Child Development Ages 9-12

This is probably the stage where you’ll see the biggest change in your child. While you still see them as that tiny baby who needs protection and guidance at every turn, they’re becoming more independent beings, capable of making some decisions for themselves (or so they think).

Your child’s development at this age will come on leaps and bounds, both physically and mentally. They will also become more social, almost separating themselves from the family unit, in favour of spending time with friends. Of course, they’ll always rely on you for love and support so don’t despair.

It is important for you and your child that you let this development occur, however, we know you will of course want to remain involved in all aspects of your child’s life at this young age. We have some tips at the end of this article to help you do just that. Firstly, let’s talk about the changes you may start to witness between the ages of 9 to 12 in your child’s development.

Photo by Amber Morse from Pexels

Photo by Amber Morse from Pexels

Social and Emotional Development

  • As we’ve previously mentioned, children start to become social from an early age. The importance they place on these friendships changes as they grow older. Between the ages of 9 and 12, it is extremely important for a child to have friendships they value. As they grow older, they may seek friendships with the opposite sex.  

  • Your child may also start to develop sexual feelings, and become interested in dating. Relationships with friends and crushes will often take priority over those relationships within your family. Stay strong, they’ll learn to appreciate you again one day!

  • As they approach adolescence, you may find your child becoming aware of their physical self, and the image they portray. This new found awareness can lead to feelings of insecurity, a lack of self confidence, and run-ins with peer pressure.  

  • As adolescence sneaks its way into both you and your child’s lives (you thought your go as a teenager was the only one you’d face? ‘Fraid not…), hormones begin to kick in. A frustrating time for all, really. Expect mood swings and a strive for “alone time”.

Photo by  NeONBRAND  on  Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash


Cognitive Development

  • As your child prepares to go into secondary school, they’ll become more independent in their learning. Give them some space when it comes to doing their homework by themselves, and if they do ask for help don’t make a big deal out of it or you’ll get the dreaded eye roll or that look, you know the one....

  • Decision making becomes a big part of a 9 to 12 year olds life. They also gain some perspective and begin to process other people’s ideas and opinions. It is around this stage that they can start to gain an interest in careers and what they might like to pursue in the future with serious consideration.

  • At this stage your child will also start to shift from learning through play, to basing learning around academics. For some parents it may seem sad as play is often linked with childhood and this is the end of an era, for others it’s a god send. It’s important, however, to promote fun and exercise through play or activities for children of all ages. With that in mind keep an eye out for our next article on getting your child active all while staying involved in their lives.

Photo by Min An from Pexels

Photo by Min An from Pexels