Wondering why your 5 year old keeps pulling pranks? Why your 6 year old all of a sudden takes “justice” into his own hands? You are at the right place!
Hi, I’m Amber, “The Observant Mom.” I document childhood developmental stages. Each milestone starts with a child who becomes a bit difficult or demanding and ends with a child who has some amazing 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. An Age Calculator appears underneath the quick links.
This Five Year Old Milestones were last updated on September 19, 2022.
The Six Year Old Milestones were last updated on February 6, 2022.
Five Year Old Milestone 2A: 5.0.3
Five Year Old Milestone 2B: 5.1.2
Five Year Old Milestone 3: 5.2.2
Five Year Old Milestone 4A: 5.3.2
Five Year Old Milestone 4B: 5.4.2
Five Year Old Milestone 5: 5.5.1
Five Year Old Milestone 6A: 5.6.0
Five Year Old Milestone 6B: 5.6.2
Five Year Olds Milestone 7A: 5.8.0
Five Year Old Milestone 7B: 5.9.0
Five Year Old Milestone 8: 5.9.3
Five Year Old Milestone 9: 5.10.1
Five Year Old Milestone 10: 5.11.0
Six Year Old Milestone 1: 6.0.1
Six Year Old Milestone 2: 6.1.0
Six Year Old Milestone 3: 6.2.1
Six Year Old Milestone 4: 6.3.0
Six Year Old Milestone 5: 6.3.3
Six Year Old Milestone 6A: 6.4.2
Six Year Old Milestone 6B: 6.5.0
Six Year Old Milestone 7: 6.5.3
Six Year Old Milestone 8: 6.7.2
Six Year Old Milestone 9: 6.9.1
Six Year Old Milestone 10: 6.11.0
Note on the Work
This work on 5-6 year olds is still a bit of a work in progress. These are my notes thus far.
I do recommend you use the due date when figuring out the age your child is.
I’m assuming you’ve read through the main page of The Observant Mom. Be sure to also jump around to the other milestones:
Five Year Old Milestone 1—Theoretical Application
Starts: A few days before 5.0.2
Most Intense: 5.0.2—and, yes, it’s intense.
Irritable Period Summary
• At first, they are just a bit demanding and might ask to be with you.
Gets others to do what they want
• They aggressively get others to do what they want. Different children have different tactics to make this happen.
• They might take something from another child on purpose, entirely so they will chase them. If you ask them about it, they might say, “Because I want to have fun with them!”
• Or, if you don’t get them what they want, they go ask Daddy (or grandma, etc.)
• They can be, however, intensely intrigued by other children. “What are you making?” they ask their classmate, as they do arts and crafts.
Extreme aggression, bossiness, and defiance
• Beware: at its most intense, this one is marked by a child who becomes supremely bossy in getting others to do what they want, to the point of aggression.
• They might make a huge scene in public because they want their sister to go sit in your vehicle all throughout dinner, while you are at a restaurant.
• To get a child to slide down a slide, they might go over and stomp on their hand.
• They might constantly yell at adults that they don’t get them what they want fast enough.
• Very bossy and defiant overall. Won’t take a bath, won’t go to bed. They might yell, “I SAID NO” a lot.
• In all this aggressive behavior, they might say something like, “Five year olds don’t know right from wrong.”
• Or, “I don’t know how to get kids to play with me.”
• Or their behavior clearly indicates, “I want to make sure I have an exact seat at the restaurant, but I don’t know how to communicate that.”
• This groping and confusion is genuine: they genuinely are trying to figure out how to play nice, gain cooperation, and get their simple needs satisfied. They are just very bad at it at first! Lots of instruction, education, and patience will help.
New Abilities Summary
• This is a pretty clear Gathering and Sorting Stage of a hill. It’s marked by confusion, testing, learning, and a child who can’t back off. At this stage, they learn just to learn, ponder just to ponder, investigate just to investigate.
• Theoretical Application: they can be taught something (or just know something) and apply it in the correct situation later.
• You might have shown them how to stab a potato with a straw more efficiently by holding one end of the straw. They use this later when they put a straw in a juice pouch.
• They can play a game with many more moving parts better, based on the rules. In baseball, for instance, if the ball goes in a place that is not their designated area to get it, they show restraint and don’t go get it.
• If you point out that joining in with children, doing what they want to do, might work better, they apply it. When they see that children are jumping for fun, they say, “Oh! I could go jump with them then!”
• If a creation of theirs gets destroyed, they might be upset about, but they otherwise calmly recreate it. They remembered how it was and can recreate it quickly. The even tell you they are likely the only one who remembers how it was.
• They are more committed in their projects and have clearer ideas about them. If painting a pumpkin, they commit to making it all yellow, “so it’s as bright as the sun!”
• They might say something like, “Oh, I wasn’t expecting that!” a lot. Because they know, in theory, what to expect, and what happened was different.
Ponders just to ponder
• They like to ponder about things, just to ponder about them.
• Maybe they wonder what 2 + 2 + 2 is.
• Or they ask another child what they are doing.
• Putting any idea in their head at all will make them just think and think about it. Indeed, if you point out some simple addition or the like, they’ll take it and run with it.
Five Year Old Milestone 2A—Sultriness, Swag, and Stunning Solutions
Most Intense: 5.1.0 to 5.1.1
Irritable Period Summary
• This starts with possessive behavior. They have a strong propensity to feel like something is being “taken away” from them, and they want to make sure certain things, which otherwise seem inconsequential, don’t “leave” them.
• They pick out a picture frame at the store. You take the stock photo out to put a new photo in. They are very upset you took the stock photo out. It’s the beautiful photo that they wanted. (They are reasonable, however, about simply putting the photo back in.)
• They might get possessive over any game where you are trying to capture or get something. For instance, in “Pass the Parcel,” you keep passing a gift until the music stops, at which point you unwrap one layer. They might get bossy, even manipulating the rules, to make sure they get it.
• They might hate to think that your love/attention is elsewhere. If you notice another girl has “really pretty hair,” they get upset, wondering if you think she has prettier hair than they do. What they want here is your admiration; they are possessive of it. (But, again, they are pretty reasonable when you explain more than one girl can have pretty hair.)
• You packed the entirely wrong snack for their day out. They wanted [x] snack not [y]. They don’t have [x], and they are very, very upset by this.
• Between this and the next milestone, the demanding, intense behavior can last a while (a few weeks). It might be mild or intense for any given child, but it’s a couple weeks’ worth of whatever it is.
• They stay up late, and they do it night after night. They do not seem tired in the least.
• It might be nearly impossible to get them to go to bed.
• They want to talk, well into the night.
• They might get out an old lovey again (such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal) to bring them comfort.
Inserts themselves into what others are doing
• For several weeks, something is definitely “up.” It seems to be marked largely by a desire to be in other people’s, especially other children’s, business. The exact behavior will vary by child, ranging from mild to intense.
• Might chase children around to kiss them or play with them
• They might want to sit by you a lot.
• They easily make friends at the playground.
• They might be in your face a lot, sending you into an exasperated state.
• They might get deeply upset if they ask someone, say a teacher, for a hug, and the teacher says no. They can get and stay upset for a long time now, well into the night.
• Demanding of more and more things. Takes your stuff especially, such as your phone.
Practical joke playing
• They play jokes on others, in which they purposely say something is something it’s not.
• They hand their sister an empty snack bag and tell them it’s for them.
• They might take their sister’s shoe and hide it in the bathroom.
• It’s just kind of long, whatever it is, and it extends into the next milestone.
New Abilities Summary
• Probably the most stunning growth is their rapidly growing personality, in which they have a clear swag or sultriness to them. How this grows is very dependent on your child.
• They have been growing in their theoretical thinking and now there is more if/then logic to it. They notice relationships in numbers especially.
• They also have a longer attention span and more realistic thinking.
Has a stronger “vibe” to their rapidly growing personality
• They adopt a personality that has a strong, visceral vibe to it. It will be highly unique to your child.
• Maybe they bop their head, with great precision, to the beat of a song
• They might dress up as a princess, in a very sultry way.
• They can impressively stay in character, whatever it is, for a long time. They can stay in character for a Halloween costume of “zombie” for all of Halloween night, for instance.
• Every single time they see a pirate ship, they go put their pirate hat on. They also go to the grocery store as a “pirate.” It’s quite funny.
• A more “responsible and in-charge” child might take on the role of “empathetic decision maker” or “helpful big bro.” When their sister needs help, they run over to help her.
• They tend to slip into a “role” like this before they decide they are going to take over life a bit by learning more and doing more. Their biggest developments usually (ok, always) start with imagination and a bit of “swag.”
Awed by beauty/heroism/funny things
• They might like videos of epically heroic things, such as a Navy going into the fight of their lives. Background music is a must.
• They might be enamored by all the pretty colors of Christmas, Halloween, and spring.
• Or perhaps they are awed by the beauty of a sunset
• Some other children might find it uproariously hilarious to “poke brains out!”
An increased realism in their thinking, a longer attention span, and a larger knowledge set
• There is a marked increase in how realistically they size up the world.
• They tell you, as if it’s rather novel, that a bear is ACTUALLY the size of a bear (realism).
• They note sometimes that things are “realistic!”
• They have a longer attention span, as they engage the world. They can stay with challenges with more complicated challenges for a longer amount of time.
• They can play a game that takes 45 minutes now, such as Chinese Checkers.
• They might try their hand at a jigsaw puzzle with 300 pieces—and make impressive progress.
• They can play a game like Flag Frenzy. In this, there are cards with 8 flags on each. One flag will always match to another card. The object is to find the flag that matches. They love this game and are good at it.
• Follows along with complex, abstract explanations, such as a technical problem a parent had at work
• They go on and on with the impressive, detailed set of knowledge they have, perhaps of battleships or insects.
Comes up with stunning solutions
• They come up with their own solutions to problems that you would have never thought of.
• For instance, when doing an experiment, to make a cup more rigid, they suggest putting two cups together, nestled.
• They can apply one solution to another situation. For instance, you do an activity with them where you shoot marshmallows out of a tube, as a sort of sling shot. They come up with the idea to have a “trampoline shooter.” To shoot themselves. Off a trampoline.
• They think of realistic solutions to life problems. You might get a dog, but first we should really put in a fence.
• Or they think about how colors go together, like pales for spring season and oranges and blacks for Halloween. They mix and match them to their delight in their wardrobe and coloring. They, perhaps, match a pretty black coat to pretty pink ballet shoes.
• A pop of pink shows up in unexpected places in the things they draw or make.
• Their drawings might show duality, such as they draw both day and night.
Much more independent, responsible, kind, and considerate
• They might go get all the stuff they need to paint, which is a rather advanced activity.
• They run over and help their sister when she is struggling with her shoes.
• They have never done these things before, getting watercolor paint out or putting on their sister’s shoes, but they step up and try to help out anyway.
• They are also kind and considerate. They apologize profusely when they take a long time to do something, giving a very detailed explanation as to what happened.
• Another adorable thing is they might say they want to do things “as well.” Their siblings are getting a certain thing for dinner. They would like that thing “as well.” It’s just adorably matter of fact and polite.
Relationships in numbers
• They notice relationships in numbers. They like to notice how numbers relate to each other as you move up and down number scales.
• They might love to note how to get from 16 to 20, you move 4.
• Or they spontaneously notice that have 20 cookies and if they took away 1, you would have 19.
• They can stick with you if you write numbers out up to 100 or 200. They might even do it on their own, take turns writing with you, or perhaps just like to watch.
• 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.”
• A more analytical child can put things in a specific order, such as putting movable numbers in a line of all even and then all odd numbers. They might love to think about skip counting by even or odd numbers
Aware they can be wrong
• They are impressively aware that they can be wrong.
• For instance, they look at the stars and say, “I see a star! But I don’t know if it’s a star. It might be a planet.”
• They apologize profusely when they take a long time to do something. This also shows how they assume more responsibility for their potentially “wrong” behavior.
• They enjoy when they are wrong. When they do something wrong, if they know the word, they roll it off their tongue, “I did that incorrrrrrrectly!”
• They are really noticing relationships between things and trying to get things right!
Five Year Old Milestone 2B—Algebraic Thinking
Most Intense: A few days around 5.1.3
Irritable Period Summary
Physical Growth and Sleep Issues
• They physically grow.
• They might come into your room at night, after having scary dreams.
Some possessiveness and bossiness
• They can be possessive and bossy.
• Sometimes just won’t back off. You might have to yank them off of their sibling.
• They might try to get kids to stop throwing rocks by throwing a rock at them.
• They might get upset if you change something or throw away something you didn’t know they really, really loved. For instance, you throw away the generic picture that came with a picture frame you bought. They liked the picture; it reminded them of Mommy. They are upset until you get a new picture frame or some other solution.
• They need a LOT of stimulation right now. They get “so bored!”
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]. This is what is meant by “algebraic thinking.”
• They play around with figuring out the relationship between two things.
• They can “plug and play” solutions, ideas, and even words, as well.
• There is also an impressive memory increase in which they can identify that they remember things from a year ago and they can remember more as told to them just then.
• They continue to be yet more “romantic.”
• Their memory can go back a lot further and they remember a lot more and with detail.
• They remember a place that they haven’t been in a year. Maybe you saw a special Christmas holiday show. When you go again this year, they say, “Oh! We’ve been here before!” This is pretty big. They don’t just remember but they KNOW they remembered now—back to a year.
• In the last milestones, they could apply theoretical knowledge to life situations. Now they have a much longer, impressive memory about it. You can give them instructions about something, say where to find something on a map, which is part of a game they are playing. Later, they play the game and do well—because they memorized the map.
• They take it upon themselves to find relationships in things.
• You might hear them counting how many flags they see as you drive, “1, 2…3,” and then they announce, “I get it! You put flags at restaurants!” They made the connection: that’s where flags go—at restaurants. Given the data they have available to them, they’re not wrong.
• They notice that their bathroom is just like the bathroom at the vacation rental you were at (which you were at months ago).
• They love activities where you compare words, such as “carefully” versus “carelessly.” For instance, stack a tower “carefully” and then do it “carelessly.”
• They’ll see the relationship in the words now, “care less.”
• Or they might notice relationships on their own. “Boat pipe.” It’s like a pipe on a boat! (I don’t know where they heard “boat pipe” either.)
• They’ll apply this, as well. After you learn “careless,” they go over and unlock the door. It is now “lockless.”
Can think of paradoxes, notices irony
• When they struggle with new concepts such as how things change over a scale, they often jam two different ideas together, noticing how they relate to each other.
• They tell you they are going to shrink your house. You ask if you’ll get crushed. No, you’ll be the size of an ant.
• Thinks of more complex paradoxes, such as, about Taco Bell, “Is it a taco made of bells or bells made of tacos”
• More situational awareness, like “Why does this coffee cup have snowflakes on it when the weather is nice?” (Because you live in Alabama over the holidays.)
• Or “Oh, the animals in [a movie] are talking now.” Because this abnormal.
• They are noticing many relationships!
Notices how things change over a scale
• They notice how things change over a continuum: how [y] thing changes as you change [x]. This is the most distinctive part of this milestone.
o They might notice that as they move away from a light source, their shadow gets bigger or smaller.
o Or that the reflection of their head gets bigger or smaller as they move a spoon
o Or their voice gets louder as they get closer to something
o Or that you appear smaller as they move away from you. They show you this, as they walk backwards from you.
• They 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.
• Very precise in how things work or what they want as you go up and down a scale. For instance, “Yeah, my seat belt is tight but not too tight.”
• Their requests and observations often go up a “scale.”
o For instance, they tell you they want more clothes, and they want 10 shorts, 11 pants, 12 rain jackets, 13 socks, and 14 underwear.
o They classify things based on how many of something they have and in order. A certain type of boat has 0 boilers, another has 1, another 2, another has 3, and another has 4.
o Or they tell a story about how when they were 0, they were born. At 1, they were KIDNAPPED. At 2, their parents found them again.
Plug and play thinking
• They have “algebraic” thinking now. Part of algebraic thinking is an ability to plug and play. An example of an algebraic equation is y = 2x. They can try out a different “x” when they see the pattern applies.
• For instance, they substitute words. They might say “Oh my … goodness!” They know “Oh my God!” is sort of taboo, and so they purposely emphasize the “goodness.”
• Or they say, rather hilariously, “What the flip is happening?” They are purposely putting in “flip.”
• They might similarly play around with words such as by changing the name of the store “Dollar General” to “Dollar Duck.”
• They can be told that a [square] plus a [square] equals 4 and both “squares” are the same, what are they? (The answer is 2.)
• They can take a bit of a solution and continue it to a larger situation. They can take a solution to a smaller issue and apply it to a larger problem. For instance, “Hey, when I carry this bowl of cereal carefully, it doesn’t spill. Maybe I can be careful all the time!” (Extrapolates)
• When you ask them to do something, they negotiate back, by modifying it slightly.
• You tell them they can watch one more video. They tell you, “No! Three videos!”
• They might agree to do something, but at a particular time.
• There is a genuine back and forth. You might cut their nails on one hand, which they find terribly irritating. You ask, after this, if you can do the next hand, and they SAY YES.
• If you offer them money for something, they push for more.
• They might even stick their hand out, “Deal?” after they make their offers.
Quantifies the world with numbers
• They like to size up the world using numbers. They ate “2086 popcorn.”
• They start to “keep score.” In a game you didn’t even know you were playing, you have 0 points and they have 1 point.
• They might count how many times one person scores points over another and they persist at counting.
• They use a metric to see who “won.” If you and they are drinking a drink, they measure to see who “won”—who drank all the liquid first.
• 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?
Lies, tricks, and switches things up
• Towards the end of this milestone and into the next one, they start to purposely “lie.”
• They might hide something in a toy chest, of which they have two of. They ask which one you think the special thing is hidden in. You guess correctly. So, they switch it before opening it, to show you that you’re wrong.
• Or they make up a story where they want to hit you with a “torpedo.” They trick you with a dummy torpedo, ordering you to look at the dummy one. Then they hit you with the actual one. Tricked you!
• When reading, they purpose switch words. When they see, “Shane is sad!” they purposely read, “Shane is happy!”
