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Child and Adolescent Development: 6 to 13 Years Old

Medically reviewed by Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Ruby Fernandez · Updated Jun 15, 2022

Child and Adolescent Development: 6 to 13 Years Old

Life goes by faster than you think. Before you know it, your precious baby is already prepared to go to first grade! To help you learn more about child and adolescent development and how to better take care of your child(ren), here are some quick facts on what you ought to know.

Child and adolescent development

6 Years Old

Your kid has officially entered their “big kid” years. At this stage in their lives, children can grow 2-2.5 inches every year on average. It is good to remember that children grow at different rates, so every child may not have the same growth rates.

Other than that, they will be able to show off their new physical skills and capabilities. At this point, your kid is a bundling source of energy and needs a lot of playtime and exercise, especially outdoors. Exercise and physical activity are excellent for everyone, especially when your kid is around this age because they can improve their cognitive functions.

Other than developing their locomotor skills, your child will have self-control skills and more emotional stability. They will also care more about friendships and will show some signs of independence.

7 Years Old

Once your kid hits the age of 7 in child and adolescent development, you may notice that they are very curious and have a never-ending amount of questions for you. They will love telling you about all the things that they learned in school.

Your child’s motor skills will be better as they develop better coordination skills. These types of skills tend to develop faster when they are more physically active. While growth rates will vary, they may also get another growth spurt.

As for their emotions, they will be able to control their emotions more, especially when they are in public. They may also be able to explain their emotions, especially if you asked them why they acted a certain way.

They will be able to respect their peers and love sharing fun facts with other people. They will also have more capability of understanding other people’s feelings.

Your 7-year old will read with more fluency and have rapid language development. They will be able to name characters, problems, solutions, etc., in shows and books and solve some maths problems.

8 Years Old

At this stage, your child may show abilities that show off natural athletic potential. They may also decide if they want to try out sports. Their motor and locomotor skills improve along with their coordination.

Your child will learn more social skills, such as being kind and supportive. They often may need things to be “fair” which can lead to conflict while they play games with friends.

Many kids at this age can tell how long time increments are and be able to tell the time. Additionally, their ability to focus will improve and they are better at doing mental math.

9 Years Old

Your child is slowly reaching their adolescent years. At this point, puberty can start anywhere from 8-14 years old.

In this period of child and adolescent development, they may want everything to go “their way”, but they will often listen to reason. Additionally, they may experience some mood swings. However, they are often able to recognize their behavior and apologize for it.

They will be able to act more socially appropriate and express their needs through communication. They can also recognize other people’s goals and cooperatively work to reach a shared goal.

Their attention span will increase, however, it may depend on their interests. They may also want to start a hobby or a collection.

10 Years Old

When your kid is 10 years old, they may think they are close to being teenagers or still see themselves as “big kids.” Whatever the case may be, being 10 years old signifies a lot of change.

They may start to show more signs of puberty at age 10. Some of those signs include hair growth in their armpits and genital area, increased sweating, oily skin, etc.

They can start to admire and even imitate older youth, especially the older kids at their school. They can start questioning authority and learn to accept their family or parent’s beliefs.

They may love to join in activities with other people, but they may also experience some peer pressure in school. Additionally, they may identify more with people of the same gender.

In this stage of child and adolescent development, they may start getting more interested in pop culture or sports teams. Additionally, they often learn how to use better judgment at this age.

11 Years Old

Your kid is now in their tween years of child and adolescent development and they may experience big changes in their bodies. These changes may make them feel a bit awkward until they get used to it.

They may get another growth spurt at this age. However, they may also want to eat and sleep more because of their growing pains.

They often have their own personality, especially in their friend group. They may also start to resist family time, so it is ideal to teach them the importance of family.

They have a greater understanding of responsibility and that thoughts are private. Additionally, they will have a great attention span but will have rapidly changing interests.

12 Years Old

Your child is now a step closer to being a teenager. In this stage of child and adolescent development, they will often show more signs of puberty, such as muscular development and menstruation.

They may start to show signs of rebellion to show their independence, but they may still want your approval. They often learn how to develop their own personal morals.

Peer pressure can get stronger at this age, since your child may want to be accepted and liked. They may also want to join activities with the opposite gender.

They can now apply more logic to problems and situations. Additionally, they may be able to grasp the concept of equality and justice.

13 Years Old

Your child is officially a teen, and they will show it. You will notice rapid changes in their appearance during this child and adolescent development stage.

Of course, you may have to deal with some mood swings because of their hormones. They may also have some concerns about their looks and physical development.

At this point, your young teen will be able to communicate similar to an adult. They can also solve problems that involve more than a single variable and be more interested in moral or important issues.

Key Takeaways

It is wise to learn about each child and adolescent development stage of your kid. That way, you will know how to address each of their changes and help mold them into a wonderful individual.

Learn more about School-Age Children here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Ruby Fernandez · Updated Jun 15, 2022

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