Sure, before your child heads off to kindergarten, there are a few things they should know to prep them for their first day of school.
But as your child approaches their fifth birthday celebration, there are a few pieces of information they should most certainly know that have nothing to do with their education.
Read through for five things your child should know before they turn 5.
1. Their parents' names and phone number(s)
Your children know you as "Mum" or "Dad," so they may not fully realise that parents have actual names as well. Make sure your child knows your first name and the family last name (especially theirs if it's different from yours), and practice their phone number with them until they have it down (you can make it into a song so that the tune helps them to remember).
That way, they can share their information with an adult if they're ever in trouble or borrow a phone to call you.
2. How and when to call 000
Your kids will likely learn about calling 000 and identifying an emergency in school, but they should still know the drill before their fifth birthday, just in case.
Go through a few examples of an emergency, explain the severity of calling 000 if it isn't an emergency, and practice dialling the number with them on the phone.
3. To look both ways
Free-range parent or not, there may be a moment when your child is presented with a choice to cross the street alone — their ball rolled off the front lawn, their friend is across the street and you weren't holding their hand, they see the ice cream man while playing in a friend's yard — so make sure they're prepared.
Teach them to look both ways, listen for cars, and, most importantly, not to cross the street without an adult if they can help it so as to avoid any accidents in the first place.
4. Not to be afraid of all strangers
It's easy to try to protect your child by instructing them not to speak to anyone they don't know, but that could actually hurt them in the end. If your child is in trouble or lost and can't find a phone to call you or 000, being afraid of strangers could cause them not to seek out help.
Make sure they know what police officers look like, and offer tips on the type of people they can feel safe approaching (a mum or dad with their kids, an employee of a store, etc.).
5. About their body
At home, it's likely that everyone openly hugs and kisses and snuggles, but it's important for your child to understand that hugging or kissing someone who isn't in your family is their choice to make and, conversely, that they shouldn't just run up to their friends or other kids at the park and plant kisses on their cheeks.
Though 5 seems young, your child should also understand their body, even if you're only comfortable providing them with minimal information — for example, where it isn't OK to be touched.