• An especially socially intelligent child might take this to the next level. They tell their dad that today is December 7, not December 12. That’s because today is December 12 and it’s his birthday and they want to surprise them with a surprise birthday.
Blunt and hilarious
• They also get very blunt in a way that is hilarious.
• You are rolling pepperoni and cheese with them. You say, “Oh, it’s like a pepperoni cheese sandwich!” They tell you, flatly, “That’s because it is.”
• Or you got them a whole pack of a snack they like. Your spouse is telling you there are [x] many left in the pack. They look right at you and very pointedly say, “6.” There are 6 snacks left. And they are entitled to them.
• They also might really work on their personality in a way that is hilarious. They might walk around with a swag, “Hey, BRO!” Or they joke when things happen, “See ya later, JERK!” They are very funny.
• They are more romantic.
• They want to take home a picture of a beautiful woman holding a flower that they saw.
• They note who or what they “love” more.
• Maybe that they “love the baby a whole lot more!”
• Or that a boy they saw, “looked kind of …good!”
• They might start going on and on about another opposite sex child, outside of the family.
• They might chase another child to make them give them a kiss and want to “hold them and love them forever!”
• They can be extremely boisterous, wanting to join in with others, and they very chummy, dancing around, participating.
• They might explore themselves down there.
• It really is as if some kind of “romance” hormone washes over them.
Five Year Old Milestone 3 (5.2.2-5.3.1)—New Dimensions
Starts: A few days after 5.2.2
Most Intense: 5.2.4 to 5.3.1
Irritable Period Summary
Sleep disruptions, holograms
• On one particular night, towards the beginning, they might have major sleep disruptions.
• The next day they are likely to be extra demanding.
• If your child shows head shape changes, there should be a noticeable one.
• The day before this, they might show they see a “hologram.” This is an image projected by their mind in which they see or imagine something that isn’t there.
• They might show you a “deep ocean” that acts as a sort of moat and protects them inside a room. You can’t get across it.
• This type of hologram imagery and sleep disruptions are very typical of the start of a hill and the start of many milestones.
Demanding, sometimes difficult
• Following this time coincides greatly with bigger imaginations and demanding, sometimes difficult behavior.
• They are likely to just want to be near you, especially in the morning.
• They linger on you a lot more, right on your arm.
• They might get wound up every time their dad gets home from work.
• Or they might kick your shin underneath a restaurant table. Just to make sure you’re still connected with them.
Sensitive, due to a distorted sense of size and fear
• They can become hypersensitive. They think catastrophe is around the corner all the time. They think things are going to fall over, people are going to trip, etc.
• In talking to children, they have a distorted sense of what will happen as things progress over time. They might think they are going to grow so tall they’ll bump into the ceiling of your house. Imagine thinking this would happen. It might explain why they are so hypersensitive and fearful.
• Scared and annoyed by loud noises
Competitive, possibly aggressive
• As this milestone progresses, they get competitive over things, such as who gets their seatbelt buckled first or who completes a drawing first.
• They might get aggressive or bossy with other children, perhaps from this competitiveness.
• They perceive other children as “taunting” them, even when other children aren’t.
• Even though they are upset by others and noises, they can’t and won’t back off from these situations that clearly irritate them.
• They get particular about what they want to do. They “hate” the restaurant you chose to go to.
• Or they just won’t do any of their normal bedtime routine.
New Abilities Summary
• It is marked distinctly by them being able to think they are going to a new dimension, in time or space.
• They start imagining wild things, in new dimensions. You might “go through a portal” to a “different dimension.”
• There are “bunkers” in your house that you can go hide in.
• Or maybe you are about to go explore a deep cave
• Their imagination is just on high gear and involves things magically changing from one state to another. They might, for instance, build a tube contraption that changes sharks into gold.
Projections into an unknown dimension
• They can imagine how things will change over a continuum into a place that they can’t fundamentally know, such as the future or way past.
• They can project the course of something over time. For instance, by the time you get home, it will be dark.
• They also start to imagine themselves at older ages.
o For instance, by the time they are 7 years old, they will outgrow their car seat.
o Or by the time they are 9, they will be as tall as their brother.
o 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.”
• They LOVE to listen to adventure stories. They can listen to them for a long time.
• Now is a great time to start reading history or anything else where they can imagine themselves in an exciting, different place. Don’t underestimate them! They’ve changed a lot (and suddenly) at this milestone.
• The history series I read with my children, starting at this age, was Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. It has biases in it, like any history book, but the way the stories are told easily enchant children.
• This is a great age to introduce to them various cultural folk or fairy tales. They might, for instance, be SUPER into Santa now.
Very long attention span, committed to doing something for hours
• They can spend HOURS on a project. They can spend up to nine hours on a project in one day, such as a LEGO project.
• They can stay with their creative efforts for a stunningly long amount of time, adding tremendous detail. They even tell you they “spent hours and hours!” doing something. And they did: perhaps they drew an elaborate, fancy, really slick looking ship in Minecraft.
Loves a scale
• Before they noticed that certain variables change across a scale. Now they play around with it and enjoy it more. They like how things smoothy progress.
• They might love to create drama, such as revealing a new outfit dramatically: first their shoes, then pants, then sleeves, etc.
• They might draw elaborate pictures that show gradient, such as a large ocean with the type of fish that would live on the very bottom, middle, and top.
• They might literally love following along with a sheet of music: thus going up a scale!
Loves competing scales (paradox)
• Previously, they loved to think of how things change over some scale. Now they compare two competing scales.
• They might tell you that today is “Big and Small Day.” You celebrate the tiniest of things and the largest of things. Like lady bugs and elephants.
• They might notice that moving the van one way causes objects in it to move the opposite way
• They can attempt to satisfy two people’s requests at once. One person wants them to x. Another person wants them to y. They come up with a sort of middle ground, trying to satisfy both.
• They can compare something in the past to something in the present. Is today the best day ever? Or was their birthday the best day ever? Today is, because their birthday has since passed.
• They can be startling in the kind of paradox they can imagine or the multiple dimensions they can hold in their mind. For instance, you ask them if “front and back” are antonyms or prepositions, and they tell you, correctly, that they are both.
• They can understand some basic economics, such as some money or other goods are needed for consumption, some for trade, some for savings. After you show them this, they proceed to incorporate it into their imaginary play.
• They can hang on every word said now (as from past milestones) and they just seem generally more excited about things. They can become highly cooperative about things they previously were difficult about.
• They might gladly go to a doctor’s appointment and be entertained the whole time. They listen to the doctor’s every word and they, themselves, want to make sure they follow the doctor’s orders.
• If you had difficulty getting them to do something before, now is an excellent time to try it again.
• As this milestone progresses, as they tell their epic imaginations, they might say something like, “I know, I KNOW this is pretend, but I’m trying to explain something…ok?”
• This is a sign that clarity and realism has being brought to their initial imaginations, which otherwise kicked off enormous mental growth.
Five Year Old Milestone 4A (5.3.2-5.4.0)—Drama and Heroic Thought
Most Intense: 5.3.3 – 5.4.0
Irritable Period Summary
Sleep disruptions and nightmares
• This starts off noticeably with sleep disruptions and/or nightmares.
• They might abruptly go to bed unusually early and then also get up early.
• Wants particular caregiver late at night
• They might have nightmares, perhaps about something like tornadoes
• They might want to talk a lot before going to sleep, perhaps about cutting one of their stuffed animals open and all the stuffing falling out.
• During the intense period, they might be belligerent about going to bed.
• During the intense period, they might also get up super early.
• They might have new fears.
• They might not like something they see in a movie, even something simple such as a character going down a hill on a sled.
• They might find things “disgusting” right now or “hate” things.
• They “hate” being 5 and want to be 6.
• They might call people “dumb” or say things “suck.”
• They always have to be first.
• They are all but obsessed in seeing what thing is taller than what: is their cup taller than yours?
• They want to race a lot.
• They are choosy about what they get to do: THEY get to choose their own drink, they inform you.
• They might have been nonchalant about things for a while, but they are back to being choosy: they might want a particular color plate, etc.
Needs physical connection
• Lingers on primary caregiver, siblings, or others
• Wants hugs more often
• Cries more easily
• They want to be by you—a lot. During the intense period especially, if you can’t, they might get very upset by it.
Imagines external things that help them
• Wild imaginations tend to start new brain growth. In this one, they imagine external things to them, which they talk to and which do powerful things for them. They might:
o Describe invisible computers that are really tall, wide, or very small that they send messages to
o Have an imaginary computer, which sets up cameras everywhere for them, such that they can spot any robber in their house
o Make up a story that they are an archaeologist and have a “book that has all the answers to everything; let me look [something] up.”
• Pay attention to what your child finds powerful: a book with all the answers? A computer that can spy on bad guys for them? This is a great clue to their personality and natural strengths.
Talks about how their mind works
• They might describe more about how their mind works, e.g., their mind “stacks” things.
• Some children might even say their eyes are like a camera and their brain is like an iPad and messages are getting sent from their eyes to their brain.
• This tells you a lot about their new brain growth. They are aware of how they are surveying the scene around them and processing it, in a more “I’m on top of it” kind of way.
• They can’t find things right in front of them. They want to know where the remote went, but it was on the couch, in very plain sight.
• They get far more physically aggressive, in a playful way, with their legs and arms especially.
• Playfully aggressive, e.g., “boxes” you
• They might kick their legs a lot, in sleep and in the day, in a way that is playful.
• They might walk around like a “crab” (on all fours but on their back) or shuffle their feet like a penguin.
• They need space for their new physical adventures and might demand you “get rid of all this stuff.” This is so they have room to jump, play, swing things around, etc.
• Might not back off of other children
• Occasionally angry and aggressive (near intense part)
• This one is on the longer side, but the behaviors are quite mild except near the most intense part
• Always wants to be by you, belligerent about going to bed.
New Abilities Summary
Explosion in self-initiated learning
• They’ve been happily joining in with you and others as you teach something or play something for a while. But now they are far more forward about it, initiating projects and also inserting themselves into any and all learning.
• If you do lessons or other activities with other children at [x] time every day, when it’s time, they personally turn off the TV to come join. There is no them not joining.
• They impressively initiate and lead a game, perhaps a complicated hide and seek game involving clues that people find.
• They personally initiate what plays they want to act out, perhaps of something you just read.
• Or they make up their own story and even write out a book about it.
An outstanding memory, with many details
• Their memory is outstanding in the amount of detail it can hold onto and deal with, on the spot.
• They might, for instance, draw an entire mechanical machine from memory, on the spot.
• They ask stunningly intelligent questions. They overheard you talking about how objects in motion tend to stay in motion. They come up to you, explaining how planes keep flying in the sky. They were clearly paying attention to this relatively advanced physics concept.
• They remember things, persistently, throughout the day. When they get home and see that x car is still there, they realize their dad, who is out, had y vehicle.
• There is a noticeable increase in their vocabulary, what words they know, and what words they can read.
• What they learn now can last. For instance, you might teach them something obscure at this age, and they might remember it four years later.
A great actor
• They have incredible poise and timing in the things they act out.
• As they are pretend running behind you, they do it in slow motion, very convincingly.
• As they cut up mushrooms for you, they do it with the poise of a seasoned chef, here not to just cut up mushrooms but to put on a show.
Hyper aware of their being, conversations, and where they fit in
• They are very aware of others and how they perceive things, especially them. When you laugh at something, they want to know what you are laughing at. Was it something they were doing?
• They overhear you say you are staying near them to keep them company, even though you might want to go to bed. As such, they move off of you…to let you go to bed.
• When they point to something they now ask, “Do you see what I am pointing at?” They want to make sure you in fact did see it, as they explain what they are explaining.
• When they partake in pretend play, they might ask, “We all agree to pretend about this thing, right?” They pretended to fill up a toy car with water in a water bottle, but they didn’t actually empty the water bottle. You can all agree that we pretended to do that, right?
• Interested in real news events
Loves deep, heroic, moving things
• They like things that are “deep.” For instance, you ask about their favorite part of the day and they close their eyes, as if in deep thought and emotion, as they think about it.
• Loves triumphant songs, e.g., The Ants Go Marching
• Or they directly ask you to put on the “Peanut Butter Jelly” song (a very fun, upbeat song)
• They ask for you to play music while they work on their projects.
• Strong interest in playing an instrument and in a moving way. They might make up their “sad song” or want to play Yankee Doodle on the trumpet.
• They love the idea of getting gemstones or becoming rich.
• They love to say, “Chug, chug, chug!” as someone chugs a bottle of water.
• They love to get caught in the rain.
• Loves acting out real adventure stories, e.g., escaping Roman persecution in catacombs
• Or, as their sister makes up a story about escaping jail and then pretending to be someone they are not, they totally get the whole thing and play along happily. They add to the plot: the escapees (them) are now invisible, so you can’t see them.
• They love certain YouTube channels, where things change by magic (video editing makes this possible).
• They might do their own magic. They break a cookie in half, loosely assemble then, then break it apart for their magic trick.
Creativity on turbo gear
• They explode in coming up with imaginative, creative things.
• They might decorate the couch to be a “ship.” They get the materials for it: a dangling string is the anchor, a tube is the torpedo launcher, etc.
• A tube given to them gets turned into something that can launch things.
• They LOVE taking pictures of things and figure out some of the features on the camera to make it work.
• They are also hyper aware of their being. Their creative efforts might go towards making people laugh. While wearing a “robot arm,” which is a tube on their arm, they then do the “dab,” entirely to make people laugh.
Wants to build indestructible things—quickly
• I expect this is not all children but enough to note it. I expect this applies to more “mechanical” children who really like to build 3-D objects.
• They might want to make things “indestructible.” They build a “ship” out of blocks, and they want you to knock it over to see if it’s indestructible.
• They might happily put on a play about the Three Little Pigs, wanting to build a house that doesn’t blow down.
• They might similarly think of ways to make sure their ice cream doesn’t melt. Perhaps if you turn off the lights, it won’t melt as quick.
• They not only want to do these things, but they want to do them quickly. There is a sense of urgency, like bad things will happen otherwise.
• They might note that they want their projects to be “done.” They can’t handle it not being done yet.
Can handle losing, a true competitor
• Before, they ALWAYS had to win. Now, they can handle losing.
• And, as they lose, they learn. They play a game—and lose—but come back for more. They are getting competitive in the true sense of the word.
• Wants to get stronger, or smarter, etc., e.g., uses weights and announces they are getting strong
Can read without context clues
• They can read or spell letters without any aid or clue to help them whatsoever.
• They read the word “coffee”—on a liquor bottle.
• They read “Super Target,” on the sign of the store, without ever having gone to the store.
• They can type out a word into a search bar, on their own, such as “Hex Bugs.”
Interested in slides
• There is a strong interest in (literal) slides in this and next milestones. It grows stronger in future milestones, but it starts subtly here.
• They might be delighted by characters going down a slide in a movie.
• They might try to slide across a hard floor, becoming frustrated if they can’t.
Notices that things are both tall and wide
• They start to take an interest that things can be both tall and wide.
• They note, excitedly, that as they eat food, it will make them BOTH taller AND wider.
• When they describe their imaginary computers, they describe at length how tall or wide they are. Some are “1,000 houses” tall, others are the size of a foot, and others are about as tall as an adult. They go through several variations of this where some things are big, tiny, tall, or long.
• They are starting to notice that these two dimensions, width and length, can be different. They aren’t terribly good at holding onto to these two dimensions at a time yet, however. If you do the Piaget experiment where you lay out 3 coins and ask them how many there are, and then lay out another 3, and again ask how many there are, and then spread out the coins in one of the lines, they won’t see the two sets of coins as both remaining as 3.
• In working with children, it seems as if the spread-out line goes out of their peripheral vision, such that one of the coins is no longer seen by them. Or, they only see the lines as such, without counting the coins. They quite simply seem geared right now to see 4 points as a square or rectangle, as a sort of collective whole. Anything else simply confuses them.
• For now they just notice THAT there CAN be two dimensions to something. In upcoming milestones, they will add detail and gradient to this. But, first, they must play around with the idea of two different dimensions in crazy ways. This will be the next milestones.
Five Year Old Milestone 4B (5.4.2-5.5.0) — I Can Trick You!
Starts: 5.4.2 or a bit before
Most Intense: 5.4.3 to 5.5.0
Ends: A few days after 5.5.0
Irritable Period Summary
• Demanding of your attention: they want you to constantly see everything they just did or built.
• They want to be physically close to you (cuddling, etc.), a lot.
• You might be getting essentially “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” treatment.
• They’ve pulled a few tricks on you up to now, but now it’s just in turbo gear. These tricks are also much more pre-planned and deliberate. They might:
o Fill up a cup with salt and tells you it’s milk
o Hand you an unsharpened pencil and tells you it is ready for use
o Pretend to be sleeping
o Pretend to be a ghost—and did they trick you? Don’t worry. They weren’t actually a ghost.
o Be warned: They might even conspire to steal your car keys!
• These pranks and tricks might turn annoyingly aggressive, such as trying to trip their sibling by tying shoestring in front of their door.
• They also might become very interest in doing “magic tricks!”
• As this milestone progresses into the intense part, they can also “lie” quite a bit.
Nightmares, fears, sleep issues, entrapment
• Sleep issues: they might wake up unusually early one morning.
• When they burst into your room early in the morning, unable to sleep, they might tell you that they had a nightmare, perhaps of cars going over cliffs—although someone saved them, and they tried saving others.
• They might get scared being out at night, but when they feel safe, they gush about how concerned they are that other people don’t go through what they went through. There are fears—but they also have heroism/concern to make up for the fear.
• Depending on the child, they might be up late at night or want particular caregiver at night
• Or they might ask to go on a walk late at night
• Sometimes these fears seem to coincide with entrapment: the desire to be in something. They like the idea of being in something huge, like being in a huge diesel engine.
Aggressive or whiny
• They might get aggressive or might scream a lot or demand you a lot, depends on the child.
• They demand your direct attention a lot. They might get very upset when things don’t go well.
New Abilities Summary
• They love to trick you. They are fascinated by if you know what they know or if they can pull one over on you.
• They take a tremendous amount of initiative.
