Mealtime is an important experience for a 9 year old. Use this time to discuss the events of the day and how your child is feeling.
Children watch what their parents eat, so set a good example. Choose meals that have foods from all food groups: meats, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and cereals and grains. Most children should limit the intake of fatty foods.
Children over 2 years of age usually should drink low-fat or skim milk, depending on their need for calories. Milk is still important for healthy bones. Keep healthy snacks on hand. Kids should drink soda pop rarely.
Growth in height and weight during this year should remain steady. If your child has rapid weight gain or no weight gain for more than 4 months, then you should check with your doctor. A few girls will start into their pubertal growth spurt.
Kids usually have a lot of energy during this part of childhood. Make sure they have lots of chances to run and play outdoors.
Finding compatible friends is very important. Children at this age are imaginative and get along well with friends their own age. They are becoming very concerned about what other kids think about them. They are beginning to understand that the emotions others experience are similar to their own.
Use encouraging words when speaking with your child. Kids have a strong need to feel like they are valued in the family and with their friends.
The ingredients to build a strong conscience include a warm and caring family, a strict code of conduct, and consistent and firm enforcement of the rules. Model how you wish your child to behave.
It is important to begin discussing sexuality. Children should be asked if they have any questions about sex. At first, they often don't want to talk about sex. Do not impose information on them. Once kids realize that parents feel comfortable discussing sex, kids will often ask their parents for information. Parents and kids should discuss the values that parents want their children to have about sexuality.
The elementary school years are a period which parents and children can enjoy reading together. Reading will promote learning in school, too. Make reading a part of the pre-bedtime ritual.
Limit TV, computers, and electronic game time to a total of 1 or 2 hours per day. Make sure that home computers have some kind of filter or parental control. Encourage participation in family games and other activities. Carefully select the programs you allow your child to view. Be sure to watch some of the programs with your child and discuss the show. Avoid violent programming and using the TV as an electronic babysitter. Do not put a television in your child's bedroom.
Sealants (plastic coatings on the chewing surface of the molar teeth) may help prevent tooth decay. Ask your child’s dentist about this.
Accidents are the number one cause of deaths in children. Kids like to take risks at this age but are not well prepared to judge the degree of those risks. Therefore, children still need close supervision at this age. Parents should model safe choices.
Fires and Burns
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
An annual influenza shot is recommended for children up until 18 years of age. Additional vaccines are also sometimes given when children travel outside the country. The next routine vaccines are given to children at 11 years of age. Ask your doctor if you are uncertain if your child has received all recommended immunizations. Be sure to bring your child's shot record to all visits with your child's doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child's next routine check-up be at 10 years of age.