Growing up is as tough on the child as it is on the parent, especially with girls. So many changes take place and at such a fast rate, that it’s hard to keep count. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult, especially when we’re around.
Psychological and physiological changes during puberty are quite quick and can have very long term impacts. It is, thus, safe to say that how a child reacts and is treated during this period is very crucial. This is so because it is going to dictate how he behaves in the coming years, and in the long run as well.
For your convenience, we have broken down the developmental milestones and that a 9 year old goes through. This will help you pick the best gifts for your little girl.
1. Emotional Milestones
9 year old kids start looking out for relations outside of their family. They start bonding with other children a lot more that what was seen before. They have a strong desire to go out or “hang out” with their friends and stay over at each other’s place.
This is also the time when kids understand the concept of cliques and social order. They want to establish their identity and want others to know who and what they stand for. They also become very prone to peer pressure. This can have both good and bad results depending on who they are ‘hanging out with’.
This stage is, however, very confusing. Most of the times, the 9 year olds crave independence and actively seek it, but also want the emotional backing from their parents or family members. In short , they are a bundle of contradictions.
This is the stage when children also become more aware of their surroundings as well as the real world. They start understanding the realities of life, and a lot more. The fears of monsters/ yeti is soon replaced with fear of losing their parents or dying in a natural disaster.
2. Physical Milestone
Just like people have different mindsets, they have different growth rates. Some kids might grow tall earlier than most, and some might take their own sweet time.
Girls generally start to change physically between the ages of 8-12. It starts a little late for boys. Some might start showing bodily changes from the age of 8, but for most of them it occurs between the ages of 9-14.
As some boys might grow taller than other, this creates feelings of inferiority amongst those who don’t. The case is same for girls.
Boys also start having more control on their limbs. They begin to show stronger muscle control and can endure more, physically.
This is also the time children start paying more attention to their physical appearance and hygiene. They will go an extra mile just to look more attractive and presentable.
3. Cognitive Milestones
As mentioned before , children around this age are a bundle of contradictions. They start gathering interest in specific things and work very diligently towards it. They strive to master the task at hand However, this interest and attention is also very short lived.
Children in this age group start understanding and taking interest in building bonds with other people. They start working as a team, and become more resilient to other people’s reactions.
When it comes down to academics, they definitely do get tougher; especially mathematics. Children are taught to deal with sums and complicated multiplication and division. This not only challenges them cognitively, but also assures they focus their attention on one topic.Fractions and geometry are also introduced. Children begin to learn how to divide, measure and subtract fractions.
4. Social Milestones
Socialization at this age increases exponentially. Children become more aware of their relationships and begin to conduct themselves more tactfully. They try and form new and a variety of friendships to grow and learn more.
Many children are also given cell phones during this time. This might cause a rift between those who do, and those who do not possess this gadget. Social media is also another major concern. Most children spend loads of their time on social media. The likes, posts and comments are very dear to them. They lack the maturity to understand how insignificant these things are, and this affects their self esteem and efficacy. Children might also develop bodily issues with themselves, and body shaming also takes place rampantly. Children might tease and comment on each other’s bodies. This might not always be appreciative and hampers a child’s overall adjustment.
5. Other milestones
Children in this age begin to pick up new words and adapt to the ‘trendy’ lingo. They begin to understand and like using sophisticated words. Children might also start using the teenage lingo to seem cool and be socially accepted.
Children being to join groups and organisations. Participation in extracurricular activities increases, and children seek growth and variety. They begin to explore their options and hone existing talents.
Typical Behaviour of a 9 Year Old
Each child is unique and will react differently to different situations in life. Each child takes his/her own sweet time to grow and mature.
Mentioned above were the typical behaviors expected out of a normal 9 year old. The word ‘normal’ may mean different things to different people, but here it refers to a typical child. So if you feel that your child is reacting differently, do not panic. These are the rough guidelines with considerable amount of flexibility. However, if you feel that your child’s adjustment and behaviour is starkly opposite to what is written here, you might want to consider getting help.
Lastly, while 9 year olds grow up, they start showing signs of responsibility. Hence, you must encourage that behaviour. You must provide them with ample opportunities to showcase their strengths. You must allow independence and give them adequate responsibility.
PS. Keep a watch on where and what they are spending their time on. If it is not encouraging their growth in any way, you must talk them out of it. However, if you are harsh, it might backfire. Children of this age need and want to be understood, rather than being ordered around. You could simply ask them to replace an undesired habit with another useful habit.