• They feel imminently smart at this one, as well.
• They experiment with two things at once and have some questions and observations about how two different but similar things might be related.
Tricks you to test your and their intelligence
• As noted, they will love to “trick” you. They find playing these practical jokes totally hilarious.
• They might also make up a game for you to play, something totally new, such as finding your way through a maze.
• Playing Hangman, doing a treasure hunt, and any other game where you try to trick each other or have to set up a game for another might be a huge hit.
Delights in their own intelligence, success, or quirkiness
• They have a strong sense of who they are and how smart, adorable, or quirky they are, as derived from mischievous behavior.
• They get how others might “see” them better, and in a way as to what their playful essence is. For instance, they pretend to be a quirky professor and then, in character, ask, “Me? Odd?”
• They wonder about how cool it would be to get all the gold off of a pirate ship—as a kid. Not just that they got it, but that they did it as a kid.
• They have a lot of personality as they describe themselves as “smaaaaaaaht” (smart) or, in a valley girl voice, describe how they do things, “easy peasy, lemon squeeazy.”
• They say things in a “deep” way, knowing it’s “deep.” Their little brother might be learning to climb stairs. You explain he has to take it one step at a time. They say, as if saying something deep, “Yeah. One step at a time.”
Takes a stunning amount of initiative
• They might flag down a waitress on their own, without asking, to ask for a new drink.
• They sit at a totally new location at your table at a restaurant, by other children and not you. They happily dance and play along with the other children.
• They might set up all the stuff needed to play an outdoor game, such as the goal posts for soccer.
• They are likely to figure out new features on their own, such as special effect features on a camera on a tablet or smart phone
• They might initiate making their own book, getting markers and paper out to do it. They might draw a house set on fire by a dragon but a superhero puts the fire out.
• They might become interested in saying a few things in a language they don’t know yet.
• There is a strong desire to draw things or cut things into the shapes they want. They will also likely tell a story or make up a game with what they draw or cut.
• They might draw out a computer game they know, but on paper, and you sort of play the game on paper.
• They might cut out a hole in a paper ship. They then hold it up and explain that torpedoes now can’t attack it, as they will just go right through the hole.
Symbols “pop out” at them
• They are on turbo drive in seeing abstract symbols, such as letters.
• As they drive around, they notice every sign and read them (if they can read).
• They see symbolic representation even when it wasn’t intended. For instance, they see a parachute made of yellow and black triangles. They note that it looks just like the sign for “radioactive” (and it does look like the radioactive symbol). I think any kind of symbol just “pops” out at them that strongly.
Doubles things up
• Things get doubled up a lot. They don’t just shoot you with one pretend gun, but two. A “raft” (a blanket) on the floor needs another raft on top of it.
• When they see words, they mash them together. If they see two signs of something, they combine them and read them off as one.
Can do two things at once, experiments with two things
• They can do two things at once: perhaps cut with a fork and a knife.
• They might like to balance two different shaped things, one on top of the other.
• They compare a lot of things, perhaps how fast they can run with their socks on or off or what their skin looks like with a light on or off.
Notices paradox with two variables
• They notice things that are more “meta”: does their brain have a brain?
• They might make up a joke that they find incredibly delightful which involves some amount of paradox, such that a character is the “Queen of Queens!” She’s a queen of a city named Queens.
• They might be fascinated by videos that ask questions like, “What if there were no more cats in the world?”
• They spontaneously want to add 3 numbers together, e.g. 5 + 2 + 2
• If you ask them what 30 + 20 is, they are likely to say “80” or similarly that 30 + 40 is 100. When you ask them to explain themselves, they say that “30 + 30 is 60,” plus whatever more gets their answer. I have only ever found this for adding 30. They can add 10 + 10 and get 20. For some reason, they double 30 or possibly other numbers, as if going over a sum of 50 confuses them.
• They similarly get confused with place value. They might say 50 + 60 is 200. This is because 50 + 50 is 100 and you added 100 (but actually 10) more. They can get 50 + 51, but not 50 + 60.
• They might talk about magically changing things into gold.
• Or perhaps that they have a “treasure bomb,” which, when it explodes, will throw gold everywhere.
• This kind of imagination tends to kick off new development. It also become difficult to dissect when one milestone ends and another begins when this new imagination starts. They aren’t irritable—yet. But it does kick off an intense learning stage, as is already seen in this milestone and is seen intensely in the next one.
Five Year Old Milestone 5 (5.5.1-5.5.3)— Apples to Oranges (Two Dimensions)
Starts: A bit before 5.5.1
Most Intense: 5.5.2 until a few days after 5.5.3
Ends: A few days after 5.5.3
Irritable Period Summary
Sensitive, needs connection
• Tears up more often
• Wants to “spend time” with primary caregiver more often
• Hugs you in a very emotional way
• Says “I love you” more
Imagination and brain talk
• New development is often started by intense, wildly imaginative thinking. At this milestone, they might:
o Have imaginary things in their pocket that they keep pulling out
o “Eat” food that doesn’t exist
o Talk to imaginary friends
o Go “bowling” with some imaginary pins
• As the milestone progresses, the imaginations get more complex:
o Their closet is filled with 500,000 My Little Ponies that will fall on them if they open the door.
o They imagine your house lined up with pufferfish (or the like), which will poison anyone trying to attack your house.
• They might describe how their brain works, e.g., it’s “going crazy” or is like a “gear box with pistons pumping”
• This imagination is a sign of a new hill (a cluster of milestones that all work on a related core skill set) and kicks off an intense learning stage, i.e., an intense “Why?” stage, which is indeed, seen at this milestone:
• Has LOTS of questions: perhaps about how houses are made, how ships are made, does glass stop sound, etc.
• Literally asks, “Why? Why? Why?”
• Wants to talk with adults in their adult conversations
• Might beg to go on walks with you (to talk)
• They might be up late at night, wanting to talk or do things.
• As this one progresses, they might get more aggressive.
• They playfully punch you more, if they don’t like what you are saying or doing.
• When playing a game, say trying to find all of a particular thing, they take it upon themselves to “punch” that thing every time they find one.
• At some point, they might want an extreme amount of control over a common situation.
o They might become distraught that an adult left the house, before they were able to say goodbye.
o Or they might stubbornly want a say in bigger decisions, such as where, when, and how to cross a road
o Or they want to go to a particular store, not the one you are going to
• They are very much capable of understanding things without the help of anyone or any aid now. Their mental fortitude and ability to think on their own is incredible. This might explain their intent to make decisions all on their own, such as when, where, and how to cross the street (which can be a bit dangerous and frustrating).
• Throughout this milestone, they might get unusually upset. If asked to not do something, they might sit down and cry.
Growth and its issues
• They get noticeably taller and less “chubby.” Their legs are much thinner, and they look more like a “string bean” (because they are thinner and their bones are longer).
• However, some features also fill out. They are taller and thinner, but they have more substance to their calves, butt, and shoulders.
• This growth spreads out weight to all extremities of their body, and, as such, their center of gravity is a bit different. They might get dizzier easier and not like to be picked up or spun as much.
• I know it sounds bizarre, but their skull also seems to get harder.
• They just get very clingy and ask lots of questions.
New Abilities Summary
• They can contemplate things in two entirely different dimensions, such as one thing is long and another is big. This is why I called this milestone, “Apples to Oranges.”
• They also get very competitive and goal-oriented, in which they like to advance to the “next level.” That they can readily imagine things in a new dimension might explain this new skill.
• There is a remarkable increase in maturity. It can be hard to describe, but they are very self-aware and deliberate. They understand the “why” behind the stuff they do or build.
• They approach challenges with verve.
Apple to oranges: compares things in two different dimensions
• They note how things compare to each other in two different dimensions. The sun is BIGGER than the Earth, but Pluto is FURTHER AWAY. As such, they are noticing the dimensions of size versus length.
• They might notice they can do two things at once: they can walk AND daydream at the same time
• They might even say “at the same time” more often now.
• They can spend a long time comparing one version of a map, say of the United States, to another, which feature slightly different things in a slightly different way.
• They love to look through any kind of visual encyclopedia, in general, comparing and absorbing a massive amount of data.
• They might say people on TV are on “another planet,” and theirs is the “normal” planet. There are two fundamentally different “realities,” but they can hold on to them, intellectually, at the same time.
• They understand when their video games have an “upgrade,” which is an impressive new awareness of how things operate. It also shows they notice separate dimensions (the past version to this one).
• They can note how a game like Minecraft operates differently than real life.
• They decide what is similar enough, as well. Wendy’s and McDonalds are “the way same.” “Grass” and “glass,” sounding so similar, are also “way the same.”
• They tell you they “love” both hot and cold and want to know if you do, too.
Notices different perspectives as such
• An impressive and reliably predictable development at this milestone is that they can see that the same thing looks different from two different angles, and they have an appreciation now that this is due to the different perspective, as such.
• They might notice that an open gate looks closed if you look at it from a certain angle. But if you move over a bit, it indeed looks open.
• They might note that a person in a movie being filmed would look different to the camera man than they do to us.
• This happens rather noticeably and reliably around 5.5.2.
Uses two dimensions in thought, speech, action, and creativity
• As this milestone progresses, they go from asking questions and noticing things about two dimensions to using them.
• They leave one sock on and one sock off. They explain their barefoot gives them better speed but the other gives them better “sliding speed.” The better grip of their bare foot lets them run fast on a hardwood floor but the sock on the other foot lets them slide faster.
• They put two things with different dimensions together creatively. They might want to put a colorful rainbow sticker on a remote. This way you can find the remote. The rainbow sticker had an attribute, color, that the dark remote did not.
• They can do an activity involving literally two dimensions, as well as two steps. They can find the letter on a grid, say “A” is at E1 (where column E and row 1 intersect). They can write that letter down and go on to the next one to find the secret word.
• They use two adjectives more readily. Someone is “the most evil, most violent character in the world!”
• They more astutely notice when two things come together that end up being funny, such as a video of cats playing soccer. It’s cats. Playing soccer.
• They might love “Reverse Russian” jokes, such as, “In America, we play games. In Soviet Russia, games play you!”
• Playing a game like charades might be fun, where they have to come up with a thing or situation (something they have to come up with and imagine in their mind) to act out for others to guess
• They start to understand what’s in the news better. As if understanding that “out there” is a real thing, they can absorb what they hear on the news (or YouTube) and apply it in everyday conversation. They might also want to be the hero to solve whatever is currently threatening humanity.
A more meta understanding of why something was successful or works
• As they do things and design things, they don’t just do it, but know why one way is successful or another way is not.
• As they build a tower, they explain to their sister, “You have to build a wide base.”
• When they get a math problem right, they might say they did it successfully, “because of my thinking.”
• Before they dump a box of small cubes on their head, they say, “I am going to be funny!” Then they do it. They know doing this thing is “funny” and that’s entirely why they are doing it.
• They might say, “When the wind blows, it makes me feel even more beautiful.”
• They bubble, “I’m so confused!” But they say it happily, because they can handle it.
• They make a trap in Minecraft and want you to name it, “This is totally not a trap.” They have a more “meta” understanding of what they are doing and emphasize it: it’s TOTALLY not a trap.
• When you mess with them, they might very deliberately and slowly turn their head to you and give you a purposely menacing look, to be funny.
• When you do something to make them laugh but they are upset and you ask if they thought you were funny, they might say, “I’m laughing on the inside.”
• They can explain how a game works. Ask them, say, to explain how Red Light Green Light works. They say, with hand gestures, “So, basically, you have to stop when they say red.” It’s the “basically” that gets me.
• They can even lead a game of Red Light Green Light, with a bit of instruction.
More persistent in staying in character, in conversations, and activities
• Willing to stay “in character” for quite some time (hours).
• They can stay in character all night if dressed up as someone for Halloween, say, as a Stormtrooper.
• With a bit of direction, they can stay in a new, made up play for the entire duration of the play, in fact several renditions of it. So, they can stay with it for several hours.
• As they talk to you, they can “stay in” the conversation longer. They might be saying something while another one says something else, and they stop, mid-sentence, to ponder what the other says. Like, “Well I was going to do that as wellllll….” as the other person explains what they were doing in a game, and they ponder what the other person says, and update what they say.
• Or they might have a constant stream of consciousness about something, e.g., “Everyone. Stay in your seats. This is your captain speaking.”
• If tasked to pick out something, say a Halloween costume, they look through every possibility and carefully mull over their decision before picking the perfect one.
• As they look for something, say a hidden pictures puzzle, they say, “Scanning, scanning,” as they thoroughly look over the whole puzzle, looking for what they are trying to find.
• They can read and take instructions really well. They might read what to do and do it, or they might take instructions from a teacher or coach really well.
• They can stick with an entirely new activity longer, say gluing cotton balls to a paper to make them look like clouds.
• If no one will go outside to play with them, they are willing to go outside and play by themselves, waiting for the others, for an impressively long amount of time, say 45 minutes.
• They can play entirely independent of you for a long time, even in a new or busy situation. If you go to an indoor playground, they can entertain themselves for the whole hour you are there, and they don’t demand you be right by them anymore.
• They like to finish what they started, such as a book.
• They love to learn to read, by reading. They’ll follow along with every word as you read to them
Competitive and Goal-Oriented
• Announces how things are “so easy!” for them
• Loves to be peppered with challenges, such as math problems
• Likely to love “parkour,” where you traverse an open gap between two objects, even if just in video games
• They like making up fun challenges with their bodies, e.g., jump off a curb and spin before you land!
• They quite think they are the “expert” at things and they quickly rebuke you if you say otherwise. Say you called them a “Multiplication Monster.” They are not a monster. They are an expert.
• They actively want you to beat them at a game.
• They love the idea of “challenges” or “getting to the next level” in a competition. They worked hard and moved from x to y level or earned, say, a new tool in a game.
• They like to keep track of what they have read, such as with a sticker chart.
• Other children might intuitively see your child’s new love for games and invite them into one they are playing, as well as teach them how to play.
• They want to try to keep up with adults even when they can’t, such as walking on a long walk
• They say they want to exercise everyday so they get stronger and stronger
• They might even say something stunningly self-reflective like, “When I’m a noob, I have to make mistakes!” How else will they get good?
• Perhaps their ability to understand “another dimension” helps with this new goal-oriented nature of theirs. They are where they are at now, a beginning, and they can imagine themselves as something in the future, as an expert. Or, as they probably say, as a “noob” versus a “hacker.”
Very helpful, respectful, deliberate, and considerate
• They can help make all of dinner. They can accurately measure out ingredients, help turn things on, and carefully transfer something to another place. Under your direction, they stick with all of it, being very accurate and careful.
• They ask you if it’s ok to turn on the TV before they do. Are you done with all other things before they are allowed to do that? They are cognizant of whether or not it’s the right time of day and if they will burden anyone by turning it on.
• They very willingly help clean up messes. They also remember that you are going to do the same thing again tomorrow, so, the next day, they go and get the cleaning supplies in preparation.
• If they are playing with another child and the child says stop, they do, on their own, out of consideration for the other child. Say they were spinning another child on a carousel ride and the child asks to stop. On their own, they do.
• If navigating a small gift shop, on their own, they wait for an entire family to pass, before continuing on in the narrow aisles.
• If they see garbage out, on their own initiative, they put it in the garbage.
• They break things up into shapes. They might want to go outside to see what kind of shapes make up their house. They notice there are some rectangle shapes and some triangle shapes.
• Loves to find and build patterns, e.g., 3 colors together are the “American Flag”
• I regard their interest in shapes at this and previous milestones as important development. It seems to set into place their ability to handle two different dimensions at the same time.
• Note: I believe they are designed to “see” things in perfect squares or rectangles right now: their mind is weighted to seek out things that are squares, which has two dimensions but in which those dimensions are very clean and literally squared off. If something is NOT a perfect square, it might upset them. So, if four of you are playing catch, you all need to stand in a perfect square, otherwise they get upset.
• Tells you to “not look at them,” because they know they are doing something you don’t like.
• They are very chummy with other children.
• Very kind and considerate of others; offers to help out
Five Year Old Milestone 6A (5.6.0-5.6.1)—Independent, Abstract Thinking
Most Intense: Really depends on the child for this one
Ends: 5.6.1 for some kids but nightmares and aggression might linger with other kids
Irritable Period Summary
Clingy, wants to talk
• Increasingly clingy
• Wants your attention more, especially at night
• Wants to snuggle into you
• They can be very lovey dovey.
• Asks to go on walks with you (to talk)
• Gets back up out of bed and may eavesdrop on parents
• You might be getting “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” treatment
Very sad to part with friends or be left out
• They can get really sad if you or others don’t play with them.
• Hates to part with friends
• Can cry easily and a lot
Sleep issues, nightmares, imaginary friends
• They might just fall asleep somewhere, before going to bed.
• Wants to be with you at night
• They might want to sleep in the same bed as you. They might tell you they are having nightmares. Or you might try directly asking them about it, if sleep issues come up.
• They might tell you they are having some extremely terrifying nightmares: they get killed in a variety of ways, they become a murderer, and worst of all, they worry you might get killed.
• You might see a reappearance of some old imaginary friends
An interest in “killing”
• They show an interest in “killing” things, in the way little kids do.
• They might try to “kill” one of their favorite toys, by stomping on it.
• They might say something like, “Everyone else thinks killing is the best. But not me. I know friends are the best.”
• Might keep harassing other children, especially at night
• Might punch you, playfully, but in a way that is a bit hard
• They seem to have many nightmares and have the sleep disturbances that go with it. They also really want to be with friends and can’t bear to part or be excluded.
New Abilities Summary
• They can think entirely in their own mind now and add a lot of detail. They judge, plan, and execute entirely on their own.
Independent abstract thinking
• They can impressively think realistically entirely in their mind now. They need no props whatsoever to think and make judgments.
• If they see a video where it is raining inside, they comment, “That doesn’t make any sense!” They can make that judgment entirely on their own.
• They also love being able to form their own judgments and knowing that they do. When a song comes on, they can identify what song it is, based on the first few notes.
• If made aware of what they are, they love to find “Easter eggs” in movies, which is what I call little background things in movies. For instance, they might notice that the magic carpet from Aladdin is at the beginning of The Princess and the Frog. They take GREAT delight in finding that, all on their own.
