Ages & Stages: Your Five Year Old

Fives are “eager beavers”. They want to do right and please everyone—parents, teachers, and friends. This desire to please everyone can cause conflicts as children have to decide who they will please first. They are more willing to share but they have a hard time distinguishing between what is theirs and what they “wish” was theirs. This may lead to what adults term “stealing” although a child does not understand it that way. Like lying with the four year olds, stealing is not the moral issue for five year olds, as it is for adults.

Fives are independent. They thrive on responsibility. Given a job, they will complete it to the end. Often they will delegate their responsibility to others. They enjoy being “the boss”.

Fives love to practice writing and often will copy words and letters from newspapers, signs, books, and posters. At five, however, their visual perception is still being refined and they will often write words, letters, and numbers backwards or upside down. This is a characteristic of being five and not necessarily a sign of a learning disability.

The talkative nature of five is a delight, although it may seem to be a little much at times. Five, on the whole, is a very enjoyable age.