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 she’ll undergo big changes in all areas of her 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 her breasts may start to form. As her body begins to develop, her body image might start to become an issue. Watch for openings in conversation where you can talk with her about it.

You’ll also see her get stronger and have better balance and coordination. She’ll probably have lots of energy and like to run, jump, climb, and slide. This might be a good time to encourage her 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. Her friends will probably be mostly girls, and she’ll be very loyal to them. She’ll have a strong sense of right and wrong -- and she’ll probably like to talk, a lot. She might also enjoy some quiet time in her 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. 

She should be able to do most of the following:

  • Point out the main idea of something she’s read
  • Explain how the author used facts to back up his 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 her own ideas

In math, she 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 her teacher to see if you have reason to be concerned. He also can suggest ways you might help her with schoolwork and keep her interested in learning.

Your Role

While your daughter enjoys being with her friends, you’re still important in her life. Show your support by being at all her activities and be positive in your feedback. Focus on successes, and if you need to correct her in some way, do it one-on-one and not in front of her friends.

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 her room.

This is also a good time to start laying ground rules for being online. Make sure she understands not to give any information to anyone, such as passwords, pictures, your home address, or her phone number. She should know that not everything she reads or sees on the internet is true and that she must let you know if a stranger tries to talk with her online.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on April 19, 2019

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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