Expected Behavior for a 6 Year Old

Updated on December 06, 2011
C.S. asks from San Diego, CA
14 answers

We recently went on a day trip with our friends who have a 6 year old. His behavior took me by surprise/shock but I want to find out whether it is appropriate behavior for a 6 year old? Some things included snatching money from my hand to get something (of course his parents were not looking at that time, and before I could react he was gone.), eating food from my plate without asking, sipping drinks from my glass without asking etc. I kinda felt very odd about these things. Is it normal? My 3 year old never does these things and I was wondering if it is something I need to watch for in her? We know the parents from work, but I have only met the kid twice before, so its not that I am too familiar to him.

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for your answers. My friend spends little time with her kids, I wonder if it is due to that. But anyway, I think we'll stick to kids free activities.

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answers from Kansas City on

I am going with not normal behavior with a six year old. My six year old will drink from my glass but has never taken a drink without asking my permission. I don't think she's ever done this to anyone else and if she has well...we would have to talk about this behavior and discuss that this is not polite.

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answers from Green Bay on

Not normal......Appalling!

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answers from St. Louis on

My 6 y.o. does not tdo any of these things. He may want a bite from my plate and drink from my cup, but he always asks first. He has been taught manners. I think him snatching money from my hand would have been the first and last straw for me.



answers from Detroit on

It's probably normal for a child who has never been taught any manners. But is it acceptable? No way! My 4 year old knows better than that! But that's also because I have taught her how I expect her to behave and she gets reprimanded and corrected if she happens to step out of line. You might know the parents well from working with them, but who knows how they handle their kids at home or what they allow?



answers from Dallas on

I don't think it is a fair response to say that these behaviors are "not normal". Maybe this child's family (parents, grandparents, etc.) allows this child to take a drink from their beverage or a bite from their plate. If you don't appreciate it, gently correct the child. Tell them that you don't like that. Don't judge the child or your friends...just let them know what you expect.


answers from Washington DC on

Yea, not normal at all. My 6 year old would NEVER act that way. It wouldn't even cross his mind. Nor would it my 8 or 4 year old.

We went to visit my sister over Columbus Day Weekend, and my mom's neighbor and her youngest son (10) also came...I nannied for him and his older brother when they were little. Now my interaction with them is mostly when I'm at my mom's house in the warm weather and all of the kids are playing out back.

We went to breakfast and the kids cups were styrofoam. As soon as my son (6) finished his milk he asked for a refill. Once his new cup came, the 10 year old took the old cup and started to break off and EAT the cup. Yes, I said EAT it. I was mortified, embarassed, and even more disgusted when his mom laughed about it. Ugh.

The next weekend we took him to Virginia with us to a battle reenactment and I've never in my life seen such manners from a person. HORRENDOUS.

Some people just aren't raised by people that care, so the kids don't know any better. It's sad.


answers from Los Angeles on

Eeks! My 6 yo doesn't act this way and never has. She's been taught manners!



answers from Houston on

I have a 6 yo and he has never acted like that, esp with people he hardly knows.

Even if you just met him or 2 times previous, that is impolite. If it happens again, its okay to stop him or pull your food/drink away and say "excuse me this is my food" or if he takes money out of your hand "excuse me, this money is for my daughter. I'm sure your parents have money for you" or if he wants more money "I'm sorry but I didn't hear please". It may make it a bit awkward for you and the parents but in my eyes, you are showing your 3 yo what behavior you accept and what you don't.

That is not normal. It is inexcusable in my book.



answers from San Antonio on

My seven and four year olds always ask before taking a drink from my glass (as I have explained germs and if anyone is sick we don't want to share). They have never eaten straight off my plate...I fix each of them their own plates (even if we are sharing an entree).

Having said that my seven year old has done things that totally baffle me and I have no idea where he gets the idea and why in the world he would act on it. And usually it is when we are with friends or family we hardly ever see...so they probably go away with weird thoughts about my seven year old son. He will lick something gross or suddenly put his feet on the table (which he never does at home)...and I think..."aggggh!!!"

Kids can do strange things...



answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter drinks for my glass all the time, I don't know where her mouth has been so I usually find an excuse to just let her have the drink. I don't even share a drink with my husband. EEEWWW.

Anyway, since I am usually telling my kids not to drink from my cup it is usually something they are not going to do. This child drinking from your cup tells me that his family drink after each other all the time and he has learned that is normal.

As for grabbing the money, I would have told the parents right away. They may be having issues with that at home and working on not doing it anymore or he may have done that and they laughed, so now he thinks it is cute....who knows what we each teach our kids that we would never do consciously.


answers from San Francisco on

Not normal, the child has obviously not been taught boundaries let alone good manners.
It reminds me of one of my daughter's friends. Once, when they were about 8 years old, we invited her along on a trip to the mall. We were looking for a father daughter dance dress for my daughter. The whole time this girl was asking me to buy her things, jewelry, a top, a purse, I couldn't believe it! My daughter and I were both appalled. Sadly it made sense after I got to know the parents a bit. The poor child ran wild and did whatever she wanted, the parents just looked on, shrugged their shoulders and laughed with a "what are you gonna do" attitude. Awful :(


answers from Williamsport on

OF COURSE this is normal if people allow it. Dont' worry it wont' just "happen" to your child. Continue to use discipline and good parenting and those behaviors won't just "happen". Your three year old may try those things in the future, but if you dont' allow it, they wont' continue. Yes, left to their own devices, 6 year olds will act like that.



answers from Chicago on

No - not normal at all! At 6 years old he should know better - maybe stick with kid-free get togethers!



answers from Los Angeles on

normal, maybe-rude, yes.

My kids can be grabby-but, I correct them.

Next question: Would You Tell Your Child's Friend to Use Their Manners?