.
• Can be very daring socially, such as inserting a joke somewhere that changes the course of the topic/mood of what is going on
• Contemplates life from a perspective of what is going on outside versus who they are internally. They might say something like, “I finally feel like I’m seven.” Or perhaps says something like “I feel good. But that may be bad.”
• Is clearly deep in thought at times. Might sometimes shake their head, with the wisdom of a seasoned expert, “I hate [that restaurant/that thing].”
• Capable of more independent school work. They can use for instance an Almanac and handily find things based on the Table of Contents, look up answers in the back of the book, understand what is being asked of them on each page, etc.
• Constantly thinking in terms of proportions. Like, “I think I got three times taller since last year” or “A rocket could go around the world in one day and get to Atlanta in 4 seconds.” The details might be wrong but the sense of scale is right.
• Capable of unit conversions. Such as, if there are one million raindrops per second, how many are there per minute?
• Takes initiative to do something like make a Mother’s Day gift for you
• Amazed at “how big” their brain is and how much stuff they have in it
• Starts to memorize many nuanced facts like, “I read in Chapter 11 of Volume III of my favorite book that … “