Characteristics of 9 and 10 Year Olds

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Here are some characteristics your preteen may have:

  • Individual variation in skills and personality
  • Tools used and handled appropriately
  • Handwriting now a tool
  • Drawings often detailed
  • Does complete job of dressing.
  • Boys and girls interested in doing own hair, but majority doesn’t do it completely until age 10 and then only if it is uncomplicated
  • Rhymes words
  • Finished products in carpentry and cooking
  • Uses table utensils well; uses table manners
  • Language now used more as a tool, less for its own sake
  • May return to many incorrect grammatical uses
  • Writes out lists and plans
  • Uses language to express subtle and refined emotions; disgust; self-criticism
  • Considerable verbal criticism of parents’ actions
  • Extended use of code language
  • Emergence of independent critical thinking
  • Increasingly realistic conception of the world
  • Becoming more independent, self-sufficient, dependable
  • Busies self with own concerns; may prefer work to play
  • Interested in many activities
  • At times puts on an "I don’t care" attitude at others
  • Anxious to please and to be liked
  • Self-conscious about own activities, body, home, behavior of parents and siblings
  • Self-critical, may demand too much of self
  • Sensitive and embarrassed by correction
  • Beginning to have crushes on others
  • Beginning to become peer-oriented rather than parent-oriented; may have conflicts between values of adults and peers
  • Few fears, but worries a great deal about mistakes he has made, failing in studies, doing wrong thing, not measuring up to other children
  • Complains a great deal, but forgets complaints quickly
  • Involvement with mother prevalent at 8 years has disappeared
  • Stronger tendency to have special friend
  • Great interest in team games and in learning to perform skillfully
Ask Dr. Susan