My daughter isn't acting her age

My daughter seemed to be developing at a normal rate until about the age of 10. She then started to act younger than she is.

Now she only wants to play with younger kids and she doesn't act her age. I don't know why this is happening. Is this normal?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Good for you to know your daughter's friendship circles and to notice when these have changed.

While friendships are key relationships, they are not the only indicator of someone not developing normally.

Is your observation and opinion that your daughter isn't normal based on other factors or just this one?

If this is the only factor then start with reflecting on what circumstances may be influencing your daughter to socialize with younger kids.

Has she ben ostracized or bullied by her peers and may be retreating to avoid further emotional hurt?

Is she keeping up with her school work?

Sometimes kids who feel overwhelmed by schoolwork will regress into conditions in which they feel more success and control.

Are there family circumstances such as the death of someone with whom your daughter felt close?  

Or, is there a new younger sibling in the family or a younger sibling who due to their own circumstance receives more attention than your daughter may wish for herself.

Once you've reflected on which areas may be affecting your daughter, gently ask her some questions about her comfort with what you theorize may be the source of the problem.

Its also possible that offering her your extra time and interest may increase her sense of self so that she feels secure enough to increase her social time with her age group.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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