Parenting Through All Ages (4 – 9 Year Old’s)

Although every age brings with it its own surprises, we’ve grouped the seasons of childhood into four major parts—all so that we can give you the low-down on what you can expect long after you’re expecting!

In this second edition of the series, let’s look at the most important developments happening between the ages of 4 and 9…

Growing independence

As children enter this age group, they begin to develop greater independence, self-control, and creativity.

From around 4, most children are able to play with their toys for longer periods of time, are eager to try new things, and when they get frustrated, are better able to express their emotions. Although children grow and develop at their own pace, most start to “lean out” from their primary caregiver (usually mom) around the age of 6.

Boys tend to pay more attention to male role models, and father figures begin to play an even bigger role. Superheroes and action figures too!

For little girls, you might notice them paying more attention to outward appearances than before. Be mindful of the words you use to describe yourself, others, and their appearance too. Try to be body positive about all shapes, colors, and sizes, whilst also highlighting that the inside is always more important than the outside.

For example, you may want to talk about the difference between inner and outer beauty (one fades over time, while the other can grow more and more beautiful the kinder and more compassionate we get).

While it’s fine to tell little girls and boys that they’re pretty or handsome from time to time, be sure to focus far more on other factors that they have more control over and that you want to encourage more of—like their character, or courage, their perseverance or honesty.

Growing conversation skills

From this age, your curious and inquisitive child is better able to carry on a conversation.

In addition, your child’s vocabulary is growing, as is their rational thought process. Not only is your child able to answer simple questions easily and logically, but they should be able to express their feelings better too.

Sitting down and enjoying at least one family meal together every day is the best way to encourage these budding conversation skills, and also to bond as a family.

Growing minds

During this phase, your child should learn the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics. It’s a critical time – laying the foundation for all future learning.

When your child learns to read on their own (normally around 8 years of age), try to encourage this fantastic habit by making reading a fun part of your child’s daily routine.

Visit your local library regularly, let your child read in bed before lights out at night, and invest in books as gifts!

To foster a richer understanding of maths concepts, get your child to count out quantities in the kitchen, and to weigh and measure your ingredients when you’re cooking or shopping.

Play is still important!

Children still learn best through play at this age, so get them running, hopping, throwing and kicking balls, climbing, and swinging too.

Look out for a boost of testosterone around the age of 4 in boys… this will make them even more boisterous and active for a while! Watching television, playing video games, and playing on the computer should be limited to one to two hours (maximum) per day.

This will lead to more active play. By the age of 9, your child will want to engage in less pretend play and more sports-related activities or board games.

Not as cute, but still in need of cuddles

As children grow, some parents try to distance themselves to foster greater independence.

While it’s important to encourage your child to do more things for themselves and to help out around the house, the idea that they should toughen up as they grow up has been proven to be a bad one.

Kids of all ages need to know that they can count on you to share their big feelings and fears with you.

And while they might not fit on your lap as easily, physical affection is still very important and necessary. Check out THIS ARTICLE for a reminder on the potent power of hugs!

Caution! Puberty ahead!

As your child approaches the end of this phase (nearer the age of 9), numerous physical and emotional challenges await as they approach adolescence.

It can be a taxing time for some, as fellow classmates begin to develop at starkly different rates. Puberty can begin anywhere from 8 to 12 for girls and 9 to 14 for boys.

As a parent, it’s important to discuss this with your child, especially if the changes (or lack of changes) are causing distress. If you’re needing inspiration LOOK HERE

That’s it for this season!

Keep a lookout for part 3 of this series coming next week.

Missed Part 1? GO HERE to read about 1 – 3 year old’s.

Mums are your kids between the age of 4 and 9? Did you find this interesting and helpful?

Comment below to let us know x

47 thoughts on “Parenting Through All Ages (4 – 9 Year Old’s)

  1. omhle90 says:

    I have a 4 year old. Such a busy body. His speech has developed very well and he likes being a team leader. He has soo much energy and likes things to be done his own way. This articles helps a lot. Thank you Mumbox.

    • smitamoonilall says:

      I definitely learnt something new today. I honestly thought puberty starts from teens in boys. But learning that they may start from 9 is quite interesting. I need to now research more about this as my son just turned 9 😂🙈

  2. Marlene says:

    “Puberty can begin anywhere from 8 to 12 for girls and 9 to 14 for boys.”..Ive learned something new today ,Thank you Mumbox for sharing this ,i’m always learning something New everyday on your articles !!

  3. Mthaniya Sai says:

    I have a 6 year old and she is already obsessed with her looks. She takes whatever you say about her personal and l am working in helping her build a strong self esteem. She is starting to get picky even with food and clothes. What makes me very proud is that l see a lot of myself in her.

  4. roxycdevos-8331 says:

    Really a great read. I have an 8 year old but she very mature in her speaking and thinking. Parents should strive to be a good example because kids watch our every move and tend to emulate parents attitudes, behaviors etc

    • siphosethubacela says:

      @Mum box thank you so much for such an informative and helpful article. My daughter is 5 years old and is such a lady I can say I see myself in her. Whenever I receive products for testing she does the unboxing always curious wanting to find out what did we receive this time.

  5. Jolene says:

    Thanks for this great article @Mumbox.
    I have a 5 year old and 8 year old.
    Busy bodies and full of energy I tell you 🙂 But they keep me on my toes, So I’m not complaining at all.
    Reading plays a big role in our household. I am such a bookworm and Im glad my kids are too.
    Everyday is certainly not the same and some days are harder than others, but that’s motherhood. I love my children so much and want to be there for them every step of the way, one day they’ll be grown and out of the house. So ya, I’m taking each day as it comes and being present in my children’s lives.

  6. Julie says:

    I am struggling with my 6 year old. She has such a strong personality, which comes from me as she her ways are so similar to mine. We are both Aries, stubborn and hard headed. We fight a lot and knock heads on a daily basis 🙁 Thank goodness for my husband who is the calm one, he always seems to sort situations out LOL
    I think its a tough age right now and I find it hard to deal with, I want things done my way and she wants things done her way. I have always taught her be tough, I dont want her to back down when she needs be in control but this may just be the problem I started from the beginning and I will have to start trying to fix it before she starts becomming a teen, eek !!
    Thanks for the article Mumbox, so helpful !

    • Lucinda says:

      My 4 year old already has a mind of her own and loves making friend and being independent. She is just larger than life with the things she says and does. Thank you for the great article, Mumbox

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