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10 year old DD - immature or normal?(12 Posts)
Hi my DD is 10 (11 this year) and in Y5, going into Y6.
DD, although old in her year, has not started puberty yet unlike a lot of the other girls. (I was a late starter). In some ways she is mature but in other ways immature. She is very much into her toys, she has younger siblings and is very happy playing games with them. She has a lot of soft toys and mentioned recently that the children in her class say that they don't have teddies anymore and she was worried she would have to get rid of hers.
She is kind and thoughtful, she reads a lot of books, she plays in the local youth orchestra, she likes computer games like Minecraft and SIMS, she listens to pop music. She does well at school. She's not very sporty, a lot of the other children do football or gymnastics but she isn't really into either of those. She does do a street dance club.
One of her favourite activities is den building and she is very happy playing outside or at the park inventing stories. I feel there is plenty of time to grow up, but I do worry that other children see her as immature. It was 'toy day' at school and DD had taken toys in and was showing them to a friend who said 'I don't really do toys'. I think there has definitely been a shift in the children of her age that they are aware of the image they are projecting and want to look mature, whereas I don't think DD is that bothered about how she comes across.
We have a good relationship and she will talk to me about her feelings. She has mentioned to me that she isn't one of the 'popular kids' and is worried she doesn't have many friends. In the end she said that she wasn't bothered because there are downsides to being the popular kid, like people wanting to be with you all the time. She has one good friend but if she can't find anyone to play with at playtime she'll sit and read a book. She probably comes across as a little bit geeky!
She says a lot of the other children in her class have mobile phones, which I know is true because I have seen them in the playground before school, sitting round with their phones out on the benches. I said that she could have a mobile when she starts secondary but now I am starting to feel bad about that! (She has an Ipod and her own tablet, so is not exactly deprived!)
She says she is worried about growing up, and doesn't want to go to secondary school or be a teenager. She is in that awkward age of not knowing if she wants to be a child or grow up. I do get frustrated with her sometimes as she still relies on me to do things for her like her packed lunch / stuff for school / suitcase for holidays etc which I know she is quite capable of doing, but she is resistant, which I think is partly due to not wanting to grow up.
I am not bothered about her being popular, I don't want her to feel like she has to pretend to be something she isn't, but I do want her to have friends and be happy! Any words of wisdom?
She sounds absolutely lovely and normal!
At that age I found much comfort reading books about characters going through similar feelings (God bless Judy Blume, Paula Danzingher and all the Baby Sitter Club books) I would just keep doing the great job you're already doing and don't over think it.
My ds is also yr5, going into yr6. I think theres a huge variation in them at this age - when I was helping at the school disco the other week it was very noticable that some girls were trying very hard to be 'grown up' and some were happy being children.
I wouldn't worry tbh - let her be herself, but gently encourage about growing up too
My 10yo is exactly like that in terms of den building, soft toys, mine craft and music. Also she loves to read and "make" stuff. We're lucky in that a good few kids in her year are similar so she does have plenty friends. She is also hopeless at washing her hair, getting her bag ready for school etc; it does feel like she's young for her age.
But other parents always say how lovely she is and how nicely she behaves; she's quite thoughtful and analytical and I know she has "views" about everyone falling out and bickering in the playground. I've deliberately cultivated friendships with girls she gets on well with, in particular out of school, and we don't make a big deal out of growing up (other than the basic biology stuff) I think your daughter will be popular and well liked at high school and I bet she will make lots of friends!
The good thing about secondary school is that there are a lot more children there, so the chances are there will be more who're at her stage of development.
She sounds lovely. As far as her doing things for herself, like her lunch, I'd get her to do things while you're in the same room, if she needs that security.
A diary can be great for girls that age; if she enjoys reading she might enjoy writing down what happened each day.
You could be describing my daughter! Same age, same interests, same worries.
What we're doing is trying to encourage more independence and giving her more responsibilities during the holidays. We've pretty much given up on holding out the mobile phone till high school though, it'll probably be for her 11th birthday later this year
They sound fine to me, it's a weird age!
Same here, apart from computer games and pop music (she has no interest). Den building, outdoor hedgehogs and deer, rabbits etc., rather than soft toys.
No interest in her appearance, spends half her life either in a hammock in the garden reading, creating potions with herbs and feeding the hedgehogs etc..
If I can't find her I know that she will be up a tree in the garden reading ... as high as the roofline at times.
Also goes to Saturday music school and reads, a lot. Few friends. I think she finds girls too complicated generally and most of her friends are boys, often younger.
Hates team sports but loves/excels at swimming.
No chance of a phone yet here. No need and my worry is that any meanness could follow her home and I would prefer to avoid that for as long as I can. None of her cohorts have phones though so no pressure.
I bought her a couple of books recently that she enjoyed, on growing up. I often find the 'feelings' one on her floor. I will post them in a sec.
Completely normal imo for that sort of child.
It was this one and the 'Feelings' book further down the page.
I wasn't sure about them when I ordered them but she seems to love them. I found she had written post it notes with her thoughts on some of the pages [smile.
She sounds completely normal. I have a daughter the same age, who is very mature, but hasn't got into phones, fashion, pop music, makeup or anything like that. She has a very serious hobby (music) which takes up 10-20 hours of her week (it varies wildly) and means she is quite different from her peers, who all seem to spend a similar amount of time doing sport! But when mine isn't doing that, she likes going to the park or woods, building dens, reading books and playing with Lego. I don't think any of these things make you immature. I also wouldn't worry about secondary school yet - I used to teach Year 6 and many parents would come to see me, fretting that their child might not be ready to go. They invariably were, when the time came.
Thanks all, that is reassuring.
Catherine - I've sent off for a few of those books you linked to - she's already got ones about puberty but I like the ones that focus on other things like feelings, friendships etc. She does find the whole friendship drama stuff a bit much, she just wants to play and can't understand why other girls make it so complicated! My opinion is that there is plenty of time for them to grow up and it shouldn't be rushed, but on the other hand I am aware secondary is just a year away and I don't want her to be seen as babyish. I will start giving her a few little tasks in the holiday like going to the corner shop.
Overandabove - yes my DD sounds just like yours! Tonight I had to tell her for what seems like the hundredth time how to wash her hair in the shower. But she has been away on school trips and sleepovers and been fine, so I know she can cope.
I think the problem is that there don't seem to be many similar girls in her class so she feels different. Hopefully at secondary she will find more like-minded friends.
mine was exactly like this at 10. now at 16, she is still smart and geeky. she is also funny, empathetic, endlessly kind and very happy in herself. embrace the loveliness!
That's lovely Ex. Have to say that in one school she was so different she was picked on. Following a house move and new school she is in a much happier place.
The children are much less streetwise, much more like her in many ways although she is still different.