Five-year-olds also begin to develop of sense of how interpersonal relationships work, and may ask lots of questions about who is married to whom and what a sister-in-law or a stepfather is. They will become more interested in knowing about how members of their own families are related to each other, and will inquire about their friends' families as well.
Giving, Sharing and Empathy
Many 5-year-olds will naturally enjoy giving and sharing (as well as receiving!). This is something even young children are naturally geared to do, but at 5, when many children are in settings where they are interacting with friends and classmates, the ability to be considerate of others, share, and have empathy will play an increasingly important role in kids' social interactions.
As children grow older, some may naturally need some time alone to play and just be by themselves. This, too, will be an important skill, as much as learning how to interact well with others is essential for healthy social development in kids.
Gone are the days when your 5-year-old was once a baby, only intermittently interacting with a playmate and engaging in what is commonly referred to as "parallel play." Now, whether your child is a social butterfly or a more slow-to-warm child, he will increasingly interact with other kids, whether in kindergarten or at playdates.
He will also begin to expand his relationship with the world at large as he increasingly understands more about the world around him. Here is a general picture of 5-year-olds' social development.
Friendships begin to take on more importance for 5-year-olds. A child this age may begin to gravitate toward certain select friends and form close-knit bonds with two or three kids. Parents should be aware that the downside to this is that cliques may form and ostracism may occur, so they should keep a close eye on dynamics in classrooms and playgroups.
Morals and Rules
Five-year-olds also begin to understand the difference between "right" and "wrong." They will be able to grasp the concept of rules, and will want to follow them and please adults.
At the same time, your 5-year-old may try to push boundaries as he naturally attempts to try new things and assert his own preferences and will. Much as with the so-called "terrible two's," this may be a phase where you see more clashes with your child as he tests his limitations.
The family is still the centre of the world for your five-year-old. Although she’ll want to play with other children and might form some friendships, her important emotional life is still found at home. Your five-year-old is still very attached to you and might be upset when she begins school.
Once at school, your child will come into contact with different ideas and ways of behaving. He’ll also have to fit in to a whole new system or set of rules that might be very different from those at home. This can be confusing and tiring, so don’t be surprised if your five-year-old is clingy, bossy or teary, especially after school. Children respond to pressure in their own ways.
Five-year-olds often feel sympathetic to others, although they’re not able to be responsible for younger brothers and sisters.
Your child will notice a lot about being a boy or girl, and often the sexes will play separately. At this age, children love to play together, rather than playing by themselves.
Your five-year-old is becoming more independent and in control of his behaviour. There will be fewer arguments and few tantrums, if any. He’s beginning to understand what it means to be fair and to follow rules in a game. But you can still expect that it might be too much to cope…