Ten-year-old children are standing on the cusp of adolescence, and are in many ways looking and behaving like the tweens they are becoming. Physically, they are growing taller and some 10-year-olds are already experiencing changes brought on by puberty. They may be taking on more responsibility for their own routines and self-care (such as homework, grooming, chores) and be able to handle many tasks on their own with little supervision.
Ten, however, is an age of contradictions. While they may look and act more grown-up, 10-year-old children can sometimes exhibit younger, even immature behavior. It's not uncommon for a 10-year-old to ask his parents not to hug him in public and yet still request snuggles and kisses at home. And while more independent than ever before, children this age may occasionally need some assistance and guidance with organizing and sticking to a schedule.
At age 10, many children are settling into eating habits that have been developing since their younger years. Children who have been allowed a constant diet of unhealthy foods such as soda or fast food will continue to prefer those foods while kids who become accustomed to healthy, balanced meals will continue to enjoy healthier fare.
That's why it's important for parents to model healthy eating habits and offer children nutritious meals and snacks at home. Be sure to buy a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, and lean proteins, and limit foods such as chips, soda, and candy. Parents can also teach kids to make healthy choices at school when they buy lunch, or pack healthy lunches for them to take to school. Another nutritional tip: Parents should also try to have meals together at home as much as possible; studies have shown that eating together as a family has many benefits including reduced risk of obesity in kids, healthier eating patterns, and even reduced risk of smoking, alcohol, and drug use.
Ten-year-old children may also exhibit varying appetites. One day they may eat like a linebacker and the next only nibble on a few snacks. Generally speaking, however, 10-year-old children show increased appetite as they hit growth spurts during this period of child development.
For 10-year-old children, sleep problems such as trouble going to sleep on their own or sleeping through the night are long behind them. Other issues such as bedwetting are also less common at this age.
Nevertheless, there are some challenges that can interfere with a 10-year-old child getting enough sleep. Demands on a child's time such as the lure of TV, video games, computers, and other electronic devices can all lead to a sleep deficit, which can interfere with learning and ability to pay attention -- two particularly important factors for school-age children.
Be sure to set up good sleep habits in your child and make sure they are getting enough rest at night. Sleep is crucial for cognitive function, mood, and overall health in both children and adults, so do what you can to ensure your whole family gets enough shut-eye.
Ten-year-old children typically take pride in the work they do around the house. They will be able to handle more complicated chores such as loading the dishwasher, doing the laundry, and helping take care of pets.
It’s also a good idea to get 10-year-olds more involved in household routines such as grocery shopping, which can lead to teaching your child about how to make healthy food choices. Parents may also want to give kids an allowance for chores. This can help teach children this age lessons about money saving and management.
Read More About Your Ten-Year-Old Child's Development