You have a five year old! Can you believe it? Where did time go? Welcome to the beginning of the end of toddlerhood/preschool, and being a “little kid.” With this transition comes a lot of mental and emotional growth, as well as the opportunity for more independence and responsibility. The learning curve is steep at this age, so it’s an excellent time to teach children a few basic informational elements to ensure their safety.
Children under the age of five can follow instructions when they are aware that something is dangerous, but by the age of five, children begin to understand why simple concept of safety rules.
This means that they understand the consequences of breaking these rules. It’s important to strike a balance between being direct about the seriousness and gravity of safety without instilling too much fear, as some children are prone to anxiety.
5 Things Every Child Should Know At 5
Here are five key points every five-year-old should know:
1. Basic Personal Information
Children should know their parents’ first and last names by the age of five. They should also be familiar with their street address. Finally, a phone number should be considered basic personal information. So, a parent’s phone number needs to be known. A simple way to teach this is to create a song with the numbers. Melody sticks faster with kids than mere letters and words.
2. No Answering the Door Without an Adult Present
We are living in dangerous times and kids need to be taught that doors should never be answered without an adult’s consent no matter who they assume is behind the door. They get excited when they hear the knock and out of impulse can jump to open the door without thinking. Let your child or children that they can only open the door if an adult is with them. Let them know why at this stage not just “because mummy said so”. Explain to them that there could be a stranger on the other side and there is no way to tell if it is a “safe” stranger or an unsafe one. Understanding the why will put them in check better than the fear based approach.
3. What To Do If They Get Lost
So far, chances are that we have told them to stay clear of strangers. Now is a good time to teach them the difference between safe and unsafe strangers. Should they ever get lost- never say never, let them know to identify “safe” strangers for help. Uniformed officers, another parent with a child/children may be more ideal and safer to ask for help than a totally random wandering person.
4. Simple Chores, But with Boundaries
It’s time to install those values into them. If they haven’t been doing house chores in the past or do them once in a while, now is a great time to make it a lifestyle. A part of their daily activities. From age 3, children begin to assert themselves and demonstrate independence. But at the age of five, this attitude becomes more noticeable. They offer to assist you more often. It’s a good idea to assign them a “job” to give them some free hand, and also achieve a goal they set out to do which in turn gives them a sense of accomplishment and competence. However, it is critical that they understand their boundaries.
5. Personal Grooming
Basic personal grooming such as tooth brushing, cleaning up after themselves, bathing and even dressing up should be taken more seriously at age 5. While You will need to help your child brush their teeth until they are about 7 years old, now is a great time to introduce them to the concept of doing it themselves.
It’s also time to develop your child’s manners beyond “please” and “thank you”. Getting a hang of good manners early in life can have a long lasting impression on how they turn out eventually. They need to understand the concept of saying sorry- and meaning it because now they can finally grasp the idea of the ‘why’. Here are a few good manners to teach 5 year olds.
- Asking before taking anything.
- Look people in the face while having conversations
- Share and take turns
- Knocking before entering
- Coughing into the elbow
- Not making fun of people
- Cleaning up after themselves