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9-Year-Old Child Development: Behavior and Daily Routines

An overview of a 9-year-old child's preferences, abilities, and habits

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Boy doing homework with book and laptop.
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Your 9-year-old child will increasingly express an interest in and be able to take part in family decision-making, such as where to go on vacation or what foods to buy for meals. Nine-year-olds also love to plan their days, and may enjoy organizing her schedule on a planner.

Nine-year-old children are also becoming much more independent, and becoming more interested in people and things outside of the immediate family. At the same time, 9-year-old children are more capable of handling chores and responsibilities at home.

Parents and caregivers should pay close attention to the examples they are setting for their child. Nine is a period of child development that’s full of changes and challenges for kids. They are on the brink of adolescence physically and emotionally, and will tackle more complex and demanding homework assignments and work at school.

Diet
Nine-year-olds are beginning or approaching puberty, and issues such as body image and eating problems can begin to surface in some children. That’s why it’s important for parents to model healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits to set examples that their children can follow.

Consider the fact that the way you take care of yourself and your health is likely to be the way your child lives. If you spend your free time on the couch watching TV and eating unhealthy food, chances are your child will do the same.

The same applies to your attitude about food and your body image. If you have an unhealthy relationship with food or are constantly critical of your own body, that message will have an effect on your child.

Sleep
It’s all too easy to let bedtime slip a little later as your child gets older. But the fact is, 9-year-old children still need about 10 to 11 hours of sleep. And research has shown that sleep is crucial for a child’s cognitive and physical development.

If your child is going to bed at 10 o’clock or later at night and is getting up at 6 o’clock for school, for instance, that is probably not enough. (There are individual difference in how much sleep a child needs, of course; to gauge whether or not your child is getting enough sleep, look for signs such as difficulty waking up in the morning or concentrating at school.

So stick to good sleep habits and set up your evening routines so that your child goes to bed early. As much as your 9-year-old child may be getting physically bigger and may seem so grown-up at times, she is still a young child and needs more sleep than a teenager.

Chores
Helping out with chores around the house is an excellent way to teach kids how to be responsible. Doing chores can also help boost a child’s self-esteem, and help him feel like he is making an important contribution to the family.

Parents of 9-year-olds may want to classify some tasks such as brushing their teeth and making their beds an expected routine that they are responsible for doing every day. Chores for 9-year-old children, which can be linked to an allowance, can include duties such as loading the dishwasher or taking out the trash.

Of course, there may be some grumbling from your child about having to do chores. But if you consistently reinforce the message that chores are something every member of your household does for the family and that it’s expected of her, your child will get used to the routine. And if you can make chores more fun by, say, cranking up some music while you clean and make sure to give your child lots of praise for a job well done, your child will be less likely to complain.

Read More About Your Nine-Year-Old Child's Development

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