Your Daughter at 10: Milestones

Every year will be interesting as your daughter grows, and age 10 is no exception. It’s a year when they’ll undergo big changes in all areas of their life.

Mental and Physical Development

Girls grow faster than boys and may have major growth spurts at 10. Your daughter might start showing the first signs of puberty, so their breasts may start to form. As their body begins to develop, their body image might start to become an issue. Watch for openings in conversation where you can talk with them about it.

You’ll also see her get stronger and have better balance and coordination. They’ll probably have lots of energy and like to run, jump, climb, and slide. This might be a good time to encourage them to play sports.

Social

Most 10-year-old girls are very loving toward their families and nurturing to younger brothers and sisters and to pets. Their friends will probably be mostly girls, and they’ll be very loyal to them. They’ll have a strong sense of right and wrong -- and will probably like to talk, a lot. They might also enjoy some quiet time in their room and more privacy.

Academic

At 10, your daughter should have good writing skills, and by fifth grade be reading books that are more challenging. 

They should be able to do most of the following:

  • Point out the main idea of something they read
  • Explain how the author used facts to back up their ideas
  • Understand information detailed in drawings, timelines, and charts
  • Take notes, organize facts, and write reports from the material
  • Take part in class discussions and share their own ideas

In math, they should be able to do more difficult word problems and work with fractions and decimals.

If you think your child is struggling in school, talk with their teacher to see if you have reason to be concerned. Their teacher also can suggest ways you might help them with schoolwork and keep them interested in learning.

Your Role

While your daughter enjoys being with their friends, you’re still important in their life. Show your support by being at all their activities and be positive in your feedback. Focus on successes, and if you need to correct them in some way, do it one-on-one and not in front of their friends. Each friend and family member is unique and we all develop at different paces.

Continued

Screen time is ideally supposed to be no more than 2 hours a day. For most 10-year-olds, the reality is around 45 hours a week. You can try to limit things like TV time and keep screens out of their room.

This is also a good time to start laying ground rules for being online. Make sure they understand not to give any information to anyone, such as passwords, pictures, your home address, or their phone number. They should know that not everything they read or see on the internet is true and that they must let you know if a stranger tries to talk with them online.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on May 03, 2021

Sources

SOURCES:

Michigan State University Extension: “9- to 11-year-olds: Ages and Stages of Youth Development.”

HealthyChildren.org: “Physical Development In Girls: What to Expect.”

The Center For Parenting Education: “Child Development By Ages.”

CDC: “Middle Childhood (9-11 years of age).

Government of Western Australia, Department of Health: “Early Detection Guidelines, How Children Develop – 9-10 Year Olds.”

Understood, For Learning & Attention Issues: “Academic Skills Your Child Needs For Fifth Grade,” “Why It’s Important to Partner With Your Child’s Teacher.”

Great! Schools: “9 Secrets To Managing Your Child’s Screen Time.”

KidCentral TN: “Growth At The Speed of Light.”

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