The six-year-old is a complex child, entirelyÃÂ ÃÂ different from the five-year-old. Though many of theÃÂ ÃÂ changes are for the good -- Six is growing moreÃÂ ÃÂ mature, more independent, more daring andÃÂ ÃÂ adventurous -- this is not necessarily an easy time for theÃÂ ÃÂ little girl or boy. Relationships with mothers areÃÂ ÃÂ troubled -- most of the time Six adores mother,ÃÂ ÃÂ but whenever things go wrong, it's her fault. ItÃÂ ÃÂ used to be, at Five, that she was the centre of theÃÂ ÃÂ child's universe; now, the child is the centre ofÃÂ ÃÂ his own universe.
Parents need the expertÃÂ ÃÂ advice of Drs. Ames and Ilg during this difficultÃÂ ÃÂ year, to explain parent-child relations,ÃÂ ÃÂ friendships with peers, what six-year-olds excel at, howÃÂ ÃÂ they see the world, what it feels like to beÃÂ ÃÂ entering the first grade. Children need patience andÃÂ ÃÂ understanding to help make this transition easier.
Louise Bates Ames (1908-1996) was a lecturer at the Yale Child Study Center and assistant professor emeritus at Yale University. She was co-founder of the Gesell Institute of Child Development and collaborator or co-author of three dozen books, including The First Five Years of Life, Infant and Child in the Culture of Today, Child Rorschach Responses, and Your One-Year-Old through Your Ten- to Fourteen-Year-Old series. Frances L. Ilg wrote numerous books, including The Child from Five to Ten, Youth: The Years from Ten to Sixteen, and Child Behavior, before her death in 1981. She was also a cofounder of the Gesell Institute of Child Development at Yale.