• They might notice something looks like something it is not. From far away, a certain window looks like it projects out, when it actually projects in. They bring you over to show you. They delight in knowing that this is “like an optical illusion!”
Very deliberate pranks
• They’ve been pulling pranks all through age 5 but now they are very deliberate about it. They think of it, plan it, and execute it.
• They can, for instance, make up their own April Fool’s jokes now. They might tell you some cake crumbles are mouse poop—joke!
• They might want to trick their brother by telling them a Minecraft block is Netherite, when it isn’t.
• Their prank pulling shows how deliberate and “on top of” ideas they are, where they think of, plan, and execute a prank. Note that the prank pulling comes before how intentional in their thoughts they become. This is how it usually works: wild, mischievous behavior occurs before new development. Misbehavior is growth!
Throws their whole being into things
• They throw their whole body into playing, say, charades
• They might get super into dancing, and they do it in a way that they are almost head banging.
• They dance around to a scene in a movie, perhaps a scene where two characters show their love to each other, while they dance together.
• On Easter, they want to be a bunny, and they hop all over.
An interest in slides
• They seem to take a specific interest in slides that I think is worth noting.
• They might want to build a slide.
• They might really love to roll down grassy hills.
Adds tremendous detail to self-initiated creative projects, all on their own
• They can “engineer” their projects, as they think of ways to improve upon solutions.
• They ask to build a slide. When you give them a board to do it, they think of ways to make sure they don’t fall too hard at the bottom, how to support it, and so on.
• They can be given a project, and they go to town on it. Say you recreate a battle from history. In addition to crossing a moat, they build hills to jump off of, poison the water, and build ramps to get into the city.
• Or you might sing a song and they think up new lyrics. You might sing “Mary had a Little Lamb,” and they think of it for a few minutes. They then make up some new lyrics about what the lamb then does after following Mary to school that kind of rhyme.
• Their artwork gets more complicated. They might draw an entire scene in which a bee pollinates a flower
• Given how much detail they have in their mind, science lessons can be fun: what is manmade or natural? Which animals lay eggs and which have live young? Doing these lessons while in nature is especially fun.
• To say age five sees huge increases in memory is an understatement. They have memory upgrades all through age five. At this one, however, they seem to take a lot of data from the past, process it, find patterns, and apply it to something on the spot.
• They walk by a pond and impressively notice that its water level is high. They haven’t seen this pond in months. They had to have that knowledge, from months ago, compare it to the now, and even come up with the rather complex phrase “water level” to describe it.
• They can explain back a new story just told to them. You read a history story about the Mayans and ask them to summarize it. “The Mayans kept getting attacked by other armies and got weaker and weaker just like the Romans did.”
• An athletic child might remember physical things. After watching a video about how to do squats, bear crawls, etc., they not only remember the exercises and do them from then on but lead other kids in doing them as well.
• With this impressive memory, they are more likely to remember anything that happens from now and after with detail. Whatever they do or experience, years from now they might remember and talk about pretty cogently.
Can perform impressive logic
• If they get a hole in one of their socks, they ask you specifically to get an “odd number” of socks. That way the socks can match up to pairs.
• If you explain how a sun dial works, where shadows rotate around a post, they can guess about what time it is, based on where the shadow is.
• Evaluates a situation logically, e.g., do they have enough time to go to the bathroom before trick or treaters come to the door?
Wonders about the future
• They can imagine a new dimension (such as the future) and they can now add tremendous detail to it. They start to wonder and worry what will happen to them as they get older.
• If they have to pick one husband, but one man is smart and another is funny, which one should they pick?
• They might be highly concerned about how they will do as an adult. Will a man marry them? How many girls/boys will date them?
• They now want to be a “big boy” and not a “little kid” anymore.
• That they can think of another dimension (the last milestone) and with detail now (this milestone) might explain why some children are so distraught about an older relative dying. They can imagine not just that it would happen but what would happen to them if it did.
Has it in their mind that two things that don’t conflict will conflict
• In their mind things that don’t conflict seem to conflict. For instance, if they had to choose between marrying a funny or handsome man, which would they choose? That a person can be both funny and handsome isn’t something they accept. In fairness, this “splitting” is just new development as they separate out such concepts.
• They feel pressured to pick one thing or another as their favorite thing: Halloween or Easter as their favorite holiday?
• This can cause issues. You might agree to pick up food at Restaurant A for other children and Restaurant B for them. They are utterly distraught you are going to Restaurant A as well, as if it negates the ability to go to Restaurant B.
• This is very temporary development and by the very next milestone, they accept that things can be two things at once and that you can go to two restaurants.
Exuberance, Wild imaginations
• The next major development (a hill) probably starts around now. This shows a lot of imaginative exuberance. They can do anything—in the stories they make up in their mind. For now, they might run and hop over pillows.
• They want to help clean everything in the house.
• This kicks off development where they get curious about things.
• They love to listen and learn right now. They especially love to listen, eavesdrop, or watch others. And after being presented an idea, they adopt the idea as their own.
• They come out of their room to eavesdrop on you talking about redecorating. They tell you that green would be an excellent color for the bathroom. Which is what you had been talking about.
• If they watch a video, they might repeat what they learned, as if they are the expert. If it was about eye color, for instance, they go around examining everyone’s eye color, explaining eye color to you.
Shows passion for what they legitimately might want to be when they grow up
• They show a passion for what they truly might want to do as they get older.
o They might melt when they describe how much they love numbers.
o Or they might go put on an apron to be a “chef.”
• I found that what they show they passion for at this age persisted over years, e.g., a child interested in cooking will continue with this passion for years to come.
Reading and spelling
• They take a strong interest in learning new words. They love to learn a new word like “Istanbul” or “Turkey.”
• They love to learn to spell new words. They might even ask to spell them, without looking, as to show off.
• They finish the books they read.
• They actively want to work on math problems. They get back up out of bed or wake up in the morning asking to work on math problems.
• Perhaps they want to tell you all the ways that numbers can add up to or be subtracted from to make 6.
• They enjoy working with Roman numerals.
• 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.
Five Year Old Milestone 6B (5.6.2-5.7.1)—Explains and Evaluates Ideas, Identifies Real versus Make Believe
Starts: 5.6.2 but it’s very mild
Most Intense: 5.7.0 – 5.7.1
• At the beginning of this milestone, they can show extreme romantic feelings in weird ways. They might, for instance, make romantic advances towards an adult or older sibling. It doesn’t last long and it’s most likely just their imagination at work.
• Expresses love to many people
• You might find they are drawn to sexualized pictures or videos. Even the mermaids in Peter Pan are a bit sexualized.
Wants to talk and help more
• They want to clean up the whole house.
• They want to talk about a lot of stuff.
• As the milestone progresses, they definitely want their primary caregiver more.
• They might fall asleep in the middle of the day
• They fall asleep especially early and sleep an especially long time.
• They might have nightmares.
• They might talk in their sleep, and they seem distressed.
Some physical issues
• They grow. They get bigger overall, and their legs seem more “floppy.”
• They are more prone to getting sick.
• They might sometimes jerk their body around, almost in a spasm.
• They are more sensitive to smell. They might love the smell of rain, for instance.
Most Intense Period
• Stays up late, nightmares, talks in their sleep, wants to talk
New Abilities Summary
• They are very “on top of” intellectual ideas. They can also explain their ideas cogently, even using hand gestures to explain their ideas.
• They evaluate ideas critically. Is that true? How do you know?
• They differentiate what is real versus fake.
• They have strong opinions on the ideas they ponder.
Imaginative stories exploring different perspectives
• Their new skills show up, as so many new skills do, in imagination at first. The new skills seen at this one relate to seeing an idea through the eyes of two different people or having to be astute while doing something:
o They might make up a story about them being lost at sea. They are on a sailboat, fishing and sending distress signals. You think they are dying so you are screaming out, “Noooo!” But they were just having fun. There are two different perspectives here: what they think and what you think of them out at sea.
o Or they make up a story about an enemy ship that you have to shoot down. Your ship has a hospital on it and everything. (There is a strong element of telling stories about being out at sea at this milestone.)
o They might draw out a story about a Princess who wants to marry who she thinks is a Prince but turns out to be a monster. This is, as such, a story about an error in perception.
o They might think about a person being transformed into something, such as a fox. This fox then goes and has an adventure, perhaps killing something to eat. Again, there are two different perspectives here: the person as a person and then the person as a fox.
• What is actually true or not is this milestone, especially as it relates to how other people might understandably see something differently.
What is real or fake?
• They have a conscious understanding of what is fake or real. Cinderella is so FAKE. Julius Caesar actually existed. He is REAL.
• After pretending to grill with a toy grill, when they are all done, they comment, “But that grill was fake.”
• When their sibling uses a regular item, say a stick, to be something imaginative, say an “open champagne bottle,” they inform them, “That’s just a stick.”
• They might also marvel that things “really did” happen. You REALLY DID put all the groceries away. Neat!
They like to lie
• They might intentionally lie. This can be cute or annoying, depending on how they do it and how adults take it.
• They might push one kid and blame it on another child.
• Or they might intentionally do something, like put something in a straw. They then put their hands in their pocket and whistle like it didn’t happen.
• They make up “lies” in their jokes and play 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.” This is much to their baby brother’s delight.
• They love to give you “tricky” problems, perhaps “tricky” math problems
They can identify who is lying
• They can identify when characters from a story are lying. Say you read an ancient legend where someone is sent off to kill a baby. Another character says they did but didn’t. Before revealing that it was a lie, they can identify that the character is lying.
Explains the reasons for error in perception with impressive detail
• With elaborate hand gestures, they explain how the earth revolves around the sun—and that people used to think it was the other way around. They also then explain why Mars looks dimmer or brighter on some nights, again with elaborate hand gestures.
• Or they take you to a particular stair on a staircase and show how a platform above you looks higher than another platform, even though it isn’t. But when you come to another stair, the platforms look equally far away from you. They don’t just notice this impressively complex concept, they explain it to you to make sure you understand, too.
• They 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 define rules and guide the process.
• They purposely ask you to take a picture of them as if it looks like they are drinking from a hose, even though they are not. They designed it to look they are when they aren’t.
• They love to compare what is the same and what is different between two things, such as by setting up two different structures out of blocks and demands that you notice what is the same and different about them
• In understanding different perspective, they might now notice that other people can be “jealous.”
• They still, however, like to be “invisible” so they can “attack” you. This shows that while they can see that you and they might see the stairs differently, they still don’t quite think you can see THEM with your own objective lens. This comes a bit later.
• I think this explains all of their “lying” at this milestone. Two people can see things differently and they are actually trying to resolve it. Are you and they on the same page? Because you can actually see things differently, as they realize now.
They absorb and repeat what they learn
• They follow along with stories as if they are watching a football game. They know all the key characters and what is going. They compare it to other stories. They are totally into it. They clearly see it in their head well.
• An athletic child might watch an exercise video and then become an expert on it, going around teaching others how to do the exercises.
• They happily come over to explain to another child that to launch a drone, you hit “Launch.”
• They have a bigger vocabulary. They say things like you are going to “order” something, like order it in the mail. They also use the word “randomly.”
Wonders how people know if ideas are true or not
• They want more solid proof for how people came to the conclusions they have or the things they have been told.
• They wonder how people derived information: how did people learn what’s inside our body?
• They like having details about things that otherwise seem hard to know. Why are our eyes brown? A science video explaining pigmentation will enchant them.
• They are critical of ideas, such as if Santa really exists. They need proof to see if he exists: did he eat some cookies or not?
• If they watch a video that shows that a feather and a coin in a jar fall at the same rate, they investigate for themselves. After doing it over and over, feathers fall slowly, they notice.
• They also might want a map to see where they are and where they are going.
• They ask how to spell things.
• They weigh in with their opinion on events as they happen.
• After they see or experience something new, they comment, “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.
• After playing with a “fidget toy” or any other toy meant to soothe, they comment, “This is so satisfying.”
• As they sit next to you, they note that you two are “chilling.”
• As they make one out of sticks and balls, they comment, “A square has four sides and four corners.”
• They notice and evaluate absolutely everything while going about. As they drive in a vehicle, they comment, “Store, store. Tree, tree, tree. House. Neighborhood. Stop sign. Store.”
• They are 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.
• No, they will not be your slave!
• They hate slavery and love the heroes who fought it.
• They might have a favorite historical country or person, e.g., they love Spain or Ancient Rome. But these fell. So, they need a new favorite.
• They have thoughtful commentary on household decisions, as well. You don’t have to order dirt anymore. Your compost pile can make it!
• They might also have ideas on parenting. You wouldn’t want to teach a five year old how to be a warrior. A doctor, maybe, but not a warrior.
Big, creative, flushed out projects
• They want to do creative things that are literally big or, at least, tall. They might want to design a house in Minecraft with ceiling-to-floor windows.
• Or they might want to make a huge cat in Minecraft, out of something unusual.
• They might get excited that you got indoor plants to “get more oxygen in the house.” They want plants ALL over the house.
• They might wonder about big things, like how many worms there are in the whole world.
• They might help put on a play on their own, making it come alive in a big way. As something is attacking, they go get a changing table (which can roll) and run over, “It’s the [thing] attacking!!!”
• A more analytical child might want to do a math problem where you make a number really big, such as by adding 1+1 to make 2 and then 2 + 2 to make 4 and so on.
• They are more brave about things. They might be willing to put stuff in the freezer, whereas before they found it too cold. They note how brave they are being.
• They are up for a new adventure, perhaps rolling down a grassy hill.
• They remembered that time you went camping and want to do it again.
• They love a nature trail where they can find new “secret paths!”
• They love to be given their own tokens at a venue with arcade games and allowed to do what they want.
Two (or more) attributes can coexist
• Two attributes of something can now coexist in the same entity or action. Please note that in the previous milestone, such attributes were split.
• A balloon can be “light and big.”
• An exercise can “fun and learning.”
• They “love both hot and cold.”
• They want to be a doctor AND warrior when they grow up.
• They like to learn about homonyms, e.g., that “blue” and “blew” are different yet sound the same.
• They 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
• They might draw out many emotions including sad, happy, silly, and angry.
• Their ideas and solutions get far more detailed from here on out. Perhaps it is because they can handle two attributes at once.
Wild questions—with answers
• They have many questions imagining a different reality and, now, how it might operate.
• What if the earth was as being as the sun and the sun was as big as the earth?
• Well, if Jupiter replaced your moon, it would reflect so much light that police wouldn’t need a light at night to catch bad guys.
• What if we lived on Saturn? We’d have to float all the time.
• What if there was a pizza factory—for kids? They would deliver the pizza.
• What if we were made out of steel?
• At some point, they might say, “Imagine that!” literally a hundred times a day.
Makes up stories
• They make up stories or inventions, and they seem to involve getting practical household items to themselves, in a heroic way or perhaps after a struggle.
• They might make up an elaborate story that there once was a family that had 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. It was happy then sad then happy again! And now they have furniture.
• Or they make up a story about how something heavy is on their leg, preventing them from running fast, but they heroically do what they have to do anyway.
• Or they might think up a machine that can automatically serve you drinks
Five Year Old Milestone 7A (5.7.3-5.8.1)—Solutions and Strategies (with Details)
Most Intense: 5.8.0 to 5.8.1
Irritable Period Summary
• This milestone starts with physical growth.
• Their legs get longer and skinnier.
• They are also longer from the top of their head down to their butt.
Big, sometimes scary imaginations
• New development often starts with new imaginations:
o They might become distraught, imagining you might die someday
o Or they might imagine that you will be fine in old age, if only you could get really long legs.
Some jealousy and aggression
• They might get jealous of something another child has and try to destroy it, such as cutting something made of paper.
• They might get terribly upset they weren’t the first to find a particular thing or win a game.
• Tears up more often
• Goes back to familiar activities from when they were younger
• Wants you to watch what they watch
• They can bey VERY lovey dovey.
• Stays up late
• Might tell you they are very lonely when alone at night
• While up late, they might go on and on and on about something, like how much they love to learn from the books or videos they watch (highly in congruence with the milestone).
Most Intense Period
• Some jealousy or some fears; stays up late
New Abilities Summary
• They can envision (and employ) a new solution or strategy, with great detail.
• They can envision the future really well and with great detail.
Better strategy at games and life problems
• They make up interesting solutions or strategies to games or life problems, with lots of details.
• They think of solutions to practical solutions, like how to catch a mouse.
• They make up interesting, complex solutions to problems, like 5 different routes to get to the room of a child who is 5, 3 routes for a child who is 3, etc.
• They play games in a more strategic way, such as they know how to protect their pieces in Checkers.
Writes down and keeps track of their thoughts and actions
• As they come up with their ideas, they sometimes like to write them down, such as how to catch a mouse.
• They might write down things like grocery lists, times when they read, or, indeed, ideas they have to solve a problem.
• A child who doesn’t write that much still might like checking things off as they do them.
Asks to play new games
• They pretty reliably ask to play new games at this milestone. They might directly ask to play checkers or the like.
• They like games with a lot of strategy and skill, like Robot Turtles, checkers, etc.
• If older kids nearby are playing Marco Polo, they surprise you by stepping up, asking to play. They reliably say “Polo” when they should.
• Pro tip: play games with a strategy. They love to flex right now so a game like Candyland might upset them, because it’s all luck.
Envisions a future or a new place with great detail
• They can imagine a future or something else, like where you are going, with great detail. They seem to understand so much detail about this place that they worry about those details going well.
• They might know they are going to a new museum, and they are very concerned that you know how to get there.
• They might be floored that their dad asked their mom out on a second date and mom said yes. They seem to be floored because they realize mom could have NOT said yes and their mom and dad would have thus never married.
• They tell you they would “never marry a vampire.” You talk to them about it, and they clearly understand how bad it would be to marry someone who sucks blood.
• They make up a story about the Earth exploding, and they are worried about things like how they would get oxygen.
• They are amazed by something like one tree can make many other trees, which can make many other trees, and so on.
• They are appreciative of stories of adults who make things better, such as a story of a company that sold candy for $0.25 but figured out a way to make it $0.10. They might then fantasize about ways to solve such adult problems, like what kind of better machine can make candy.
