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5 year old - expectations

(26 Posts)
tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 19:46:49

Talk to me about your 5 year olds!

My eldest DC has just had his 5th birthday. He's a lovely boy, a lot of the time, but can be such a pain sometimes and I wonder if I have unrealistic expectations, or if I'm too soft.

He can dress himself (except for socks, he can do them if he really tries but it's almost always us who do them) but often has to be told 10000 times. He's slightly better on school mornings because he knows the TV doesn't go on until he's dressed.

He often has to be told so many times to do something, especially when it comes to time to leave the house, eg get your shoes/coat on. I get so tired of repeating myself. He messes around so much eg when it's time to get out of the bath/get pjs on.

He hates being told off and sometimes gets SO angry with us when we tell him off. This can escalate to having time out in his room which involves teenage behaviour like stomping, huffing, door slamming.

He can be so grumpy and unreasonable about the smallest thing/not getting his own way. Proper attitude!

He still has to be reminded to say hi/bye to people and sometimes refuses/is rude to random people i chat to if they say hi to him. He says afterwards it's because he was shy but it's always so rude!

Often won't sit still and messes around at dinner time. Moans no end if it's something a favourite meal.

OP’s posts: |
Thatwentbadly Tue 29-Dec-20 20:28:07

Sounds like my 4 year old except for the saying Hi or Bye, if he really is shy then telling him off won’t help.

WishingHopingThinkingPraying Tue 29-Dec-20 20:33:11

It sounds perfectly normal, and just down to personality. I'm on my third 5 yr old in three years. The boy was the first, he was like yours without the temper. The second, a girl, was like a 40 yr old woman. Totally competent, saw the bigger picture. Organised. Third, a girl, very able but uses things for attention like help me mummy with this and that when I know we'll she can do it. Can't blame her, it's hard being the third baby in 3 years😂. But really their personality determines a lot when they are 5.

Cutesbabasmummy Tue 29-Dec-20 20:53:40

Sounds very normal to me. I lose count if how many times I ask him to put his shoes on! He is lazy getting dressed and would rather we did it for him although apparently he is the first one changed back after p.e at school! DS will be 6 next month x

LouLouLouL Tue 29-Dec-20 21:05:36

My almost 5 year olds (twins) aren’t expected to do any of those things.

I dress them, I put their shoes on, coats on - anything like that.

I know they can do them but I also appreciate that it’s difficult for them.

They do other jobs like tidy their toys away, set the table, clear the table, make their beds, tidy bedroom and are generally helpful when asked.

They still have disproportionate bodies and I know they’ll get better as soon as they grow more.

grassisjeweled Tue 29-Dec-20 21:06:39


FestiveStuffing Tue 29-Dec-20 21:09:06

I think he's probably not like that in school. I taught five year olds and never had to repeat myself when asking them to get their coats on. They could all put on their own socks.

I reckon he's doing what he can get away with.

tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 21:10:48

Thanks all good to know he is normal grin

Does it sound like I'm too strict with my expectations for him to sit still at the table etc? I don't tell him off, I just ask him to sit properly etc - but again it can sometimes escalate to being told off as if he's in a "silly" mood he'll deliberately mess around in his seat then. He definitely tries to push our buttons!

OP’s posts: |
tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 21:12:32

@FestiveStuffing he would never have to put his socks on in school as they go in dressed for PE, but I bet he gets his coat on for the teacher much quicker than for me (although I think he is probably a day dreamer too)!

OP’s posts: |
historygeek Tue 29-Dec-20 21:12:48

You have pretty just described my 4 1/2 too, summer born, so same school year as your DS.
I actually got his ears tested as I had to repeat myself so many times before I got a response, or he would say "pardon" when I knew I had spoken loud enough for him to hear. Turns out his ears are fine and he just can't be arsed to reply.

tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 21:29:37

@historygeek my husband is like that too with the listening. His family go on about how he's been like it since childhood. Lucky me.

OP’s posts: |
FestiveStuffing Tue 29-Dec-20 21:35:54


*@FestiveStuffing* he would never have to put his socks on in school as they go in dressed for PE, but I bet he gets his coat on for the teacher much quicker than for me (although I think he is probably a day dreamer too)!

I think with coats in school it's a combination of peer pressure and the fact that when the teacher asks that they put their coat on it's generally to go for playtime, which most kids love.

He sounds normal to me.

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Tue 29-Dec-20 21:38:56

My son is 5 in feb. Your child sounds completely normal to me.

