Gyaan/FAQs, Montessori

The Montessori Second Plane: What to Expect Between 6-12 Years

Humans may not go through the metamorphosis caterpillars do when they become butterflies… but most parents with a ~6 year old child will tell you that they seem like a completely different person to the child they knew before!

In her observations, Montessori wrote about this noticeable shift in ‘planes’ as the child neared the age of 6. She described 6-12 years as a period of ‘calmness and happiness,’ in contrast to the ‘great intensity’ of the child at 0-6 years. If you have a child this age, you’re probably rolling around laughing, or wondering if you’ve broken them, because it honestly may not feel that way.

I know I seldom go a day without my 6 year old feeling the feels, testing my patience, and needing approx 10k reminders before she does anything. It’s a glorious age 😂

Strangely, it’s actually one of my favourite stages… so much so that I *chose* to work with children this age at school. Yes, there’s loud, tumultuous drama 24×7, which is especially hard when you’re used to your orderly, predictable younger child. But. If you can see your 6 year old as a different person to their younger selves, and meet them where they are now, with what they need at this stage, I promise, it gets a whole lot easier!

For instance, among other things, it is normal for your child to suddenly resist baths, brushing, grooming. It’s normal for them to voice unnecessarily honest opinions and vociferously challenge things you say. It’s normal for piles of clutter to pop up everywhere.

Going by the number of requests to write about life with a six-year old, I gather many of you are experiencing this phase in surround-sound HD with your own children 😅 So here’s a series on What to Expect between the ages of 6-12, and my personal game plan for surviving this phase with my sanity (mostly, hopefully) intact.

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