Ten-year-olds are emerging adolescents.
As children reach the age of 10, many will start to think of themselves as being almost teenagers. They will start looking and acting more mature, others will remain more child-like, both physically and emotionally. Their bodies, hormones, emotions, social circles, and brains are going through these tremendous changes. This transformation can be just as unsettling for the parents as it is for the children.
Regardless of how old they may look or seem, don’t forget (even if they do) that they are still children in need of parental support and guidance.
Movement, Hand, and Finger Milestones
10-year-old’s bodies are going through puberty, while others may take a year or two more to begin. Some children look and act more mature, relative to others the same age, who still appear more child-like, both physically and emotionally.
- Begins to show signs of puberty such as oily skin, increased sweating, and hair growth in the genital area and under the arms
- Demonstrates improved agility, speed, coordination, and balance
- Experiences an increase in small muscle coordination.
Many children will start to experience major growth spurts by the time they reach this age. Girls tend to develop and grow at a faster pace. They may suddenly find themselves towering over boys the same age and many are starting to develop breast buds. Some may even be starting their period. By contrast, many 10-year-old boys may only just be beginning to show the signs of puberty, while others will have to wait until they are 11, 12, or even 13.
They are experiencing big changes hormonally as well as physically. It’s common at this age to begin to show romantic interest in other kids as well as to explore gender identity and sexuality.
Sleep is very important for kids of all ages, but particularly so when kids are going through so much physical and emotional growth.
Language and Cognitive Milestones
- Developing greater independence
- Have an increased attention span and can often spend long periods of time working on activities they enjoy
- Learning to use good judgment
- May experience challenges at school
- Shows interest in sports teams, social media, or pop culture
Emotional and Social Milestones
the transition into adolescence can trigger a host of emotions: excitement, uncertainty, trepidation, and embarrassment. They also may have a lot of questions and may not know where to get accurate answers. Kids often seek out their friends more and more and put a lot of energy into their social lives. However, kids still want the approval and guidance of their parents. Ten-year-olds tend to feel very close to their parents, siblings, and extended family.
Expect your child to have more complex feelings and to have more control over emotions. However, they may also struggle with keeping them in check at times. You may see some volatility in their friendships, feelings, and interests. They may have frequent squabbles with siblings, fighting especially with younger siblings.
- Admires and imitates older youth
- Are accepting of parent/family beliefs
- Beginning to question authority
- Enjoys creating secret codes, games, and passwords with their friends
- Prefers to work in groups and enjoys cooperative activities
- becoming more skilled at handling conflict
- negotiating solutions with friends.
- friendships tend to be based on mutual interests rather than close, personal feelings.
- Peer pressure can play a big role in the social relationships of most 10-year-olds.
- Stress can play a role in mood swings. ever-more difficult schoolwork, working to fit in and socialize with friends, coping with an influx of hormones, and dealing with the physical transitions of growing up.
Developmental Health Watch
- Becomes overly emotional, withdrawn, aggressive, or has angry outbursts that interfere with their relationships might be signs of a bigger problem, such as depression or anxiety.
- Behavioral or personality changes, such as trouble sleeping or eating or not wanting to go to school.
- Issues around food, exercise, or negative body image.