Child Development 101: What Parents Need to Know (Ages 9-11)

Austin therapist for young women
It can seem like an uphill battle for a parent to understand and adapt to their child’s evolving developmental stages, which may at times seem confusing or frustrating. Because each narrow age group has distinct traits and behaviors, we will provide separate blog entries for each over the coming weeks—so stay tuned!
Age 9-11 is often forgotten in talk of developmental stages as it is poised between young childhood and adolescence. Here are some typical behaviors and developments to be aware of in a daughter this age:

  • Girls generally reach puberty as much as two years earlier than boys. By this age, girls may begin to menstruate and show signs of developing physical maturity. Body strength and coordination improve, and a growth spurt may begin toward the end of this age period.
  • Social relationships are increasingly important to older children. You may see your daughter use secret codes or made-up languages to enhance friendships. She will typically begin to prefer spending time with friends rather than parents during this stage.
  • Achievements also become a source of motivation and pride during this stage. Your daughter may show increased interest in competitive or complex sports and games.
  • Children begin to think more logically, but are rigid in thinking and may think of things as “right” or “wrong” with no spectrum in between. Abstract thinking or hypothetical concepts remain difficult to grasp.
  • As they become more invested in social relationships, girls this age may sometimes be verbally cruel to peers through insults or side comments.
  • According to renowned psychologist Erik Erikson, this is the stage at which children develop a sense of either competency or inferiority. Your daughter may demonstrate a love of learning and completing experiments and projects. Alternatively, she may grow timid, be reluctant to join in group projects, or begin to question her own abilities.
  • Your daughter may begin to manifest crushes through teasing, joking, or showing off.

Ideas for Parents of Children this Age:

  • Hold family game nights where your child can practice strategic thinking (chess or Monopoly, for example).
  • Allow time for your daughter to be alone at this age so she can read, do schoolwork, and develop her interests as she pleases.
  • Provide opportunities for her to lend a hand with real skills such as cooking, decorating the house, or looking after a younger child (without over-burdening the child with responsibilities).
  • Encourage your daughter to join a club or youth group to promote social relationships and skill development.

Now Enrolling

Learn More
Get the latest news from ATFG delivered to your inbox!

from the blog …