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Six year old well visit.

The child is growing up and into sports and dance and the like. Get them into some of these activities, but like us they can get into too many things too. Watch for burn out in your children and do not be afraid to limit the activities. They need time to relax and goof off on the swingset. You may see alot of your free time spent watching your children play sports etc., but these are cherished memories. I used to think "oh no another day sitting in the hot sun watching another game." Now my kids are grown and I miss it and we go watch my little nephew play t-ball in the hot sun. I didn't realize how much fun I was having.  I recommend parents get their children into these activities for several reasons. It teaches them the sport and good sportsmanship (duh!). It is fun for us to watch. You can sell the videos of goof ups to Funny Home Videos. But also it teaches them how to handle emotionally charged events in their life. if the child looses a game and cries, it is like us getting fired from our job. It is normally upsetting to them. When the child gets upset and cries, the Moms say "The coach puts too much pressure on them!" And the Dads say "Stiff upper lip. Don't cry!" But all you need to do is be there for them and appreciate how they feel: "I know it hurts. I'm sorry." They will learn to pick themselves up and realize life goes on. If they do not learn how to handle these times, then when their girlfriend or boyfriend dumps them when they are 19 yr. old, they do something stupid like trying suicide cause they can't deal with it. It is more painful to us when we see our children hurting and is like when our Dad spanked us and said it was going to hurt him more than us. Now we realize it did.

They are getting a mouth on them and a little talk back now is the beginning of teen rebellion. Teach your children how to respectfully give their opinion instead of in a snotty way. We certainly would not like to go through next week without giving any opinions as to where we go, what we eat or where we spend the money. So let your child give his opinions and slowly teach them to do it in a more respectful tone. Be sure your tone with them is respectful so you do not teach them to talk in an ugly tone. Do not let them argue forever and once you hear them and make a decision, do not let them change their mind. Read books on parenting teenagers now and start applying the techniques.

They are gaining 2 inches a year and 6 lbs. a year. That is one pound every other month. They should be eating more then a few years ago but the recommendations are the same. Give them as much food as they want but a balanced diet. Give a Flintstone vit. every day. and 16 to 24 oz. of milk a day (700 mg. Cal.) and they will grow up strong. Turn off the TV and 2 hours a day is fine (non violent). Then they will get out and exercise more and eat less food and stay better weight.

Read to them and they should be starting to read a few words and at least know the alphabet. They are in kindergarten or first grade. If they know the information for that grade but are immature, the teacher might recommend they hold back one year. That will help few kids, but I personally think most should be promoted if they are getting an  education and learning. They will have trouble next year if they are in Kg or 1st. If they are board, they will get into trouble. Then you have a 19-20 year old you are trying to finish high school. Talk to several people before repeating the grade.

Practice phonics through books, tapes, and computer programs. Read to them and then when finished, talk about what you read (comprehension). When they know how to read, let them read out loud and also silently. Again talk about what they read.

Dr. Knapp