What to Expect: Age 10
As your child moves into the preteen years, they start growing and changing at a relatively alarming rate. Many of the changes that you’ll see in your ten-year-old are physical this year, though some emotional and social differences will pop up. Children begin to grow increasingly independent, which can leave parents at a loss. What can you truly expect during your child’s tenth year?
Parents can use this general guide to gauge where their child is at compared to peers. Your child will grow at a unique rate this year, so they may be slightly ahead in some milestones and behind on others. Don’t be too alarmed if you find that they don’t meet all of these general guidelines. You can always discuss specific concerns with your child’s pediatrician.
Many of the changes in your ten-year-old are going to be physical this year. Puberty will hit your child in full force over the next few years, but their bodies begin preparing now. This is often the age where a major growth spurt occurs. Girls tend to grow faster and earlier than boys.
As a direct result of this growth spurt, your child is likely to have an increased appetite and an increased need for sleep. They may also complain of muscle cramps or growing pains at times.
Motor skills will continue to develop and improve over the coming year. Hand-eye coordination is especially important and improves rapidly. Your child may become more proficient at sports as they develop a specific right or left dominance during this year.
Social and Emotional Changes
As you may expect from a preteen, friendships can be almost all-consuming for a child this age. Your child is likely to rely on friends more than family during this time, particularly when it comes to their need for validation. They are very interested in fitting in socially, and their self-esteem often fluctuates quickly.
Parents should take a keen interest in their child’s self-esteem. Many children who have low self-esteem will begin to develop eating issues around this age. They may also be more heavily influenced by their peers, particularly when it comes to making immoral choices.
Your child is slowly becoming more aware of the world around them. They can adjust their perspective in order to understand multiple points of view. This allows them to be more empathetic and compassionate toward others.
Your child is growing at an extremely rapid rate this year in every possible way. Parents can enjoy this time of growth alongside their child, helping them to reach the next level emotionally and cognitively. This is an especially sensitive time in your child’s development. Be sure to set aside plenty of time to spend with them, so you can experience their growth firsthand.