Developmental Milestones: Fourth Through Sixth Graders, Ages 9, 10 and 11

Gaining social acceptance becomes increasingly important to children in this age range. By using made-up languages, secret codes, and special rituals, children strengthen the bonds of friendship. Although all children select close friends of the same gender, they become increasingly interested in the opposite sex.

Children may begin to question authority more often. They identify -- and criticize -- their parents' weaknesses. Although they may believe that they need minimal supervision, they are frequently scared and lonely when left alone.

During the ninth, tenth and eleventh years of life a child typically:

  • Increases body strength
  • Improves coordination, hand dexterity and reaction time
  • Develops special interest in hobbies and collections
  • Daydreams about future and careers
  • Understands most concepts
  • Views parents (and authority figures) as fallible
  • Bonds with friends by sharing made-up languages, secret codes, etc.
  • Enjoys being in clubs
  • Demonstrates interest in competitive sports
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