Get ready for school because soon your child will enter kindergarten! Some call these years the “golden age” but they are filled with new and sometimes difficult transitions. The examples that are set at this age will in many ways help determine how they react and perform in school settings. At five years of age, your child is now able to stop and think before acting impulsively in a situation. There may be a more serious air about your child now as he ponders and asks questions. Some of these questions may seem quite adult i.e., why do you and Daddy close your bedroom door at night? Be matter of fact in your answers and tailor them to what a five-year-old can and should understand.
Feeding and Your Five-Year-Old: Your child should now be eating what the family eats. Limit meals to three balanced meals and no more than two healthy snacks per day.
Your Child and Elimination: At this age, some children may have some issues with nighttime wetting but should be totally potty self-sufficient during the day. He will be entering school soon and it will be essential that he is completely potty trained. If you are having any issues in this area, please call us and we can help you work through them.
Sleep and Your Child: Your child’s fears may be decreasing at night and should be sleeping a good 10-12 hours per night. Continue with a bedtime routine. As you reach entry into school, make laying out clothes and preparing backpacks part of this routine.
Motor Skills: At this age, your child is dressing himself and brushing his teeth. He is able to stand on one foot for 10 seconds or longer. He loves to climb, run, hop and ride bikes. He can draw recognizable pictures and use utensils at the table, though the knife may still give problems. He is able to print some letters and numbers.
Communication and Social Skills: Talking is the favorite pastime of the five-year-old and he can now create simple stories to tell. He wants to please and be like his friends. He has a vocabulary of more than 2,000 words. He knows the difference between make believe and real and is aware now of gender. In one moment he may be very demanding but in the next, very cooperative. He is more likely at five to agree with the rules.
- Make sure your child knows your phone number (with area code), address and parent’s names.
- Teach your child about stranger awareness.
- Discuss pedestrian, school bus and playground safety.
- Always use a helmet when riding a bicycle.
- Keep all firearms locked up with ammunition stored separately.
- Teach your child safety around animals.
- Monitor the amount of time and content of your child’s TV viewing. No more than two hours per day.
- Continue to use a car seat.
With so many new experiences on the horizon, continue to be firm and consistent with rules. Praise your child for good behavior and nip the bad behavior in the bud immediately. Continue stressing reading and talk to your child about all his new experiences. Stress the family dinner table each night and expose your child to as many new and different experiences as you can.