• They are better about knowing that they are doing exactly something “in 2 days!”
• They might want to “look older.”
• This ability to imagine a future with detail might explain why some children get so upset that you will be old someday. They can imagine what that will mean, with you having deteriorated health, etc.
An intense interest in numbers, puts them in “categories”
• There is a definite interest in numbers. They seem to like to put numbers in “categories,” or, rather, where the numbers “belong.”
• They might decide that children aged 1-4 can sit here and other kids can sit somewhere else.
• Again, you need 5 different routes to get to the child’s bedroom who is 5, 3 routes to the child who is 3, etc.
• They might become very interested in clocks and how the numbers flip.
• They might be very good at multiplying 1-digit numbers, such as 2×3 and 3×3, and they might want to actively figure out something like 2×6.
• They ponder how many corners a cube has. Not just a square, but a cube.
• Reads fluently, such as several pages of a book with several paragraphs per page
• They can easily read words with 8+ letters, such as “progress” or “delicious.”
Makes up words
• Makes up words to explain a thought, e.g., birds on a wire must be “electricity-proof” as they are somehow not being electrocuted.
• Or they make up a word like a “chumma” is a helpful person and a “tumma” is a “bossy” person
Adopts a heroic archetype
• As they get creative, they tend to adopt a heroic archetype. It’s a flushed out person that they flatter themselves to be. They might now be a “ninja” or pretend to be Spiderman.
• They think highly of themselves: they are just as smart as Isaac Newton.
• They might adopt a hero as their own as well, such as a person who fought slavery.
• They might make up a story where they heroically adopted an abandoned baby.
• They might now be proud to be “brave.”
• They are the most beautiful woman on the planet.
• Or possibly the protector of all animals
Five Year Old Milestone 7B (5.8.2-5.9.0)—Ties Theories to Events
Starts: This milestone starts at 5.8.2 but it’s mostly physical growth and wild imaginations at first. Irritable behavior may or may not show up right away.
Most Intense: 5.8.3 until 5.9.0
Irritable Period Summary
Physical growth and other issues
• This milestone starts with physical growth. I wouldn’t have identified the milestone here except the growth is so obvious. They lose any “little kid-ness” big time and all of a sudden look grown up. My youngest, for instance, turned into “Ed Sheeran” overnight.
• They are just plain bigger and their whole body is more filled out.
• They have extra spit
• As this milestone progresses, specific body parts of theirs get bigger. Their feet grow and their muscles get more defined, such as the muscles in their thighs. Boys might show a bigger, more pronounced Adam’s apple.
• Such growth tends to come with a demand for more food, which is why you might be getting “Mommy” treatment or “Is it done yet?” constantly about food, especially during the intense period.
• New development often starts with new imaginations:
o Imaginary friends might be back.
o They might imagine an imaginary “evil” family across the street.
o They might make up a new imaginary figure, based on the current conversation. This imaginary figure might do something others want, such as get yet another imaginary friend to behave.
o In short, these imaginary figures deal with deeper issues of right and wrong.
Purposely brings distress on themselves
• They do things in which they purposely seem to bring distress on themselves. They get into a situation that they know they won’t like, but they do it anyway.
o They intentionally fall so they can cry. They then cry, in an exaggerated way, like a younger child.
o They ask to play a game and then they wail any time anything at all bad happens to them in the game, as if it’s a concerted attack on them.
o Or they just are very lovey dovey with you.
Intentionally picks fights
• In general, they just want to be invited to the party right now. This aggressive “energy” is obvious starting around the intense period. They insert themselves into many situations now and might intentionally pick fights.
• Their sibling might be doing a jigsaw 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, but they do it anyway.
• Or, as another example, you might not be able to decide between Restaurant A or B. They have no opinion, but when you pick Restaurant A over B, they declare they absolutely, uncompromisingly wanted B. They scream about how “SO UNFAIR” it is that you are going to A.
• They blatantly lie at times. They offer to put a movie on for their sibling, then purposely hide the remote so no one can put a movie on.
• They want their own way about many things. They want games to go a certain way and to win, they don’t want to do what the babysitter says, and they’ll put up a fight because they don’t want to go to the restaurant you are going to.
Annoying, often aggressive, physical habits
• During the intense period, they are a bit like a “Mexican jumping bean,” like they can’t contain themselves.
• They might do cartwheels all over.
• Or they can’t seem to not run into things as they run around
• They can be in your face, annoyingly. They might hover over you, shake tables, get in your face, or keep accidentally hitting you as they walk by, as if they have no ability to stay contained in their own body.
• Screams excitedly, like they don’t have control over it
• Might say, “Mommy, mommy, MOMMY” a lot
• Or they constantly ask if you’ve gotten X for them yet
• Their whining can get really out of hand (more likely in some children than others).
• They can “get bored” easily and complain about it, often.
Nightmares and fear of abandonment
• They might want you to be with them late at night, suggesting nightmares.
• They might keep getting out of bed.
• During the intense period, they might have nightmares, perhaps of flying uncontrollably into outer space.
• Alternatively, a child interested in this might think flying off to space is fun and exciting.
• They might become completely distraught if you so as much leave the house to get the mail, “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”
Most Intense Period
• It is a very obvious irritable period. They have an “energy” about them that is distinct and new. They all of a sudden want to go everywhere with you or their siblings, they want to play all the games, and they want some control over how everything goes.
New Abilities Summary
• They can tie theories to events, and they like verifying theories with their own experimentation.
Ties theories to events
• The marked new development at this one is that they tie a theory to an event. If they see the theory live, they correlate the event to the theory.
• They might say, “I know the Earth is curved because when I look in the distance, I stop seeing it.” They likely heard this theory elsewhere, but now their own eyes verify it.
• If they see a balloon falling from the ceiling, they note, as has been explained to them, “The balloon is falling because it is losing gas.”
• Whatever theory they hear FIRST tends to be king. If one book says the skin has 3 layers and then another book says the skin has 2 layers, this latter book is patently false.
• They also come up with their own theories, which they think are undoubtedly correct. If you put an egg on a fire, it would explode. If they hear a song for the first time ever, they can’t wait to tell their brother, who undoubtedly has never heard this song yet (their brother has).
• They like to correlate that X, Y, and Z songs are all sung by the same band. These events, the songs, all belong to the same band, a sort of abstract idea.
• They thank you for teaching them things. They now have abstract information that they can apply to a problem they are currently trying to solve.
• They impressively have knowledge about anything they see or hear. If they see a turtle, they show they know all about turtles. If asked what bugs glow, they know. If you mention fire, they know a few fire hazards.
• They can figure out that if you get three bouquets of flowers for $12, each one is $4. It’s that they apply math to the real world, on their own, that is impressive.
• By the way, you can tell them about new brain growth now! They might understand these “crazy brain things,” and that they go through them.
Exceedingly good at reading maps (tying abstract to reality)
• They are exceedingly good at reading maps. They read a map, say, at a children’s museum. They want to know about that one room they haven’t been to, as seen on the map. They are right that they haven’t been to that one room yet. (They are VERY good at tying theory to reality.)
• They might simply ask to see a map to see where things are that they are reading about, such as where India is compared to China.
• If they know how to get around somewhere and think you don’t, they become your mentor. Say they went to a store with their dad. When they take you, mom, they are the tour guide of this new store. Because you’ve never been to Home Depot.
Can verify information
• They can verify information. If they learned what “percentages” are, they go and put on an old video they remembered, which said the atmosphere is made up of 21% oxygen. They are very excited that they now know what this actually means.
• If asked about something, they can look up the answer in the book they are reading.
• They love playing with a calculator, punching in equations and seeing the resultant answer.
• When they get a book about science experiments, they want to try all of them right away.
• They investigate things and like doing experiments. They might want to drop balls of different sizes to see what sound they make. Or they might want to try dunking cookies in milk.
Can “brainstorm” solutions
• They have strong, creative ideas now, that are not just ideas but theories. They can now “brainstorm” solutions to life problems. In other words, they tie the solution they come up with to a life problem.
• You sit them down to discuss how to resolve an issue with their babysitter. One of their solutions is, “I know! Let’s trick the babysitter!”
• You overhear them giggling uproariously as their dad tells them something, “That is going to be a REALLY BAD IDEA!!”
• Their ideas and explanations have details. They might tell you, “Ok, mom I’m going to break it down for you.”
Exact in what they do
• They are stunningly good at focusing a microscope to see the resultant picture with clarity.
• As they do watercolors, they work to get the skin tone of something exactly right.
• They like copying words and writing letters neatly.
• They put a ton of thought into getting things exactly right, such as how to set up three chairs in a Three Little Bears play: too tall, too wide, just right.
• They are very good at using a calculator, pushing the buttons they want to and not the ones they don’t. They can fix their mistakes, too, such as hitting “Backspace” to delete characters.
• They pack the exact amount of brown sugar needed to bake cookies.
• Someone says some machine (say at a science museum) might be over their head, as they are too young for it. They prove everyone wrong by grabbing the controls to said machine, reading the instructions, and operating it well.
• They might love logic games such as “Plumber MM” on tablets, in which you have to arrange pipes to let water flow. They are exceptionally fast at it.
• They are stunningly fast at solving logic problems. A highly analytical child might notice that the pattern in a logic problem was that the number listed correlated to how many 90-degree angles were in each shape. They are again very fast at it.
Designs things, makes up games, makes up jokes
• They purposely design a flower arrangement, “These flowers are going to be on the outside.”
• They put lipstick on, wear a purse, and hang their shirt off their shoulders.
• They might make their own necklace.
• They might make up games. Perhaps they are “Zen” while in the pool and someone has to try to ruin their Zen.
• If they hear what a Russian reverse joke is, they can make up their own. “In Soviet Russia, games play you!”
Considers two dimensions while coming up with a solution
• Before they could notice that two otherwise seeming contradictory attributes can exist in one object, e.g., a balloon can be “light and big.” Now they apply two competing requirements or qualities to a solution.
• For instance, in a life situation we might want to get something fast—but without getting caught.
• They might say something like “Mommy, I am beautiful. But I am also DANGEROUS. So my beauty is a TRICK!” There are two separate but related qualities about a person here: beauty and dangerousness.
• Something can “look cheap” but “it isn’t cheap at all!”
• They can justify the pros and cons of two different materials which have conflicting attributes and which they would use. Paper is light but can blow away. Stone is heavy but it’s hard to carve into it.
• They can also do two mechanical things at once. They can hold down one part of the object to make another part work.
• They can mix two or more colors together to get the perfect shade of something, perhaps red, orange, and white to get a particular skin tone.
• Topics such as reproduction might totally fascinate them. Two different beings together to make something new.
Likes the thought of powerful “talismans”
• They like the thought that some object or person is going to turbo charge how well they do in life, as a talisman, which is thought to bring luck or magic, is thought to do.
o They might love the idea of getting wishes from a genie or having a big strong person, like a genie, on their side.
o Similarly, they might like something that makes them feel strong, powerful, or interesting, like having a shark tooth on a necklace.
o Might want to be a “God,” like a “Goddess of Beauty” or a “Math God.”
o They might like playing with a toy gun for similar reasons: it makes them feel powerful.
Shockingly wants to try new things
• They all of a sudden want to go to a pool party you go to every week. Previously they wanted to stay home (and did). Now they want to go!
• They will want to play absolutely any game you get out.
• If older kids are going into the deep end of a swimming pool, they might try to follow.
• They might make their own sandwich.
• Tries new flavors of food, such as chocolate instead of vanilla
Plays competitively with other children
• The length that they play and compete with other children increases greatly.
• They can play competitive games for a long time with other children, such as on a tablet.
• They might do “drawing challenges” with other children, where they think of an object to draw, and they both draw it.
• They get what’s going on and contribute their own creative, quirky, fun ideas. They get that you are telling Knock, Knock jokes and they make up their own, “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Bushes.” “Buses who?” “Bushes are sus.” It’s that they stepped up, did it, bantered back and forth, and made up a joke intended to elicit laughs.
Lots of prank pulling
• They pull lots of pranks. They put the skin of chickpeas on their nose, eats them, and tells you they are eating their own skin.
• They make up the prank to go around high fiving people with flour on their hand.
• They might “photo bomb” a picture you are taking, such as by showing up with whipped cream on their chin.
• Actually, they are guaranteed to photo bomb pictures.
Interested in very small amounts of time
• They notice small increments of time.
• They are very interested in what words like “instant” means. It means something happens right away!?
• They might think about things like how many “milliseconds” it takes to do something.
• They take pride that they “made up their mind in 3 seconds!”
• They might purposely change their mind last minute, as if noticing how quickly they can turn events around.
• They might walk very slowly on purpose, because it’s funny.
Cheeky about not being seen
• They get cheeky about doing things and you not seeing them.
• They rearrange a bunch of couch cushions and then hide under them. They slyly ask you, “Do you see what happened to the couch cushions?” When they go to do it again, they wave their hands at you, “Don’t look at me! Don’t look at me!”
• When they are wrapped up in a blanket, how do you KNOW it’s them? How do you know it isn’t their sister? What if they hid in their blanket in their sister’s room? Would you KNOW it’s them then?
Stays with activities longer
• They stay with activities longer, including ones where they have to learn something totally new.
• Perhaps they make all of dinner with you, cutting meat, pounding it, and frying it
• They stick with learning something, perhaps a new mechanical toy that is tricky to operate.
• 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
Wild “what if” questions
• They can think of something like, “what would happen if I didn’t have skin?”
• Or, “What if Iron Man were Tree Man?”
• What if it rained houses?
• They seem to especially like the idea of it “raining tacos” right now or maybe “raining rocks” when they are at a beach or creek.
• As they can tie theories to events, they get the moral of the story better. They are less distracted by silliness.
• Before when they read The Gingerbread Man or Little Miss Muffet, they ran all over the house getting chased by others or by scary animals. Now, they calmly read the story. They understand the bigger point of the story: The Gingerbread Man is being cocky and this causes him to get eaten.
• When asked if they are happy and know it to clap their hands, they go on an angry rampage. It’s funny. And—they also obviously get the point.
• They are reflective about their own behavior or character.
• As they make a move in checkers, they say, with a bit of swag, “Operation smart move!”
• They are proud of themselves that they “didn’t dilly daddle!”
• After making one, they flatter themselves as now good at making paper airplanes.
• They have decided that they want to be a cook, not a doctor, when they grow up.
• Alternatively, they might slap themselves on the forehead when they think they did something silly.
• Better about not internalizing shame as much (if they were prone to it previously)
Five Year Old Milestone 8 (5.9.3-5.10.0)—Ambient Environment
Most intense: A few days around 5.9.4
Irritable Period Summary
Head shape change, physical growth, sleep issues
• If your child is prone to showing it, there is a huge head shape bulge.
• They physically grow.
• They might be up insanely late at night. Physical growth often coincides with sleep issues.
• They might just suddenly fall asleep.
Some intense, aggressive energy
• This milestone isn’t terribly long but there might be some intense, possibly aggressive energy there:
o They might lie to get their own way. They lie to say they had something first, when they didn’t.
o Still plays tricks, such as hiding their things under towels
o They might be a bit physically aggressive.
• Any of this may cause big meltdowns
Awareness of abandonment
• They are aware of being maliciously left out by other children. They pick up on the fact that another child is playing games with them and purposely lying to leave them out of play.
• They become hysterical if you leave to go somewhere without them, say on a walk.
• It can be mild or intense, depending on how many situations a child is put in. They are aware they can be left out, can lie to get their own way, etc., so it really depends on the situations they are in.
New Abilities Summary
• Their ability to remember things day after day improves markedly. They can also, as such, keep up with things over a period of days.
• They greatly notice the larger, ambient environment. They also see seem themselves as a player in that larger environment.
Incredible attention span, can follow things for hours and over days
• They can follow a chapter book over a few days, remembering what happened. They can handle a book at about the level of Wizard of Oz or any other book that is about 15-25 short chapters long in which there is a bigger, exciting point. They can come back to it each night, although doing it in 2 or 3 readings is ideal.
• Or they might put on a 7-part play with their brother, about some topic, that they work on all day.
• They like to finish books and keep tabs on where they are at in the book. They might skip chapters to announce they have finished a book.
Great memory day after day
• When you are reading to them and ask if they remember something you read the other day, they marvel, “Yes! I do remember that!”
• They easily remember what is said day to day. Something reminds them of something they were promised and they pipe in that they were in fact promised a couple of things.
• When they enter a grocery store, they impressively announce, “Cookies are in aisle 5!”
• They might directly tell you how they process their thoughts. Their thoughts are being “cut” and “following behind them.” Because it’s their “memories.” This shows they not just have memory; they are aware of memory. Some children are highly intuitive like this about how all of this operates. Your memories really are “behind” you.
• They just got done being able to tie several events to a particular theory. Perhaps this ability to categorize things into one idea helps them develop persistent day-to-day memory.
• They can list out their thoughts in an enumerated way. If you ask what 3 wishes they would want from a genie, they generate a list of 3.
• Or, to take care of a cat they tell you that you need to 1) feed it 2) litter train it 3) play with it, etc.
• They can give detailed instructions to a younger sibling trying to do something. They can be very patient and articulate in how they give the lesson.
Notices the ambient environment
• They notice the ambient environment. Some examples:
• You just redecorated and there are floral arrangements in your living room now. This makes them feel “so beautiful” to be surrounded by flowers.
• They are at a restaurant with cool old jazz music. They are into the romance of it.
• Likes picnics—in the dark
• They have a totally consuming giggle fit over something that happened in a game.
• They don’t want you to turn the radio off in the car. They were, while lost in their thoughts, totally into the song.
• They are surprisingly into a movie like Grease and seem to like the idea of being a Pink Lady or T-Bird.
• They might like to follow along with someone doing a dance, especially if it’s a popular entertainer who’s all the rage. They are thus aware of what is “popular.”
Aware of themselves IN that ambient environment
• Before, they were amazed that you could know it was them even though they were covered by something. They tied events to theories but they themselves were exempt from this, as if they could, at will, become invisible. Now they realize they are in the environment and everyone can see it is them. It’s as if they see life as a chess game and they realize they are now a player in the game. This is a definite higher self-awareness. They act appropriately, given their role. They are wordless and even artistic in how they do this.
