Understanding and mastering wobbly teeth puberty

Wobbly tooth puberty, also known as the six-year crisis or milk tooth puberty, is a phase of emotional and physical changes in children between the ages of five and eight. This phase usually begins at the same time as the first milk teeth wobble and the permanent teeth erupt. During this time, children undergo an important developmental leap that affects both their physical and mental maturity.

What exactly is wobbly tooth puberty?

Wobbly-tooth puberty, also known as pre-puberty, is a developmental phase in children. It describes a time of upheaval and intense emotions. This phase begins around pre-school age, at the same time as the wobbling of the first milk teeth and the eruption of the permanent teeth. However, the often irrational behaviour of children is not due to the change of teeth or hormonal changes, as in later puberty. Rather, it is a significant developmental leap in their physical and mental maturity. The imminent start of school can also trigger uncertainty and anxiety in children.

Emotional and social changes characterise this phase: children develop greater self-confidence and begin to explore their own identity. They show an increased desire for independence and want to take on more responsibility, which can lead to conflicts with their parents. Emotional fluctuations, similar to later puberty, are common and children often react more sensitively to their environment.

Cognitively, children make considerable progress during teething puberty. They improve their abstract thinking and problem-solving skills and show an increased willingness to learn and curiosity. These developments prepare them for the challenges of school.

What are the signs?

Parents can recognise wiggly teeth puberty by several characteristic signs, including:

  • Violent and prolonged fits of rage
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Provocative behaviour and frequent rejection of parents
  • Alternating between a strong need for closeness and rejection
  • Regressive behaviour, like the behaviour of a baby or toddler
  • Feelings of omnipotence and delusions of grandeurDiese Phase kann für Eltern besonders herausfordernd sein, da die Kinder trotz ihrer scheinbaren Reife oft irrational handeln und intensive Emotionen erleben.

 How can parents deal with this?

During teething puberty, parents and other caregivers are faced with the challenge of continuing to be patient and empathetic towards their child. Many find the often “deliberately” unruly behaviour more provocative than in the toddler phase. After all, the child should have understood the basic rules by now and be able to stick to them, right?

But it’s not that simple. Just like adults facing major changes such as moving house or changing jobs, children in pre-school puberty need particularly sensitive support. Their familiar and possibly much-loved (kindergarten) life is coming to an end and new demands may be placed on them that they do not yet feel up to.

It is important to understand that starting school is perceived by the child as a big or even overwhelming change. Adjusting to being a school child can take time and can have a significant impact on the family’s mood.

Our tips for wobbly teeth puberty:

It is important for parents to remain calm and understanding during this phase. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Don’t take your child’s behaviour personally. At this stage, children often act impulsively and without the intention of hurting their parents: “Your child never acts against you, but always for themselves.”
  • Encourage your child to take on age-appropriate tasks to boost their self-confidence.
  • Avoid threats, punishments and hurtful statements. Instead, remain calm and consistent when setting rules.
  • Use relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to keep calm in stressful moments.
  • Apologise to your child if you lose your temper yourself. Authentic and fallible role models are particularly important for children.
  • And very importantly, always reassure your child that you love them – regardless of obedience or (school) performance, but simply because they are the way they are.

Our conclusion

Wobbly tooth puberty marks an important phase in a child’s life that should be accompanied by parents and carers with understanding and support. It is crucial to avoid power struggles and instead react sensitively in order to help the child go through this phase positively and strengthen their self-confidence. This calm and understanding behaviour is not only important for teething puberty, but also forms a good basis for the upcoming challenges of pre-puberty and puberty itself.

Our book recommendation on the subject: „Das gewünschteste Wunschkind aller Zeiten treibt mit in den Wahnsinn – Gelassen durch die Jahre 5 bis 10“ (in German).


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