Your 5-year-old now
What's the big secret to disciplining a 5-year-old? Consistency. Kids this age depend on familiar routines and structure, and that applies to understanding your expectations for their behavior. A child gets confused when a behavior that warrants a time-out one day gets a quick "Stop that!" the next. The best way to reinforce the rules is to apply them reliably.
Of course, there will sometimes be exceptions, such as a special occasion when you decide that this time, it's okay to pull down the sofa cushions to build a fort. That's fine, as long as you make it clear that this is an exception — and why. "It's raining outside, so you can make a fort even though the usual rule is no pulling the sofa apart."
It helps if both parents are in synch about the big household rules, so there's no confusion and no playing one parent off the other. But it's okay if the rules vary slightly between home and school, or at Grandma's house. Your child is old enough to understand that different situations have different standards.
Your life now
If you haven't allowed your child to take a bath by herself yet, she's probably ready. Children younger than 5 should not be left around water without supervision because of the risk of drowning. But by age 5, your child is big enough and strong enough, and should be able to follow basic rules (such as no standing up in the tub, no getting out and getting back in). To be on the safe side, stay within earshot so you can monitor the bath. Provide bath toys to keep your child amused while she's soaking and scrubbing. You'll probably still need to help with shampooing.
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