• They are dressed up as a ninja. You shouldn’t take a picture of them. Because ninjas aren’t supposed to be seen.
• They sneak up on you, quietly, as a ninja.
• They are on cue with their stuffed animals. You ask if they want to go to the pool and their stuffed animal Kitty cries, “Meow!?” Because cats hate water.
• When playing a murder mystery game, they jokingly say to their sibling, “MURDERER!”
Understands rules/morals of how humans organize
• They also take note of official morals, norms, laws, etc., and begin to ponder how it affects them.
• They might clean up their room on their own, knowing that guests are coming. This perhaps shows how they know how they fit in with the overall environment.
• They directly ask you, “Do you appreciate when I help you clean a room?” They are aware they are acting in this environment.
• When learning about moral codes, other religions, etc., they might be stunned at what punishments used to be doled out. They might ask you, “Do we have to follow cruel rules?” They understand the outer environment and they are very well aware that they are an actor in this environment.
• They ask why people shouldn’t drink alcohol, which they saw on a sign once. You explain that alcohol can make people violent if they were previously angry. They vow to never drink alcohol when angry.
A great actor
• They can reenact something, such as from a story, with stunning detail, such as a very perfected bow “like a prince” with full earnestness.
• Or they reenact what a weird character from a book looks like, such as a hammerhead shark with a short, fat, flat head
• They can convincingly “play dead” or freeze in a position to be funny.
• They can accept that some stories are fake. This might be one of the reasons they are willing to listen to stories for longer. They might even directly ask, “This is fake, right?” as they listen to, say, Greek tragedies.
• They might verbally state they are ok with watching a movie like Monsters, Inc., because they know the monsters are fake.
• However, actual scary things may upset them on a deeper level. For instance, hearing that people used to be slaves might disturb them greatly. They can still handle it, but they are, appropriately, rattled by it. Perhaps it is yet more REAL to them. They like hearing stories of heroes who righted such wrongs.
• They also seem to have realism about their own imaginations. They “throw tsunamis” at you, but they seem to know it’s just imagination. Before, they were all consumed by such things and seemed to believe their imaginations.
Aware that they are learning itself
• Again, they have a higher self-awareness. They don’t just learn. They are aware they are learning.
• They are aware that books teach them words, and they happily bubble over about it
• If they don’t know how to do something, say build a Lego set, they realize they can go read the instructions. They bubble over that this was a problem and they solved it by reading.
• If you don’t know how to do something, they might admonish you that you should go learn.
• As noted, they will actively teach younger siblings now, too.
Loves to get their mind around “the big picture”
• They are very appreciative of anything that helps them size up what they know.
• They might love a history timeline that shows, from X to Y year all the stories they have read so far
• Or they love a Boy/Girl Scout merit badge (or something similar, including something homemade), showing things they’ve done so far.
Five Year Old Milestone 9 (5.10.1-5.10.3)—Moral Complexity
Most intense: 5.10.1 – 5.10.3
Irritable Period Summary
Scatter-brained, easily disoriented
• Their short-term memory becomes bad. They might keep forgetting something you just said to them or taught them.
• They may be very absent-minded. They want to write down the number 4,000 but they write down 500.
• If walking up a set of stairs, they might get very uneasy and disoriented.
• They might just run and run and run.
Harsh, scathing, bold, assertive
• They can get really harsh and blunt. You don’t get them out of their seat quick enough and they yell, “IS IT REALLY THAT HARD?”
• They might call you or others “stupid.”
• They might get really mad you asked them to brush their teeth, such a “BORING” thing.
• They are more bold about telling their siblings to get their own popcorn.
• Stepping on a sharp object makes them scream to high heavens about it.
• They can just be difficult, in general.
Blatantly and manipulatively lies to monopolize your time
• Say a parent is giving piggyback rides. They might want to monopolize their parent’s time by always being the one to get a piggyback ride. They “lie” to get their own way: they say they “didn’t get a turn,” when they did. They just want to be the only one getting a turn.
• Say they want more time on their tablet. They know you’ll stick around if they are showing you something. So they take forever to show you the thing. They are purposely dragging it out so they get more time on their tablet.
Physical growth, sleep, and other issues
• They might be up late. You can see the wheels turning. Too much is on their mind to sleep.
• They become yet more muscular.
• Surprisingly, even though they are markedly more mature and even harsh, there is still a strong fear of abandonment. They might become so hysterical that you weren’t there when they woke up that they throw up.
• They understood the bigger environment, and morals/rules in the previous milestone. Now they can debate nuanced details about these very theories and moral codes.
• They become more independent, sometimes even demure and sophisticated. Little kid silliness is being shed big time.
Independent, mature, adult-like vitality
• They have a vitality to them that is strikingly new. You can “see” who they might be when they become an adult. You can see them being, say, a host on a cooking TV show or a jiujitsu champion. Or just how they might go about life, such as being a social butterfly.
• They tell you what they want to be when they grow up, such as a cook or an engineer. They’ve been thinking about it for a while. Now they bubble over with excitement with what they have decided. They want to work towards this goal.
• There is a very real change from their former, cheeky, prank pulling self to someone more demure, deliberate, and sophisticated. They no longer photo bomb photos. They pose nicely.
• They can be markedly mature. If you ask them to sit still, they do it with more verve and patience than you ever intended. They won’t move one single inch—not even to scratch their nose.
• You, however, also start to lose some “mommy” power. They won’t go to bed anymore just with the promise of being able to read with your or snuggle with you. They also might not come find you first thing in the morning anymore.
Moral complexity, argumentative, conflicted
• They are willing to accept the complexity of moral dilemmas, such as in a story if a person has to choose between lying or killing someone.
• They want to know all the rules of something, such as all the rules of a school, all the 10 commandments, etc.
• They want to know if they will have to follow these rules and how they would handle any of it, especially if the rules are complicated or they disagree with them.
• Rules can be “frustrating.” Who wants to have to lie to save a baby from dying, such as is the story in some ancient legends? Surely God would send a note down saying this is Ok.
• Is giving a bully your lunch money one of the rules? Because they don’t want to do that.
• Expresses that learning how to be good is difficult
• You might read the same story from two different sources now or read the book and watch the movie. Note how the same story is told slightly differently.
• They might say they like having a friend around, even though they argue. Otherwise, who would they argue with?
• They probably still believe in Santa but they sure are suspicious about how he gets into your house. You don’t even have a chimney!
Observant of many details and how they change over time
• They can give a full dissertation on something such as what their happy and sad part of the day was. They may even beg to talk about things, because they want to elaborate on all that is in their head.
• They are 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 but she is still awkward.” They give examples proving their point.
• They might make up a game, “Figure Out Their Favorite Things!” You have to guess their favorite color, etc. Whoever gets it first gets a point.
Confusion about things only meant to be abstract representations
• One thing I find so interesting about them now is they confuse something that is meant to be a representation of something as being the real thing.
• Say you see the real-life replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee. They comment, “The Greeks were very fast at conquering Nashville.”
• Or a movie shows a Saturn V rocket in a crater of the moon, to give a sense of scale. When done they comment, “Someone forgot their rocket on the moon.”
• If you give them a dress they love, they are convinced you personally made it for them.
Remembers past fun things, wants to do them
• They remember things you did in the past and actively ask to do them again. Perhaps they want to go back to that book series on math or history you used to read.
• Or perhaps there was a fun math game you did before that they want to try their hand at again.
Likes to have secrets
• You might offer that they could pretend to go argue their ideas, as if they are at the Parthenon in Greek times. They say, “No. I keep my ideas a secret.”
• They might whisper things to you a lot or give the most heartfelt, frame worthy hugs.
• They start to get better at improvising solutions on the spot. If they are writing on paper and make a mistake, they might just turn the paper over.
Five Year Old Milestone 10 (5.11.1)—Deep Compassion and Responsibility
Starts: Between 5.11.1 and 5.11.2
Most Intense: Towards the beginning
Irritable Period Summary
Nightmares and major sleep disruptions
• Nightmares, worried about getting nightmares at night
• There are major sleep disruptions. They might kick in bed or constantly shake their leg over a period of 1 or 2 nights.
• They might get up extremely early in the morning.
• They might, as a result, fall asleep during the day.
• Little cements my belief further that mental growth is initiated by dreams than how overtaken they get by something in their sleep at this milestone.
• Completely distraught over the thought that they might die
• Extremely upset if they find out someone dies, including a character in a movie
• They may be concerned about death, and of others, especially the elderly
Wants things to go well and be fair (which can cause problems at first)
• Very, very concerned that others are treated fairly. For instance, they may become upset if someone else, such as their baby brother, misses a turn when playing a game
• They might become 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.
• I put forward a hypothesis that they “see” emotions on people’s faces much more clearly. They utterly hate to see disappointment on someone’s face, especially a vulnerable person, such as a young child or an elderly person.
• More playfully aggressive in how they interact with others (might poke their siblings or the like)
• Might “harass” you such as repeatedly hitting your butt (a most potentially annoying behavior if in public!)
• Frustrated more easily and lays the blame at other’s feet
• Seems more agitated at times
• Needs long and meaningful hugs at times
• They can become sensitive, especially to physical sensation. The restaurant is too loud, the seat is too cold.
• They get tall and skinny.
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.
• There is a certain characteristic to them where they can make decisions on their own, entirely independent of adults.
• They wake up on the middle of the night and put on the TV. They realize everyone is sleeping, so they set the volume really low. They are exceedingly proud that they did this.
• I have never seen this happen but there is a characteristic to them where it feels like if they were to come face to face with someone robbing their house in the middle of the night, they would see it, and know exactly what’s going on, even if quietly.
• They have lots of “secrets” and “strategies” in their mind now. At the last milestone they “kept their best secrets to themselves.” They had idea, entirely inside their own mind, that they even kept to themselves. Now they implement these ideas, on their own.
• Entirely on their own initiative, they say, “Mommy, I love you.”
• 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
• As noted, might keep the volume down really low, in consideration for others
• May say “thank you” a lot more
• Gives their sibling a hug and says they’ll miss them if they go on an overnight trip
• Super into hugging, carrying, and taking care of small children
• Reflective about their actions. If they trip, after they are settled, they thoughtfully say, “Next time, I should pay attention better.”
• If they are reading, they may take over an activity among other children, such as directing them in a scavenger hunt.
• They are a great helper when doing household chores. They can get all the socks in the laundry basket, all the games on the game shelf, etc.
Relates bigger or even moral ideas to each other
• They can relate high level/moral ideas to each other
• When they learn that Julius Caesar said, “I came, I saw, I conquered,” they recall that their bookmark said, “I came, I saw, I mined,” which is a spoof for Minecraft
• When they learn that a “Commonwealth” is a democracy, they say, “Oh, that’s just like the Greeks!” who started democracy.
• When they learn about apple trees, they realize one can get apples for free in nature. They note that we have to buy an apple at the store and say, “So basically they are scamming us.”
• When they read history, as a girl, they ask, “Where are all the GIRLS!?” They aren’t wrong.
• They might have sophisticated ideas on death. They are both worried and not worried. Worried, because they won’t be living. Not worried, because you don’t feel pain in death.
• They can needle out the relevant parts of a more complex problem to declare what they want to do with one and not the other. They know their birthday is coming up on X date. But they want it to be surprise. So, while they know their birthday is September 29, don’t tell them what date TODAY is. That way the birthday springs on them as a surprise.
• They show marked maturity. They might say, “When we’re adults, I don’t want to argue with my sister. That’s why when she hurts me, I don’t hurt her back, because I don’t want to fight.” This is again understanding two sets of times, now and the future, and how they want one to go.
Willful control over their thoughts
• They are capable of “pushing away” their memories if they don’t want to have something in their mind. Indeed, such as if you accidentally told them the date today, and they don’t want to know
• This willful control over their thoughts seems big to me
Can answer open-ended questions
• They can answer a question like “name an ocean that is not the largest ocean”
• They might like riddles such as “if tomorrow is Friday, what day is today?”
• They might love riddles and logic puzzles. An example might be, “If the green car did not finish last, the blue car finished after the green car, and the red car finished before the blue car, what order did they finish?”
• They can do open-ended problems better such as “make an animal shape out of these tangrams”
Identifies strategies themselves
• Potentially great and rather aggressive strategy when playing board games. They can easily see several moves ahead of their current move.
• They hold on to several competing requirement. They know, for instance, that they have to protect their piece while playing checkers, and at the same time advance their own piece
• They might tell you, “I see the strategy you are using,” as they play Connect Four against you
• They’ll actively disrupt the strategy you are using.
• Might come up with a deal about what happens when someone wins/loses. They get your X if you win. You get their Y. It’s a bit of a shyster deal.
• They have many “suggestions” and “smart ideas” now. Their “suggestion” to you, as they call it, is to not go out in the rain next time, so you don’t get caught again.
• They do more traditionally academic things and even like to use a pen/pencil more to work on problems
• Shows an interest in drawing well, such as drawing a cat.
• They might like doing more formal grammar lessons, where you find the noun in a sentence, correct a sentence, add the right punctuation mark, or pick the right word for a sentence. It can be like a mystery or a puzzle to them.
• Can be given a problem such as “How many days of the week have 6 letters in them?” On their own, they can work through it in a speedy fashion
• They might ask about facts and figures like, “When did the Greek civilization end?”
• They like looking at timelines or other visual charts and noting things about them, perhaps the very largest number.
• They might go and get a book by themselves and read it out loud
• They answer if something should be measured as length, width, or volume
• Can do much more complicated problems, such as 55 + 56 = 111. Before they could do 50+50 but now they deal with the details of the one digits better. Also, they can do it in their head.
Six Year Old Milestone 1—Conservation
Starts: 6.0.1 +/- a few days
Most intense: It goes from a “bit” bad to really bad a few (2-4) days in.
Ends: 6.0.2. or a little after. It’s a short irritable period but it feels long.
Note the next milestone may start congruently with this one. You may read ahead a bit, especially for girls.
Irritable Period Summary
Hates to Lose or Do Something Wrong
• Might be mostly composed—until something goes wrong. Then they are distraught
• My husband described this well, “they are on the edge, stable—until they are not.”
• Loses control of their emotions such as if they lose a game
• If they can’t put together a Lego set, it’s “the worst day of their life”
• If they make a mistake, they are wildly upset. For instance, if they accidentally draw something upside down.
• Very upset if you shake the table while they are drawing
• May hate to have their hair brushed. They seem more sensitive and touchy.
May Get Aggressive or Whiny/Sensitive
• How they handle their hatred of losing depends on the child. Some might get aggressive, others whiny—yet others might handle it well
• May get mean all of a sudden
• May be meltdown-y
• May harass siblings and won’t stop even if asked (loss of impulse control)
• Either way, there is a decent chance you are getting pretty annoyed right now
• They have trouble focusing on specific tasks
• If you point to something, say a duck on the side of the road, they can’t seem to focus enough to find it, even though it’s right there. And, if they can’t find it before you leave, a meltdown ensues
• Won’t focus on or do schoolwork
• Makes a lot of absent-minded mistakes. Indeed, like accidentally drawing people upside down.
• May not realize that a place they are jumping is slippery, such as there are papers on a table that they are leaning on, and they fall over more easily
• Stays up late
• Won’t let you leave at bedtime
• At night, wants to build or do things or wants to talk to you
• Brings blanket or lovey around
New Abilities Summary
• Develops the cognitive function of “conservation.” They understand that matter stays the same regardless of the container it is in
• To see if they have this ability, take water and put an equal amount in identical cups. Get their agreement that both cups have the same amount of water. Then pour one of the cups into a wide, clear bowl. Ask which has more water: the cup, the bowl, or are they the same? They may get the answer correct now: the cup and the bowl still have equal amounts of water
• Or, put three coins or disks in a row. Then repeat that row again, placing the coins exactly underneath the first row. Ask how many are in each row (three). Ask: does row 1 have more coins, row 2, or are they the same? They are the same. Now spread the coins in row 2 far apart. Ask the same question: does row 1 have more coins, row 2, or are they the same? They may answer correctly: they are still the same.
• When I did these experiments with my older children, both at first went to say the more intuitive answer. For instance, that wide bowl had more water and that the row with the spread out coins had more coins. But they both stopped themselves mid-thought before answering and then answered correctly.
• It was as if their rational brain grew “bigger” as to “rein in” the intuitive mind when the intuitive mind got too magical.
• That they also developed “willful control over their thoughts,” as described in the previous milestone, seems relevant to me in this new skill of conservation.
• This is also a child who just spent an entire year practicing with lies and tricks. Now—you can’t trick them! These experiments are a bit of a “trick.” And they don’t fall for it. Their mind is more formidable now.
Deception versus Rationality
• Other spontaneous things that seem related to this new “conservation” skill in which they realize things are not what they appear:
• Interested in sizes of things, e.g., can they fit into a tiny space of some kind.
• They are also interested in your perception of this: how do you perceive how things fit in each other? Can you still see them, even though they’ve attempted to fit themselves inside a pillowcase (and half of their body is sticking out)?
• They might ask you other questions about deception. What do you think of a food advertiser that uses fake food to sell their product, making you think it is real and better than it is, when it is fake?
• They also might accuse you of lying, just to, say, flatter them. If they sing a song and they don’t think they did well and you tell them it’s beautiful, they might say, “You’re just being nice.”
• Some very specific math skills seem to develop now, and seem related to this skill of conservation
• In the United States, the President wins an election by having the most electoral votes. Each state is allotted X votes. Now they can understand that even if a President won most states, it doesn’t mean he won. The other states may have added to more “points.”
• Can understand the idea that if you are driving in the van and you throw something at another person, it hits the other person. This is even though the van is moving. It’s relative velocity.
• Understands ratios, e.g., if you have 1 apple to 2 oranges, what is the same ratio for 2 apple to oranges?
• Or if you have a timeline of events that are captured in one book and it’s a long timeline, it must be a long book. If it’s a short timeline, it must be a small book. It’s the same ability to project ratios. (WHEN they see that the book with the short timeline captures many more events in that timeline, they may understand that, too.)
