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What to Expect From a 6 Year Old Pre-Tween

What happened? We left home for our California road trip with Mr 1, Miss 3 and Miss 6 – three young children. All of a sudden Miss 6 stopped being 6! She doesn’t fall asleep at night, she says she’s not tired. She’s thinking and thinking and thinking ALL the time. She thinks we should have ’grown up’ conversations now that the little ones are asleep. She’s already decided she’ll go to sleep when we do, no need for her to miss out on anything.

She’s testing the boundaries of how she can speak to us. Her thought process goes something along the lines of: I wonder how mama will respond, if I treat what she has to say with no respect what so ever? I think mama needs disciplining… I’ll do that then! This was definitely mama’s fault, I’ll let her know that.

Miss 6 doesn’t think being asked to do something is any reason to do it at all. Every request is supposed to come with an explanation, which she’ll then judge the merits of, and ultimately reject. That’s if her newly found selective hearing acknowledges what we’re saying at all. It’s amazing the attention whispering the words ’any one for ice cream?’ will get you when the last five minutes of talking have fallen onto deaf ears. Actually, I believe that her subconscious has started to weed out possible junk mail – any sentence containing the words ’can you’, ’need to’, ’come’, ’clean’; all phrases repeated within a minutes time frame; these are all automatically rejected.

She wants to order for herself in cafés and restaurants. She’s mortified if a decision is made for her without her having been consulted… She didn’t used to care! If we came out with an orange juice for her, she was happy to have it. Now she wants to know why we didn’t ask her what she wanted before we just came out with something! Gratitude has gone out the window, now she’s offended.

The peak of this new phase has to be the night in a hotel room, nearly two hours later than her usual bedtime when after three or four requests and reminders that they should leave the lego now and get ready for bed, a tired and frustrated mama (I) picked the lego tray off the floor myself and put it onto the desk… Miss 6 exploded. ’Shhhh’ I said, ’your Little Brother is sleeping’…

Miss 6 stood, lips pursed, eyebrows covering her eyeballs…

YOU HAVE RUINED MY LIFE! – she screams!


It’s hard to feel quite as shellshocked, frustrated or outright annoyed when your beloved little 6 year old is screaming something like that; it’s very hard not to laugh! I held it in. ’Come honey! Let’s go out of the room for a minute’ I took her out into the cold night. She shivered. ’Come’ I sat on a bench and lifted her onto my knee. We looked up at the stars. The image of her face all screwed up and the words she had screamed was still so fresh in my mind, I tried not to laugh. I tried very hard to appear calm and serious. Four minutes of cuddles later and she says ’you’re my best friend mama!’


The Reading Residence

My Word(s) of the Week: ROLLER COASTER

– Not just because this was the same week Miss 6 went on her first ever roller coaster ride… But because Miss 6 IS a roller coaster, and living with her is like riding one.

It’s not all negative! I think it puts some beautiful perspective onto understanding a Pre Tween. She’s not outright rude because she just is that way now, it’s just the dip in the roller coaster. She’s not ecstatically happy at the moment because it’s all over already, it’s just the peak; and the pace of the giant curves, elevations and descents along the way, aren’t signs of her, or me cracking up… They’re just the bits in-between!

I don’t know if I’m looking forward to getting off… Or if I daren’t imagine what comes next!


Linking up ’What to expect from a 6 year old pre-tween’ with:

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  1. This sounds very much like my 6 year old son in fact he said the same thing to us once! I’ve had a rollercoaster morning today with him which usually means he’ll be all sweet and lovely later after school (he tends to have one outburst most days and then he’s absolutely fine). It’s difficult to keep a straight face though when he’s said something like that and we’ve found letting him have his rant works for us and then use humour later to find out what his outburst was really about. Good luck, sounds like we’re all on a very long bumpy ride!

    • We’re in it together!!
      The hormones, the hormones! I’m going to start making a mental note of every time it’s calm… Just to remember that those moments exist too 😉

  2. Oh she sounds so much like someone I know right here! It is hard sometimes, but overall I love the feistiness – when she’s in a good mood she is SUCH fun to be with 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in with Wot so Funee? x

    • All in the same boat! You’re right, they’re either extremely fun or shocking 🙂 Love your linky @Actuallymummy

  3. My advice is to NOT even contemplate what comes next! Just enjoy the ’moments’, the good and the bad.

    Miss 6 could be on the roller coaster for a while. I have found that if light humour doesn’t bring one of mine out of the roller coaster dip, then it is best to step away and let the ride run it’s course. My two are now teenagers and we are still riding that roller coaster, not sure if and when it will end, so just take it a day at a time.

    • @debsrandomwritings – Humour – That’s awesome advice! You see, this is why we NEED each other!!
      No point thinking about tomorrow, you’re right – it might only be worse!! 😉

  4. Oh goodness, how hard it is when your otherwise cute little girl, starts to flex her muscles. My son is just doing it now, at 9. I am very familiar with these female outbursts. Sounds to me as though you’re handling it very well. Just remember ”this too shall pass”. Best of luck! X

  5. I am so happy that I still have a chance to get ready for pre-tween! I am glad that you reacted the way you reacted. I should read more of your post just so I can get ready for this if ever you can really get ready =) #wotw

  6. Oh dear! My oldest is 5 (and a boy), but I can sometimes see the girls giving us a few roller coaster rides sooner rather than later. Well done to you for keeping a straight face and how sweet that she called you best friend after a cuddle! Mel #WotW

    • …And the roller coaster continues!! What a night we’ve had… I’ve had a piece of chocolate with every down this evening… There’s not much left!!

  7. Oh what a sweetie, I think these outbursts and tantrums as our kids grow up and reach the epic frustration that is teenagerhood is all formative and normal-life for kids is hard to process, they are so anxious to grow up (I have a 4 year old going on 40) and I think it’s about letting them release it all, realise it’s nothing personal and like you did, be there to console and hold. You are a great mum xx

    • Thank you @HonestMum for your wise words!
      You wrote ’let them release it’, I think that’s such a great reminder, and a worthy challenge… Not just getting more and more agitated by the pre-tween attitude but actually consciously choosing to give them space to let off steam. Love it!

  8. My older son is just about to turn eight and we have been in this pre-tween stage for a while now, I can relate and sympathise 🙂 I also at times find it very hard not to laugh at the drama, but I too find a quiet sit down works wonders! #WotW

    • Thanks @mumturnedmom for the support & situation recognition! Some peaceful mornings I’m just awaiting a pre-tween storm!! 😉

  9. Oh no! I can just picture the scene! Nice that cuddles calmed her down, though. Sounds like a tough roller coaster ride, and I wish you good luck with it! Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

    • Thank you @TheReadingResidence!
      I think it really was one of those one off times when a cuddle is even an option 🙂 …This time I think she went so far, she shocked herself with what she was saying as much as me!!

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