The five-year-old is surer of himself and is generally dependable. He has learned to do what is expected of him. You can usually reason with him, and he will understand why you want something done a certain way. A five-year-old may still have some difficulty using small muscles, but can usually print his name and a few other words.

He is much more reliable and independent than at age four and less apt to get distracted en route to the garbage can. He loves stories, learns best by repetition and loves group projects. A five-year-old is usually friendly, sympathetic, affectionate, and helpful, but when he doesn't get his own way he can become quarrelsome. It is very motivating for him to receive new privileges, which show he is "bigger" and "older."

Task Expectations

* Make his bed (comforters work best)
* Clean and trim his fingernails
* Wipe up spills
* Pick up trash in the yard
* Spot clean the walls
* Shake area rugs
* Wipe off furniture, fingerprints from walls, etc
* Feed and water the pets
* Know his address and phone number
* Dial 911 in an emergency
* Service projects like helping pick up trash in the park

Physical Development

* Moving, moving, all the time They are very good at physical activities, like running, climbing, siding, balancing
* They have usually developed right or left hand preferences
* They can bathe themselves, but may not get really clean or be able to do hair shampooing
* The rate of growth is starting to slow down and they do not have the appetite they had when they were younger
* Starting to lose their baby teeth
* Hate to rest and yet tire easily. May have meltdowns and need time alone.

Mental Development

* They talk ...a lot! You may have a hard time getting a word in edgewise
* Have a great memory and can say their full names, addresses, and birthday.
* It is more apparent to them when something is really true or they just wish it were true
* They can count by using their fingers
* They enjoy matching size, color, shape and what goes with what
* Nature is the greatest classroom for this age
* May have bad dreams and nightmares or irrational fears

Social Development

* They love to dress up and play in groups
* They can get along with peers better than siblings
* Enjoy doing art projects

Emotional Development

* They don't have the temper tantrums, but may "dig their heels in"
* Usually very close to their mother and want to please her
* May be impulsive and take things that belong to others
* When they are tense or stressed, they may pick their noses, bite their nails or blink their eyes
* They may cry or scream when frustrated

Five year olds are starting to pull away and become their own person. If you want to get them to do something they don't want to do, make it into a game. They love praise and encouragement, but then don't we all?

If you would like to learn more about how to use encouragement for positive action, allow me to give you a free eBook on verbal and nonverbal communication. Just go to You will be glad you did and so will your child.

Author's Bio: 

(c) Judy H. Wright, You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine as long as you keep the content and contact information intact. Thank You.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.

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