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Parenting and Behaviour in 9-11 Year Olds

By: Sarah Edwards - Updated: 27 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
Parenting And Behaviour In 9-11 Year Olds

JUST before a child leaves primary school to head off to the scary but very different and grown up world of secondary school, you may well start to see some significant changes with their behaviour and general attitude to life and school.

Growing Up

With the onset of puberty come complex but perfectly natural issues surrounding raging hormones, physical changes, worry about exams and academic achievements and the inevitable friendship issues and peer pressure. The final year of primary school seems to be particularly tricky for some children and particularly trying for parents and teachers!

By the time children are aged between nine and 11 they are usually fiercely independent and ready to move on. They are learning fast, becoming increasingly competitive and keen to experience new things.

It becomes harder to keep those all important boundaries in place and as our children start to mature we realise that we have to redefine our parenting skills and make some adjustments to accommodate these new ‘young people’ who seem to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere!

More Freedom

Children aged between nine and 11 will inevitably expect more freedom and to be treated differently to younger children. They will probably be nurturing interests in sport, music and fashion and their appearance will begin to become an issue.

You may find that peer pressure to look good, have the latest designer gear and to stay out late all cause problems within your boundaries and some compromises will have to be reached.

Problems And Pressures For Parents

We all remember what we were like as teenagers, but it is crucial to acknowledge how much things have changed, and the fact that children are now exposed to far more information about society and culture than we ever were.

They have access to everything thanks to the internet and this can cause problems and pressures for parents who want to make sure their children are protected, while still wanting to afford them a little more flexibility.

Children need to be able to trust their parents and to know that they can talk to them about any problems, but this is easier said than done and many children feel anxious and awkward about discussing sensitive issues.

Most secondary schools have facilities and members of staff available for informal chats, so find out about the services available for your child so that you know that even if they find it hard to talk to you, they can always talk to someone at school.

Guidance And Support

It is hard to accept that our children are starting to really grow up, but now is not the time to be heavy handed or too flexible. They are still children and they still need guidance and support as well as love and affection.

Children of this age group have a lot to contend with and it is a very stressful time for many of them. Their friends will become even more important to them and it is a good idea to nurture those friendships and understand that children need to spend time together and talk.

Chances are that they will also develop out of school interests and activities and you will soon become little more than a glorified taxi service! However, this is all part of growing up and children who have supportive parents who show an interest in everything they do should grow into respectful, kind and loyal young people with huge potential for success.

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@laura - the difficulty is expecting your daughter to fully fall into line where she hasn't had to previously. I'd buy a good book that'll have all the tricks you need to get such stuff to work. Or watch old versions of Supernanny :) Best of luck.
Angie\ - 28-Nov-17 @ 1:52 PM
hi I am a single mum with a 9 year old daughter and because I do a lot of the main care on my own but when I am at work my parents do it and as my daughter is my only child an has had a lot off the past few years getting things her own way I now need to start using boundires for her at both houses. she kicks off when I tell her the word is no an thinks its great that my dad cant do much running after her when she is at his I need ideas of how to start it an get it working as soon as. it stresses me right out though when she does not do as I tell her to an kicks off for it all. any help would be good
laura - 27-Nov-17 @ 4:59 PM
We received guardianship of our 10 yr old grandson last year.He came from some extremely poor background issues with his parents.Lots of anger before he came to us and he had a lot of thearpy.Since he moved in with us he is a different child.The school told us he was their biggest success story so far.Whatever the cooperation of the school and us was working.That thrilled me since I was never able to have children of my own and had married his grandpa a few years ago after becoming a widow.This is what he found to work for him with regards to the things you are going through.We first made a set of rules. 1. respect adults...if we find you have not done this then electronics are taken away for three days first offense...a week for the second offense...after that until we see improvements and feel comfortable with this.(They were gone for a month on time) 2. bedtime...we found that since he needs to be on the bus by 7 a.m. 9:30 during the week and midnight on Fri and Sat 3. pick up his room...electronics go away for awhile when it gets out of hand 4. chores...we have our own set of these and he does very well with them so this is not really a problem for us. Maybe this can help you out a little.He is also now involved in all kinds of sports...loves public speaking...has many friends because in order to have a friend you must first be a friend (that is my philosphy)and a strong sense of faith.
grandma p - 12-Nov-16 @ 5:07 PM
Hi am struggling with a few things below with my 11year old daughter. Lost boundaries No respect for us Pushing hurting brother Shouting and angry Attitude Lost respect and control in our own home Relationship under strain I have decided to go back to basis starting with setting boundaries. I have been researching examples of boundaries an 11 year old should be set but cannot find any examples. Can you help?
Mel - 23-Feb-16 @ 8:42 PM
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