• Can understand and use negative numbers in addition and subtraction games
• 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)
Confident in Their Brain and Aggressive in Learning
• May be very confident in their mind’s ability. “I learn math all by myself!” they tell you.
• May talk about their brain, e.g., it is “interconnected”
• May tell you their brain “isn’t full yet.” They have 13,000 things left. There’s room for their brain to grow.
• They may argue about what can do what. They learn rats can chew through power cables and they insist this can’t be true. Their frame of reference is their own teeth. In short, they feel quite smart and quite confident in what they can size up.
• They are much more independent and aggressive in learning on their own. I wrote about my son, “It feels like I’m talking to a young engineer that I am mentoring. I can explain something to him, and he goes off and does it.”
• You might print out a sheet of music for them, which is on the dining room table, under many papers. You can’t help them right now, but they rummage under all the papers to find it. So they can learn the new song.
Longer and More Persistent Memory
• They can size up things that happened over an entire year’s time. If you’ve been reading a book for a while, they might say, “It took us about a year to read this.” And they are about right. Their long long-term memory is forming.
• They more reliably remember the lessons they did the day prior. Not just the lesson of the lesson but doing the actual lesson itself. But indeed also including what they learned. What did they read yesterday? Oh, yes, how monks lived in monastaries.
• They may even ask to go over the lesson from the day prior, such as if you are learning a new song for a play and they want to look at the lyrics again. They ask spontaneously, without you inquiring.
• Before this, before 5.10 anyway, they don’t remember things like this. They likely don’t remember many of the stories you read. It is now much more persistent that they remember the academic things they do day after day.
• Though they may surprise you by remembering a story they read only once nearly 2 years ago, such as how “Secret Garden” is like the garden they are in now.
Specific and Exact in Their Large Knowledge Sets
• Strong interest in identifying animals and grouping them in the animal kingdom
• Very specific in their knowledge. That’s not a cardinal. It’s a NORTHERN cardinal.
Highly Creative and Detailed Open-Ended Projects
• Can do creative open ended logical patterns, such as making organized and neat shapes out of perl beads
• Makes up a highly creative story. They are the last man to survive the potato famine. They hand carved a boat out of wood and escaped.
- With nothing but a deck of cards, you can make a difference in a child’s life
- Math Game: Get to 6 (Because They’re 6)
- Setting up a Math Game Club
Six Year Old Milestone 2—“Masculine” Hormone Surge
Starts: Between 6.0.2 and 6.1.0
Most Intense: 6.1.0 to 6.1.1 (still tbd)
Irritable Period Summary
• This one is very distinctly marked by a child that cannot fall asleep at night
• Wants to stay up late
• May refuse to sit down and do any kind of “homework”
• Clear increase in testosterone for both boys and girls.
• Boys and girls may show more interest in genitals
• May notice boys becoming faster at athletics
• Girls also become a bit stronger and more active
• May have a healthy outlet for this newfound athletic skill. They may go outside and swing every day
• Can’t/won’t concentrate, up late at night
New Abilities Summary
Sex Hormone Surge
• Both boys and girls show an increase in their more “masculine” side
• More “masculine” things such as an interest in success, e.g., “We’re gonna be RICH, baby!”
• More adventurous: may try new foods
• More confident, less robotic, less confused.
• May be more into physical touch, such as freely giving out hugs to many people
• Very sweet and nice, may actively help or serve siblings
• For boys, much stronger at athletic things
• Girls may also show an increase in their more masculine side.
• Your daughter may announce she is a “bully!” This is because she is beating people handily at a game, disrupting their wins and strategies. She is playing perfectly fair in the game and excited about her wins. I see it as the masculine ego forming. It is healthy. She is otherwise a perfectly sweet girl.
• Although “sex hormones” are typically associated with boys being tougher and stronger, the sex hormone surge in girls is not without strength. When a model struts down a runway, she is not without strength. You may see more of this kind of vitality in your girl. Though, she may be timid about it at first.
• Girls may start talking more about “flirting” and going on “dates”
More Pointed, Even Ruthless, in How They Solve Creative, Theoretical Problems
• There is a marked increase in strategic thinking. It is indeed more “masculine.”
• If you are being attacked by pirates, you should aim your cannon right at their mast. This will give a devastating blow. Your daughter came up with this.
• 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 story after story, such as the last man to survive at the end of the world
• 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”
Focused on Learning
• Focused again on schoolwork, may want to even be the master at X thing, such punctuating a sentence correctly
• May love to read through information you give them, such as a field guide of birds in your area or a worksheet on how to use apostrophes
• Explosion in independent reading—reads book on their own (about the length of The Three Little Pigs or Dr. Seuss) and retains what is in the book
• Continued strong interest in studying topics, such as about fighter jets or plants
• “I don’t know why plants have leaves” really means, “Why do plants have leaves?”
• Can handle both smaller and larger things academically:
• Can understand the idea of atoms (“the smallest things in the world!”)
• Can understand and gets excited for the idea of black holes
Uses Math to Size up What They are Doing
• As they make an art project, they might tell you there are x pegs to make up their perl bead creation or they are x percent done. It results in much more deliberate creations.
• They think of worldly issues, and they can bring some amount of math or technicality to it.
• Understands probability such as., “There is somebody in the world who has a birthday today”
Wants to Write Their Thoughts Down
• They want to write their thoughts or feelings down
• They might want a little book to write down “their 999 ideas.”
• Or they ask for a diary
• They want you to participate as they write things down. Maybe you both collaboratively make up a story. They start, “A man on a motorcycle says to a man on an airplane, ‘You’re late.’”
• Or maybe they want to share their secret in their diary with you.
• Some time around 6.1.2 to 6.1.3 you can expect a huge giggle fits, if given the opportunity
• Maybe over a book in which a character, “goes up to that big guy and punches him in the eye! Pow!”
• Or you tell them you want them to face you when you read to them, because you “don’t like reading to a butt.”
But Can Also Get Overwhelmingly Sad
• Moved by and may get emotional about historic stories, such as Rosa Parks (“WHY DID THEY CALL THE POLICE!?”)
• Fully understands weighty moral issues such as dropping an atomic bomb. However, doesn’t understand the need to make such an awful decision (“why can’t they just surrender?”)
Six Year Old Milestone 3—Free Thinker and Creative Design
Most Intense: 6.2.3
Irritable Period Summary
Tries New Things
• They might be silly or quirky on purpose like trying to write or read backwards or wear their hat backwards
• In doing a new thing, say they try to draw something new, they might be hard on themselves if they don’t get it right.
• They might seem sullen and disconnected from you.
• They might tear up easier. They may even say, “You ask me for a reason why I’m crying. But I don’t have one! It just makes me feel better!”
• More intuitive things hit them emotionally. A grown man, such as The Phantom of the Opera, so broken and upset by life events that he starts talking to his childhood toy of a monkey, may hit them on an emotional, incommunicable level.
• Try to resist the urge to ask them why they are sad. Try to understand it intuitively and help them wordlessly
New Abilities Summary
• Develops their own worldview, e.g., may tell you their thoughts on God or religion
• They may be highly perceptive about people and politics. They may note that a King demanding a Princess marry him is “Forcing it. It’s like he’s trying to crush Play Doh and make it happen. It’s wrong.”
• Identifies the background, unspoken meaning of social behaviors better. They might tell you or someone else, “Your idea is a myth!” They take the bigger picture in. They don’t take things at face value.
• Strong desire to create art in high detail, such as a perl bead of the earth’s 3 layers
• Makes up realistic designs to solve big problems, like a fish that can change colors and develops a nose to split atoms, etc. etc.
• Tell a story with drama, such as setting up the plot then revealing the answer by saying, “Wait for it … “
• A strong desire to be amazing at something, such as “Really smart at math!!!!”
Six Year Old Milestone 4—Patterns in Patterns
Most Intense: A few days after 6.3.0 until 6.3.2
Irritable Period Summary
MAJOR Sleep Issues
• At around 6.3.1, you are guaranteed to have a child who wants you late at night.
• After you put them to bed, they might come chasing after you, distraught you left.
• Or they get back out of bed and says they are hungry
Sensitive and Easily Hurt
• Easily hurt and sensitive
• Cries more often
• Can get VERY upset if you get mad at them
• They may start to take things into their own hands now, such as making their baby brother does as asked. This can go terribly and make you upset. They may get VERY upset if you get upset with them. They seem to feel how upset you are with them, on a deeper level.
• Might be hard on themselves for 20 minutes or more about what a “bad person” they are if you get mad.
• If anything goes wrong, say your internet went down or something soils their favorite stuffed animal, they are SUPER upset.
• Becomes clumsy
• Might trip on themselves easier
New Abilities Summary
• They take a strong interest in solving “logic” problems involving patterns. They stick with it until it makes sense to them.
• They might be completely committed to solving a Tangram puzzle.
• They might notice it takes three of the number 40 to make 120 and four of the number 30 to make 120.
• They might spontaneously come up to you to tell you 7+5 is 12. You might ask them how they figured that out. “Because I took 1 from the 7 pile and gave it to the 5 pile and 6 + 6 is 12.”
• If you ask them what 110 + 321 is, they might say, “Well… 100 plus 300 is 400. And 10 + 30 is 40 so 440.” Pretty close.
• An especially pattern finding child might take this to the next level. They might write 10, 20, 30, 40..all the way up to 100. Then they write that it takes ten 10s to get to 100, five 20s, two 50s, etc.
• Extremely considerate, such as deliberately moving out of someone’s way so they can pass
• May help with chores or grocery shopping.
• If something goes down between you, they are cheerful and forgiving about it. At our house, we had a joke, “I love you even when you have dirt on your nose.” “I love you even if your shoes are on backwards.” It comes in handy in times of conflict. “I love you even when you hurt your brother.” And it can be funny, “I love you even when snot flies out of your nose because you were crying then laughing.”
Six Year Old Milestone 5—Suspicious (of Others), Judgmental (of You), Persuasive, Committed, and Romantic
Most intense: 6.4
VERY Judgmental and Even Insulting Towards You
• Closer to 6.3.3, they start to point out your flaws, big time.
• They might tell you that you look “evil” when you laugh.
• If you are late somewhere, they tell you, “I knew you’d screw it up.”
• Notices the bad habits of adults, such as if an adult picks at their nails
• They might get really mean: they liked another teacher or relative better than you.
• Swings wildly between praising and insulting you
• They might say “Bye” to you said like, “Bye, Felicia.”
• They have THOUGHTS about their youth. What kind of mother would have let them [ride a roller coaster, watch a scary movie] when they were just 5 or 6? They then ask you ride that roller coaster or watch that movie.
• They remember that time you struggled to pronounce a word when reading or any other mistake you’ve ever made.
• Try not to take this personally. It is a stage.
Notices Suspicious or “Fishy” Things
• There is a heightened awareness and concern over any safety threat.
• They might “see a man with a hat” walking by your house. They were very concerned.
• They might want to go in your backyard and look for anything “fishy.”
• Be warned: Anyone coming into your yard unexpectedly is frightening territory. This might be a lawn care worker, etc.
New Abilities Summary
Commits to Things for Noticeably Longer Time
• They might want to read Harry Potter ALL day
• They might stick with math tricks or games all night.
• Can do something detailed and that takes persistence, like make an origami frog or put together a tangram
Asks Tricky Questions
• They like to stump you or get your view on complex issues.
• They might ask you “100 plus what makes 150?” And you say 50. They say, “Nope! 100 plus 30 plus 20 makes 150.”
• They have a new problem for you. What is 11 – 77,777,777? They might cheer you on while you do it.
• They might ask you something like, “Would you rather die or betray your children?”
• They might ask you if you like math or hockey more. They then put many check marks next to the math one for themselves. This is there way of telling you they like math that much more than hockey.
Complex Stories and Thoughts
• They can follow along with all characters, such as in Harry Potter or Hardy Boys. They might even like if you draw out the plot of it for them. They might love when you read side by side with them.
• They might make up a very detailed story with numbers such as a pilot crashed and X number of people survived, etc.
• Can make up a new word when they don’t know a word to describe what they mean e.g. “equalism”
• Can solve problems like 20+18 in their mind by reasoning it out such as “20 + 18 is just like 20+16 and that’s 36.”
Specific and Real in Their Creative Efforts
• Highly specific in creating something, such as cars lined up in a race that looks like it can be a high action shot in a movie. They describe how one car is at a particular length or angle to another.
• They might make many LEGO creations that are very specific. They go on and on about what they did and why.
• They might draw an entire shipwreck scene, with an iceberg going into the ocean, coral at the bottom of the ocean, etc.
• Narrates everything, such as the details about how to get a bike started
Persuasive in Getting Others to Do What They Want
• They might be really good at getting adults to do things for them now.
• They manage to convince their dad to read to them ALL day. You bring it up later. They snicker, “Yeah! I just beg!”
• They try to convince you to go to the pool. They’ll watch their little brother for you to help.
• They can convince older kids to put 4 pairs of socks on because they are “controlling” them for that day.
• They might be enamored with something like how the maid in Trolls ended up dating the Prince. They want to hear about how the date went, etc.
• They might LOVE to hear about your first date or your engagement story.
• They might love to sit by their dad “because he’s so romantic,” because he gave a gift to their mom.
• They might tell random strangers, “Luv ya!”
• They might wonder who they might marry or declare they are marrying X.
• Might tell you it “feels so good” to snuggle into you. They may also snuggle more with other children.
• 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
• They can be super funny and charming. You might ask them if they would marry a Prince who was charming but abusive. They put their hand on their hip, “Well I kind of like you but I kind of don’t! See what I’m saying, Prince?”
Remembers Their Younger Self
• They remember notable things they did when young, such as that time they cried terribly when they heard a story of injustice.
• They might go back to toys from their younger years and play with them.
Aware of Themselves
• They might tell you they love math and not hockey
• They might tell you, “I just love to talk!”
Relationships with Younger Children
• They may take an interest in younger children and really enjoy making them laugh or playing with them.
• They might build their favorite of something from their youth, such as a train track, for their baby brother.
• They might help younger child, like buckling them into a carseat.
• They might directly tell you they are studying you to learn how to be a good Mom.
Notices Color and Light
• They might become alarmed when they “close their eyes and see dots.” If the sun is coming through the window, they might notice the light “stays” with them, even if they close their eyes.
• They might be totally enamored that when you turn the lights on or off that the color of the walls goes from dark to light.
• They might notice shades of colors better, spontaneously noticing something is more of a greenish yellow than yellow.
Six Year Old Milestone 6A—Socially Quick and Responsive
Most intense: The whole thing but especially 6.4.3 until 6.4.4 might be especially difficult
• EPISODES. After something happens, they might stomp off, slamming doors, etc. They, however, snap back quicker now.
• If they trip on their brother’s toy, they might scream, “I HATE THAT YOU HAVE THIS TOY. I WISH YOU NEVER GOT THIS TOY.”
• If asked to do a lesson on a piece of paper, they might get angry and scribble all over it.
• They might draw a picture of a very angry, frowny face, showing how angry they are.
Prone to Guilt
• If you ask a highly empathetic child, as nicely as you can, to stop pushing on their brother’s head, they might stomp off, “I’M SORRY.”
• Now is not a time to make any judgment on how they are in any capacity. If you tell them what is “healthy” food versus what is unhealthy, they might break down unexpectedly at a later time. They sob about how few “healthy” foods they eat.
• They might get VERY upset if they make a mistake on, say, a worksheet.
Sensitive to How You Treat Them Compared to Others
• They might directly tell you that if you spend time with their brother, it feels like you are slighting them.
• They might also directly tell you that you try to get them to do an activity or lesson but it’s NOT for them. Their brother likes [math, sports, computers, whatever] not them.
• Might not want to go to bed as they talk to you about all that is on their mind.
• Unusually angry, won’t go to bed
New Abilities Summary
Highly Quick and Responsive
• Although they are socially aggressive, they are also socially quick.
• They go up to someone and say, “Hola!” The person, knowing Spanish responds, in Spanish, “Are you fine today?” They are intimidated at first but then realize they do know the word yes in Spanish. So they say “Si!”
• Shockingly clever in solving problems. In a video game, there is a huge ancient shark. Someone tells them to stay away because no one can kill it. They lure it in with bait, punch it in the eye, and hack it to death.
• They might give you “secret messages” that say things like “I know who you are.”
Interested in Gut Health
• It might seem crazy, but on the nearly same day in development, both of my older children took an interest in and talked to me about bacteria in their gut.
Likes to Read and Draw
• Likes to pleasure read
• Might read books about the level of Golden books or start to read a full chapter in a chapter book
• Guaranteed to draw all over any piece of paper handed to them.
• Might even set up a “drawing station.”
• A particular interest in folding paper or drawing a grid on a paper to do things in each individual square thusly folded or drawn. They might write secret messages or do multiplication problems.
Six Year Old Milestone 6B—Self-Reflective of Behavior and Their Own Mind
Most intense: Around 6.5.1 shows especially aggressive behavior
Major Sleep Disruptions
• They may be a handful to put to bed.
• They might come to your bed in the middle of the night because they had a nightmare.
• They might get out of bed after being put down, because they heard people talking. What’s going on? Is it a party? Why can’t they join?
• They might be afraid of the dark.
• If highly empathetic, they might not want to see other’s do anything risky, such as put their head under water.
• Weird fears like, “I don’t want to go in the bathroom because it has two doors.”
• They might feel like spiders are all over their body.
• For a day or two, they might be distraught if you leave the house.
• They might fall and trip easier, such as when going up the stairs.
• In general, nightmares coincide with more physical accidents.
Aggressive and Possessive
• They might take their sister’s blanket and not give it back.
• If another sibling tries to take the swing they are on, they might hit them in the head.
• They get really mad if another child is anywhere in their space at all, such as stepping on their foot for a brief second.
Prone to Feel Isolated
• This probably depends on the child and how much they internalize. But they otherwise might think they are the ONLY kid who is ever bad in the history of kids.
• They might think you like their siblings better because their siblings are “never” bad.
• Telling them that ALL children are “bad” sometimes might help. All of them. Zero exceptions. Tell stories from your youth if you can.
