The age of 11 is filled with huge milestones; it’s a time when children experience the first pains, joys, and responsibilities of growing up. Over the course of their tweens, 11-year-olds will go through a lot of complicated mental and physical changes that may influence their personalities and overall development.
These tween stages of a child’s life are a fragile period, but they’re also the beginning of a wonderful and exciting new phase into teenage years and finally, adulthood. So if you’ve got an 11-year-old at home and you want to know what to expect this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading for an in-depth guide to the development of your 11-year-old child. Here are the milestones you can expect.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Physical Development of an 11-Year-Old
- Cognitive Development of an 11-Year-Old
- Emotional Development of an 11-Year-Old
- Social Development of an 11-Year-Old
- Other Developments of an 11-Year-Old
- Final Thoughts
Physical Development of an 11-Year-Old
When your child turns 11, they may start to hit the initial stages of puberty. This is an awkward phase for both girls and boys, as they’ll go through huge physical and emotional changes.
The average 11-year-old girl will be around four or five feet tall and weigh around 70 to 100 pounds. This is usually when girls will have their biggest growth spurts. In fact, your little girl may even grow as tall as four inches! She will most likely gain more fat, her breasts will develop and her hips may widen.
Your daughter will also be faced with some awkward changes like skin outbreaks, pubic and armpit hair growth, oily skin and greasy hair. And as if all that wasn’t scary enough, she may even have her first menstrual period.
Usually, 11-year-olds who are taller and a bit on the heavier side will get their periods earlier than other girls their age.
An average 11-year-old boy will weigh 80 pounds and be around four feet tall. They will experience some major physical changes as well. Their muscles will get larger, along with their testicles and penis. Their scrotum may turn darker too.
Some boys might experience the infamous vocal change, where their voices “break” and get deeper. They will also notice hair growth in the underarm and pubic area. In fact, don’t be surprised if your 11-year-old comes to you proudly showing you the beginnings of facial hair fuzz on their upper lip. They will also show signs of oily skin and hair.
At this age, your son will also likely complain a lot about aches and pains as their body goes through these changes.
Cognitive Development of an 11-Year-Old
11-year-olds will have a variety of interests and won’t stick to one thing for too long. Kids of this age develop a more intellectual way of thinking and have an idea of how others might be feeling. They’ll stop viewing the world as black and white and understand that some issues fall in a grey area. They will now recognize hypothetical situations and assumptions too.
However, this doesn’t mean that they’re fully aware of the results of their actions.
Your child should not be having any speech problems at this stage. Speech problems are not normal and if your child struggles with this, you should take them to a speech therapist. At this age, children tend to know and use a large number of words. They’ll also use a wide range of entertaining facial expressions and gestures to get their point across.
In other words, you should be bracing yourself for a lot of eye rolls and ‘ughs’ from your sassy 11-year-old. Your child will also communicate differently with different people, as they become aware of what’s appropriate and acceptable.
For example, you may find your son or daughter cracking jokes with their friends, but they won’t do the same with their teachers or grandparents.
At 11 years of age, you’ll notice a drastic improvement in your child’s handwriting. At the very least, it will be a lot neater than it was before. This is because they will now be able to use and hold their pencils and pens properly.
Your child will also be more attentive towards their schoolwork and fidget less. Getting them to remember things or to sit down and study won’t be such a hassle anymore. They’ll also start checking their work before they submit it.
11-year-olds are more than capable of logical problem solving, so math lessons will reveal some interesting and challenging concepts for them. They may also start to enjoy reading and writing on their own.
Related Read: 10-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
Emotional Development of an 11-Year-Old
This is when the emotional rollercoaster begins. The physical changes your child will be facing will cause them to react in different ways.
Your 11 year old won’t accept your style as their own anymore and they will start to express their individual personalities. They will do this in many ways, such as through how they dress, what they read and watch and how they design their room.
They will start to develop different hobbies and interests. Your 11-year-old will also want to take up more responsibilities and be more independent.
Mental Health Issues
While your child will be excited about growing up and getting more independence, they’re also likely to feel confused and insecure about their bodies. Kids this age are vulnerable to body image issues, eating disorders and anxiety.
Moodiness and Risky Behavior
At this stage, kids will try and test the limits of the rules you have set and challenge your authority. They may also take part in risky activities. It is extremely important for parents to spend time with their kids at this stage and pay attention to them. You have to be careful, patient and have open communication with your 11-year-old.
A few bad and impulsive decisions are normal at this age. But it is your job to correct their behavior.
Important Read: Best Toys for 9 Year Old Girls – Gift Ideas & Buyer’s Guide
Social Development of an 11-Year-Old
Friendships and relationships outside the family will become a very important part of your child’s life. This is when your child will become part of a close-knit group and develop more complex intense friendships. It’s going to be a difficult time for you as well because your 11-year-old might not be as affectionate as they used to be. They may want to spend more time with their friends than their family.
Your child might even have their first proper crush. They will try everything to blend in with whatever is ‘cool’. They will be more aware of how they look and how people view them. Since kids this age are easily influenced, they may develop bad habits like smoking, bunking class, taking drugs, stealing and other such things as a result of peer pressure.
Additional Read: Best Toys for 14 Year Old Girls – Gift Ideas & Buyer’s Guide
Other Developments of an 11-Year-Old
11-year-olds sleep a lot and need at least 10 to 11 hours of shut-eye for their physical and mental wellbeing. Boys will experience an increase in appetite so you have to keep your house stocked with food. These kids will need a balanced, nutritional diet to develop their brain and body.
Although sodas and candies will be a favorite, try to keep these to a minimum. Make sure your child is getting at least one hour of physical activity every day. They’ll love technology and all the games and cartoons that come along with it, but too much screen time will be bad for their eyes.
Try to enroll your kids in extracurricular activities and always encourage them at whatever they are doing. At this age, they’re busy exploring different interests and they need all the confidence and moral support they can get.
Important Read: 9-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
We’ve discussed all the developmental milestones you can expect of an 11-year-old child. However, keep in mind that these are not set in stone and there is room for some flexibility. At the end of the day, children will develop in their own way, at their own pace. Just keep in mind the changes they are dealing with and try to understand them.
With love and patience and a little effort on both sides, you’ll be able to guide your child in the right direction. So, make sure your child will grow up to be a strong and independent person – and have loving and supportive parents to thank!
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