What Should I Expect From My 10-Year-Old Daughter?

Reviewed on 7/2/2021
developmental milestones in a 10-year-old girl
Here are developmental milestones to look for in your 10-year-old daughter

Your 10-year-old daughter is in the period of transition. This period presents exciting changes as well as huge challenges as children start to approach adolescence. 

At age 10, children are in their preteens where their brains are absorbing information at a rapid pace and can expand their reasoning abilities. They also have much more control over their bodies, strength is rapidly increasing, and sports and active play are becoming easier and less tiring. Friendships are also becoming a larger part of your daughter’s life, and can start to influence her thinking and decisions.

Developmental milestones for a 10-year-old girl

Milestones usually are grouped into a few major areas: physical growth, sensory and motor development, emotional and social development, and cognitive (thinking and reasoning) development.

Physical and motor development

  • Girls at this age are usually taller and weigh more than boys. 
  • Your daughter may start showing signs of puberty, such as growing breasts, voice changes, and increased body odor.
  • Coordination and balance may improve, giving her the ability to dance, play sports, and develop talent in specific activities. 
  • Hand and eye coordination is far more developed and so is finger control. Activities that require small, delicate movements, such as sewing or playing a musical instrument, are now possible.

Emotional and social development

  • Attention to detail begins to improve. 
  • Group and team activities are particularly enjoyable at this age and spending time with friends is important.
  • Your daughter is building strong relationships and friendships are becoming a big part of their lives.
  • She may start developing and testing values and beliefs that will guide both current and future behaviors.
  • Your daughter may start to take pride in her accomplishments and develop an objective view of quality. 
  • Her self-esteem may in part be influenced by how well she does in school.

Intellectual and cognitive development

  • Early adolescents have an increased ability to learn and apply skills. They will be using logic to explain reactions and using their findings to make further predictions.
  • This age marks the beginning of abstract thinking, but 10-year-olds may revert to concrete thinking under stress.
  • Preteens are still developing abstract reasoning and are not able to make all intellectual leaps, such as inferring motives or reasoning hypothetically.
  • They learn to extend their way of thinking beyond their personal experiences and knowledge and start to view the world outside of an absolute, black-and-white or right-and-wrong perspective.
  • You can help your daughter think about things outside of her immediate circumstances, which will help her develop more sophisticated cognitive skills. 
  • Interpretative ability develops, as well as the ability to recognize cause and effect sequences.

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References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Middle Childhood (9-11 years of age). https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/middle2.html

WebMD. Your Daughter at 10: Milestones. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/daughter-10-milestones

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