Many physical and emotional changes occur during this time in a child’s life. But the biggest change of all might be in the way children think.
Little kids are focused on themselves and less concerned about what others think and feel. This changes around age 9 and children become much more focused on what others think about them. Fitting in with the group becomes more important.
Kids this age are growing more independent from their families. Their peer relationships become stronger and more complex. Peer pressure can start at this age. Kids aged 9-12 are also becoming more aware of their bodies as puberty approaches. Negative body image or eating problems can sometimes start around this time.
It’s normal for a child at this age to start turning away from their parents and more toward their friends. But children still need the support and guidance of their parents – even when they say they don’t! Children who feel good about themselves can better resist peer pressure and make positive choices.
To support your child during these years, start by understanding how they are changing physically and emotionally.