PlanDeRaccordement Tue 29-Dec-20 21:42:46

Also sounds normal to me. I notice you tended to focus on negative aspects of his behaviour. What might help is to start saying two positive things to him for every negative. Children need praise for what they do right more often than criticism for what they do wrong. I’ve found that this makes them more willing to do as they are asked because they know they will get positive attention.

tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 21:55:31

Thanks @PlanDeRaccordement, yes I definitely focus on praise as that seems to work well for my DS - in the last he's always responded positively to reward charts for specific behaviours if it gets to that point.

He has many good points, he's a comedy genius and hilarious, so kind to his little brother when it matters (eg when he is upset) and also very loving to DH and I, plenty of "I love yous" etc. He's a very sweet boy a lot of the time smile

(But there are also moments when I can't believe how spoiled/unpleasant he can seem and start really questioning where I've gone wrong!).

OP’s posts: |
PlanDeRaccordement Tue 29-Dec-20 21:59:44

Great to hear OP. You’re definitely not going wrong. At that age they can barely identify emotions much less control them. So they can be a handful at times. It all comes with maturity. My #2 DS was a lot like how you describe your DS.

AIMD Tue 29-Dec-20 22:07:05

Sounds normal to me too. Mine are 4 and 6 and are similar. I think maybe you pick your battles and let some things slide. No point having power struggles over everything.

Do you give him time to process what you are asking him before repeating the request? I o ly say that because I’ve noticed my son will often do what I ask but after a little gap and I realised I was repeating requests without giving him enough time to process and follow them.

When we had a particularly difficult time with getting ready in the morning I used one of those visual time tables where they can mark off each task as it’s done... that sped up our getting ready time.

With the getting dressed thing I think there is huge variance between kids. My daughter was all but dressing herself from just over a year whereas my son was a lot older and struggled more with the co ordination.

tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 22:39:18

Yeah he is quite good at naming emotions and will often say (in a really angry voice) "I'm so angry with you!!!" but a year or so ago he would've hit out physically instead so definitely an improvement!

OP’s posts: |
tempnamechange98765 Tue 29-Dec-20 22:40:33

Good point @AIMD. I've noticed recently if he doesn't respond to a request, if I ask him to repeat what I just said he will do it and then (sometimes) go and actually do what I've requested, so you could well be right about the processing.

OP’s posts: |
SkedaddIe Tue 29-Dec-20 23:55:43


And my dd is definitely better behaved with her darling teacher lol, she's fine with us to be fair, but she's noticeably more prim and proper at school.

Porridgeoat Wed 30-Dec-20 03:56:28

Teach him to use a hand gesture to say hello as he might find that more comfortable

Start using timers. Tell him he’s got 10 minutes (or what ever) and when the alarm goes off he needs to get changed straight away. Might be good to occasionally remind him how many minutes he has left before the timer goes off. When the alarm goes off stand in eye sight and wait for him to start doing what he’s meant to be doing. Don’t walk away till he’s fully into what he’s meant to be doing. Keep waiting and waiting and waiting. Be firm and positive and kind but keep expectations in place.

Prewarn him about plans - first you could a little play, then get changed, then we can walk to school.

Chat about things he likes about the day ahead - the dog he always says hello to each morning, wether his friend will bring his toy into school, what’s in his pack lunch - so he’s thinking ahead positively.

Give him lots of attention and praise when on task. Try and have fun while getting routines done. Put music on. Have a dance or whatever

Porridgeoat Wed 30-Dec-20 04:08:39

Also you could try giving him simple choices so he feels he has some control.

Breakfast or get changed first?

5 or 10 minutes on the timer?

Blue or black t shirt?

Porridgeoat Wed 30-Dec-20 04:10:06

My 5 year old was like that but it was just a stage. Passsd now

tempnamechange98765 Wed 30-Dec-20 07:52:49

Thanks all.

We use timers a lot! I feel like I'm forever having to use a reward or consequence though which I don't like - if you're not dressed by the time the timer goes off, the tv will go off/if you are dressed, you can have 10 more mins of TV.

The stroppy behaviour is definitely tiring and I hope that's a phase, if younger DC annoys him he'll snap "I'm not playing with you anymore" or "I'm not your best friend anymore". I do think he gets into a strop easily and I hope he's not like this in school because he's going to struggle with friendships. I've got a feeling I was a bit like this as a child and I struggled with friendships until secondary school.

OP’s posts: |
kiwiblue Wed 30-Dec-20 10:56:11

My three year old DS is like this, also all the "you're not my best friend any more" and "I'm very cross with you!" - do I have 2+ more years of this?!! shockgrin

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