Five Year Visit
Five is wonderful-all the books say! Your five year old is eager to please and is developing sufficient self esteem to be able to carry on independent activity. Part of school readiness suggests the five year old is able to manage away from home, be able to accept behavior control, and is able to interact with adults other than parents.
By five, your child can stand on one foot, hop, skip, jump, and be ready to attempt learning to ride a two-wheeler. The five year old can hold a pencil and crayon properly and can draw a recognizable person with head, arms, legs, trunk, and facial features. Their language skills are still developing to express ideas-they LOVE words. Some may begin to recognize simple words. Keep reading! Most can print the letters in their first name.
Your five year old may have fear of death and may at the same time be curious about birth and marriage. Give your five year old opportunities to take responsibility for behavior with lots of support and encouragement for positive actions.
The AAP recommends vitamin D supplementation for all infants, children, and adolescents. After reviewing the literature, it certainly looks like many children may benefit from vitamin D, although not everyone necessarily needs it. Some children are more at risk for vitamin D deficiency than others. Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include dark skin (African-americans, Indians, Hispanics), time spent indoors and not out in the sunlight (particularly in the winter months), low amount of milk consumption (less than 16 oz a day), and obesity. The recommended dose is 400 IU (international units) once daily. This can be bought over the counter in either liquid, chewable, or pill form. Another option would be a multivitamin (i.e. Flintstones Gummies Complete ). Read the label carefully when dosing this to your child. Too much vitamin D can be harmful.
Positive reinforcement and approval are still needed. Time out or withdrawal of a favorite toy may be appropriate. Five year olds are capable of occasional falsehoods and are aware of the untruthfulness in others. They still have difficulty recognizing fantasy and reality. If they cannot resist taking something that belongs to someone else a calm, objective talk about right and wrong is in order. Teach responsibility for wellness and safety. Positiveparenting.com is a great parenting website.
ROUTINES AND HABITS
Usually five year olds can independently toilet, can wash themselves completely, and can manage dressing themselves. A five year old may suck their thumb or fingers when tired, and need a favorite toy for sleep. A five year old may still have bad dreams or nightmares. Regular sleep patterns may include 10-12 hours at night, with a quiet time in the afternoon. Your five year old may be selective and very independent about food with definite likes and dislikes. Continue to watch portion size, strive for 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day and avoid empty calories in juice.
- Bike safety is an important issue at this age. A helmet is required.
- A booster seat continues to be needed when riding in the car until children are over 4 foot 9 inches.
Improving coordination makes hopping, jumping, and dancing possible. Five year olds love music. Fine motor skills have improved to make drawing much more fun. An easel and finger paints, puzzles and blocks are very attractive to a five year old. Building is very imaginative and they can use scissors with skill now. Encourage hands on play and try to avoid electronic games as much as possible.
We will be giving a DTaP, Polio, MMR, and Varivax booster.
You have built a foundation for your child that will carry through until adulthood-enjoy this terrific age!