Self-Reflective and Prone to Guilt
• They are self-reflective of their “bad” behavior. They might say, “I can’t control my anger.”
• Or they might run away because they know/think they were bad and are intensely worried you’ll be mad at them.
• They may have heard a slur that might apply to them and they are worried. They might be worried they are a “Karen” or any other sexist, racist, or other insult.
• Talking to them about brain growth might help too. Describing it as an “upgrade” seems to work. It’s all part of growth. Like a seed that becomes a flower, they are going to change.
New Abilities Summary
Talks About Their Memories
• They might talk about their memories. For instance, they are “like Dory.” They forget things quickly sometimes.
• Perhaps a man walked by you and said hi and noted their brother’s toy. You mention and they go, “Oh. I did see that. But I forgot about it already!” They are cognizant of their own memory and what they remember and what they don’t.
• They might ask a question like “Do my memories get erased when I die?”
Six Year Old Milestone 7—Follows Through with Anything They Put Their Mind To
Most intense: 6.5.2 and may get worse until 6.6.3 at least
• Slightly Aggressive
• Brings lovey or blanket around
• As it continues, gets much more aggressive
Takes “Justice” Into Their Own Hands
• They do unsavory things in setting their boundaries or getting others to do what they want. It’s rooted somewhat in a sense of “justice.”
• This is found even in totally non-punitive, non-yelling homes. This seems to be “in” them.
• Some children use more physically aggressive means and others use more socially aggressive means.
• 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!” Or “Do this or I will slap you!”
• After something goes down and they hurt someone, they might yell, “That’s what you get!”
• Purposely defiant, such as you ask them to draw a happy face and they draw a sad face or you ask them to practice lines from a play loudly and they purposely mumble
• The fights may get extremely overwhelming / beyond what you are used to handling.
• Their aggression might shock even them. Afterwards, they are stunned by what they did.
• Becomes really quiet and seems to be deep in thought
Can’t Stop Themselves
• 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.”
• Compulsively interested in things, such as a microphone which they were introduced to for the first time and will NOT stop playing with it
• This one is quite simply marked by a child who cannot back off
• 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
Works Through Complicated Problems
• Passionate about their favorite intellectual or creative activity, such as solving math problems
• Reliably commits to solving difficult problems, fight through the problem until they get the right answer
• 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 reliably does what is asked of them, like put their coat away
• Loves, loves, loves math games and other games
• Loves to put on impromptu plays, say pretending to walk across thorns by walking across LEGOs or pretending to be in a dreamy state after being shook by a lion (as in the famous story about Dr. Livingstone)
Committed to Reading and some Writing
• 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 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
• 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
• 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.”
• 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.”
• 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.
• Announces they like to be alone
• Loves to hide, say while on a walk
• Walks around with a bee bop or a swagger or like they are “the man.” A child who simply loves to be alive.
Thoughts on Their Own Brain
• 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!”
Six Year Old Milestone 8—Undaunted
Starts: Between 6.7.2 and 6.7.3
Most intense: 6.7.3 to 6.8.0
• They might come up to you and directly tell you their memory isn’t good anymore and they are frustrated by it. They used to know all sorts of things but they can’t remember them anymore.
• Distracted: forgets to take their turn at board or card games
Really, REALLY needs you
• They REALLY need you right now.
• They might sweetly ask you to spend more time together.
• They might just come be by you.
• Or they might totally lose it on you that you never spend time together.
• Either way, I can’t recommend enough having intentional, regular one-on-one time with them right now.
• They might hypersensitive right now.
• If they hurt a sibling and you go to address it, they yell, “IT’S MY FAULT! I DID IT! YOU PROBABLY HATE ME NOW! I WISH I WOULD DIE!”
• They might tell you they absolutely hate when you yell.
• They might absolutely hate when people are “too loud.”
• More easily hurt over simple things. They may get upset over something very small, say at sports practice, or not even want to go to practice.
• Up late with a million things on their mind.
Most Intense Period
• Their poor memory can cause issues. It frustrates them more than anyone else. This one can range from mild to intense. The more time you can spend with them, the better it will likely go.
New Abilities Summary
• They are unintimidated and willing to take on bigger challenges, even things they struggled with in the past.
Not Afraid of a Challenge
• They are less intimidated by longer or bigger challenges. Something as simple as walking from a place to another place, say a bench to a bridge, before would have been intimidating. But now you ask them to do it, and they say, “Oh, ok.” Not a big deal. They can handle that.
• This may be why they are also more responsible. Tasks seem less daunting.
• They can recognize they did X thing, so they can thus do Y thing. They carried something heavy up some stairs. Therefore, they can probably carry it back down the stairs.
• They might say “I’m not good at math.” But it’s said in a way that clearly show they want to get better.
• Even though they might not be good at something, they are willing to work on it to get better.
• They more easily commit to any challenge. They are willing to leave their tablet or TV show to come play any given game.
• Fairly reliably does what you ask them to, like pick up something off the floor or put their coat away
• They directly tell you they like when you cheer for them.
Math and Academic Skills
• Notices complex patterns, such if you multiply 6 x 6 it is 36 just like 9 x 4 is 36. Thus, 9 is so many away from the first 6 (in 6 x 6) and 4 is so many away from the other 6.
• Or 1 x 9 is 9 and that’s 1 away from 10. Therefore 2 x 9 is 18, as this is 2 away from 20.
• They may be wrong in some of their assessment but it’s certainly advanced thinking being developed.
• They use their hands to solve yet more advanced problems. As they are thinking through the fact that 5 x 9 is 5 shy of 50, they hold up 5 fingers to work through subtracting 5 from 50.
• Or as they are adding up 3 sixes, they hold up 3 fingers to keep track of where they are at.
• It’s like they can see numbers as a block easier. They can imagine “9,” handily. I don’t recommend doing ~much~ multiplication until about this age. But at this age—and how.
Makes up Their Own Games
• They might make up their own games.
• Maybe a “Happy or Sad” game. If you pull a piece of paper and it has a happy face, you get to do something fun. If you pull a sad face, you have to do something gross.
• Or, as you play a game, they invent a game where you pick up a playing card every time you win a game. The first to 100 wins.
• Or, as you play War (the math game), instead of using two cards, they ask to use three.
• They might draw their own game out, such as a Guess Who board.
Wise and Self-Reflective
• You might tell them something like, “It’s not good to talk about religion around new people.” And they enthusiastically say, “Yeah! Any of us can be wrong!”
• They can handle conflict a lot better. They might start to get aggressive with their sibling or start to have a meltdown, but they are a bit better about it. They back off of their sibling.
• Or they might run off to their room because they are upset. But at least now they don’t slam the door. Simple conversations to resolve the situation go a lot further now.
Adult Sense of Humor
• Very, very funny and adult like sense of humor
• They might play around with bad words or swear words. You catch yourself almost swearing but stop yourself. You acknowledge it but say something like, “sometimes Gee Golly doesn’t cut it.” They then let out a torrent and I meant a torrent of swear words. It’s a bit funny.
• They might say, “Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME!?”
• Or, you ask if their brother is now a man, as they are showing signs of puberty. Their brother says, “I don’t know!” And they say, “Well you ARE a man then, because your answer is ‘I don’t know!’” I don’t know where they got it from, either.
• As you get out of the pool, your husband notes he wants to watch. Your six year old picks up on it and yells, “I’M SEXY AND I KNOW IT!”
• Their sister asks to watch a princess movie, by which she probably means Disney. They want to watch Star Wars and tell her, “Well, you’re in luck, because Star Wars has Princess Leigha!”
• They make up a game where their brother is “invisible.” As you try to talk to him or about him, they play along, “Well I don’t know who you are talking about!”
• There is a strong duality at this one. How things possibly conflict or get into hierarchy is interesting to them.
• They might say something like, “Honesty is a virtue. But SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LIE! If it was a surprise birthday, you would have to lie!”
• If you ask them to draw a happy face, they might draw every emotion possible except happy.
• They might draw a person with two faces, one happy and one sad.
• They might tell you they are nice but also DANGEROUS.
• They understand there is “expectation versus reality.” Ask them, perhaps, to draw a triangle with their eyes closed. The expectation is that it will look like a triangle. And then there’s reality.
• They might tell you, “Mommy, you are my mother. But if you were murdered, I wouldn’t be in your funeral. I would be in jail for murdering the person that murdered you.”
Six Year Old Milestone 9—Worldly
Starts: Between 6.9.1 and 6.9.2.
Most intense: The first week or so
Highly Distracted, Confused, Poor Memory
• Lethargic, unfocused, out of sorts
• Slumps over because they just “don’t wanna”
• Recognizes they get distracted easily, “It’s so hard for me to not get my tablet out even though I know I shouldn’t.”
• Become momentarily confused. You might be in a store, and they wander off. 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.
• They might get really upset over how much their memory is bad or how distracted they get. They might forget the rules of how to play a game, and they run off, so embarrassed that they forgot.
• They might get dates or times all mixed up. They might think they missed at event, which you are going to at 10:30 am. But it’s only 8:30 am. They are super upset, thinking they missed it.
• Or they are going somewhere NEXT Thursday. They wake up, realizing today is Thursday, and are super upset they “missed” the event.
• Just sort of momentarily scatter brained, often.
Extremely sensitive and self-conscious about private matters
• 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. They ask you to keep it a secret.
• They might tell you they have a crush on someone but please DO NOT tell anybody.
• They don’t want you to see they are blushing.
• They get extremely annoyed by others, especially younger siblings.
• A new situation where other kids taunt them will be extremely overwhelming. Perhaps the other kids tell them their Minecraft water bottle is for boys, not girls.
• They are utterly convinced you like their sibling better than them.
• They tell you they will never have children. Take that: you won’t be a grandma!
• Their face and head seem to get longer/elongate in the vertical direction.
Sleep issues, fears, and visions
• Can’t sleep at night, wants to tell you things or learn things. They do this often.
• Sleeps in unusually late (10 am or later)
• Gets up in the middle of the night, checks something, goes back to bed
• Gets up in the middle of the night and comes into your room, with fears
• They might see “faces” in everything. The pattern in a chair looks like a face, for instance.
New Abilities Summary
• Interested in more advanced science topics, like antibiotic resistance or how DNA works. Just a much broader understanding of how things apply to the world
• May want to learn a second language, gets otherwise crazy excited to learn new advanced topics
• Tells you they “don’t know how love works.” Just. How does it work?
• Much more mature in their observations. Things can be “sad and sweet.” They can be “cruel and good.”
• They might now want to be a vegetarian.
• Makes guesses about worldly things like “I think 50 cats were saved in the United States today”
• They might take another stab at worldly probability, “I feel like someone might be thinking what I am thinking right now. I know that probably isn’t happening but I still feel it’s possible.”
Less annoyed, less judgmental, more forgiving, and broader in their thinking
• They wisely say their little brother or sister is annoying, but they still have a lot to learn. They are broader in their thinking.
• They finally agree you do not favor their little brother. In fact, it seems like you kind of like them and care for them well.
• Again, wise. They say, “I like to think that I am your favorite. I KNOW you said you don’t have a favorite, but I still am allowed to have my THINKS.”
• They might like to teach and mentor younger children (instead of harassing them and constantly being annoyed by them).
• The strong responsibility and follow through seen in the last milestone is seen in this one but it’s more refined in execution.
• They can, with some direction, pack their own suitcase.
• They stay with schoolwork a lot longer. They can play a whole math game and then do problems with it later.
• 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.
Talks about their Memory
• Might talk about their brain as having “a million roads and they all go to a store” or something similar
• They might ask you if they can work through a problem or if they have to “use their mind.”
• They are more interested in getting things right and throw themselves into it.
• Writes 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
• Intently reads books as to extract information, such as a book on survival in the woods
Six Year Old Milestone 10 (6.11.1-7.0.0)—Daring
Most Intense: 7.0.0
• They seem to go through something hormonal
• They sweat more.
• They might hide in their room and want their privacy. They do not want to talk about what they are doing.
• They might be a bit moody.
• They might all of a sudden be physically sensitive to new things. For instance, at the beach, watching the lapping waves now all of a sudden gives them sea sickness.
• They might be more sensitive to having their hair brushed, etc.
• They might have more physical ailments, such as headaches.
• A highly empathetic child (who “catches” other people’s emotions) might get nervous and upset watching other children do daring things, as they are worried for their safety. It seems to even make them physically ill.
• They are also very socially sensitive.
• They might get all of a sudden shy to enter a room with a lot of people.
• They understand the social implications not just of words now but actions as well. If they found a drawing they lost in a garbage can, they cry, “We found my drawing in the GARBAGE CAN.”
• If other kids don’t play with them, they might sob, “It’s like I’m invisible!”
• They are also highly opinionated about what happens to them. On vacation, they hated absolutely everything except Go Karting.
More Assertive and Daring
• They can be incredibly daring. This can cause safety problems.
o They might do something highly risky, like all of a sudden jump into a lake.
o They might take their seatbelt off in your vehicle.
o They can be an extreme danger to themselves in parking lots. They might dart out onto the road without looking for cars. Do not leave them unattended.
• They have no filter. They purposely yell at a restaurant, “This food is DAMN good!”
• They might call other kids something like, “Zoobie-head.”
• They make up their mind and do things. Perhaps they get to watch TV at 5:00 pm. At 4:07 they decide “It’s basically 5:00” and turn on the TV. It’s noticeably defiant compared to previous behavior.
• They totally zone out at times. Like you can say something 800 times and it doesn’t get through.
New Abilities Period
Big, Bold Adventures and Ambitions
• They want to do BIG and dangerous things, like canoeing.
• There is nothing they won’t try, including food and drinks.
• They might want to design their own skateboard out of something. There is method to how they do it, as they build different designs and number their iterations.
• They want to make several dozen batches of cupcakes all at once: some vanilla, some chocolate, some strawberry, some regular sized, some mini, and with all different frostings. Certainly, give wings to their ambitions, but you might need to pace them a bit.
• They might want to make YouTube videos.
• They might directly ask for some kind of allowance or budget to get the things they want.
• They like to be the lead in games (such as Red Light Green Light) or decide what everyone will play.
Socially Daring and Proactive
• They can be very daring socially.
• When something reminds them of something, they might drop some appropriate song lyrics. They get the lyrics exactly right. It’s very funny.
• You joke about how “cute they are. They aren’t cute: they’re 7. To correct you, at the right moment, with great personality and wit, they say, “I’m handsome, bro!”
• They drop jokes easily and often about themselves. You mention something they did when they were younger and, with full personality and great acting, they say, “Oh! Dark flashback!”
• They change their voice to be funny, perhaps doing a sort of yodel.
• Takes initiative to do something like make a Mother’s Day gift for you
• Very capable of doing something more socially independent, if and when you give enough patience, time, and guidance to make it happen. Such as, with clear instructions, they go to a drinking fountain station in a crowded restaurant and get you some more water. They are very proud of themselves as they bring it back, trying not to spill it.
Highly Socially Perceptive
• They make startling and dead funny comments, especially about adults.
• You might tell them you regretted buying something, and the person who sold it to you originally made you feel lousy about yourself. They look at you, in all seriousness, and say, “Mommy. I want to tell you something. Cops always want crime so they can take people to jail. Doctors always want people to be sick so they come to the hospital. And chefs always want you to be hungry so you come to their restaurant.”
• You might say that someone said something to you that was so obviously not true. They remark, “It’s like they are a liar who doesn’t know how to lie!”
• 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.
• They slowly ponder something interesting or kind of deep.
• They write out, “I feel good but that might be bad.”
• While at a playground, just absorbing their environment, they tell you, “I would describe my emotions as happy and bored. Mommy, did you know you can have two emotions at the same time?”
• If someone asked them if they have ever seen something, they would always say yes, because in the seconds it took for them to ask and for them to respond, they have seen it.
• Or they tell you, “I don’t tell anyone my secrets, because I can never get them back.” And then they admonish you for telling a secret, “And you said it, which is in the past, and now you can’t change it.”
• Fully interested in other children’s stories and thoughts and, after listening to them intently, tells them that was “interesting.”
• Can be found deep in thought.
• Clearly deep in thought at times. They might sometimes shake their head, with the wisdom of a seasoned expert, “I hate [that restaurant/that thing].”
Captivated by Nature
• They might get up early and tell you they did that just to see the beautiful sunrise.
• Or they tell you they love nature so much more than anything man-made.
• 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.”
• Loves having attention on them. 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.”
• They might get taken over by a giggle fit, noticing the giggle fit itself of which makes them laugh harder and harder. They get the biggest kick out of how hard they are laughing.
• They are aware of their own actions and how it ended up hurting them. In class, they wanted to play Red Light/Green Light, but everyone was saying they wanted to play another game. Unbeknownst to themselves, they raised their hand for the OTHER game too, after seeing how enthusiastic everyone else was about it. They are upset with themselves for not raising their hand or saying the game they wanted to play.
• 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.”
• They tell you about stuff from their youth. That time you tried to make a smoothie and snuck vegetables into it (years ago)…they could tell the vegetables were in it.
• It’s as if they can get outside of their body and look in at what they are doing and they are evaluating it, in a plain, objective manner.
More Emotionally Stable
• If they stomp off to their room, it’s more reliable that they will already be in a chipper mood by the time you go talk to them.
A Fun, In-The-Moment Personality
• As soon as they put on their Hermione outfit, they say, in full character, “It’s Leviosa, not Leviosaaaaa!” They give a little laugh and head shake afterwards, fully knowing how funny it was.
• They might be a bit of a “bro.” They might literally walk around saying, “hey, bro!”
Thinks in Proportions
• They can and even might often think 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?
• They describe things in proportions. A black widow spider has “a tiny head and a really big butt.”
• They might enjoy reading something about what the fastest of smallest of anything is, such as a Guinness Book of World Records.
• They might figure out that 1/infinity is the smallest number possible. The following numbers keep getting smaller: ½, 1/3, ¼, 1/5, etc., and so 1/infinity is the smallest.
• They can, indeed, also think of infinity readily. They also readily accept that 0 is the absence of something. They don’t need to see the “0.”
• They might start remembering things from years ago.