What is social emotional learning for 9 year olds?

What is social emotional learning for 9 year olds?

Brief introduction on social emotional learning for 9 year olds

By 9 years old, social emotional learning typically revolves around feeling accepted by peers, little crushes, and navigating feelings of social pressure, confusion and insecurity. Overall, the SEL changes noticeable at ages 7 and 8 are ramping up! While a 9 year old is still a child with a natural curiosity and affection, their social focus typically shifts suddenly from their parent figures to their friends as they hone their evolving and newfound sense of identity, ethics and social stance. While they are craving independence, this is a crucial age for parental figures to create reliable and healthy routines in order to combat the world shifting quickly around them.

What is social learning for 9 year olds?

At age nine, kids are still very much attached to their friend groups and their best friends, and with the introduction of puberty hormones, they may be more vulnerable to peer pressure in order to impress their crushes and their friends. With the probable onset of puberty, age nine is statistically a year in which kids first experience body image issues. This is a naturally distracting time in a kid’s life, and parent figures may face challenges while trying to help their kids balance school with the social stuff.

What is emotional learning for 9 year olds?

The good news is, nine year olds typically experience less mood swings than they did when they were eight and have a fully developed sense of empathy that allows them to understand the perspectives of others. But with hormones changing and peer pressure increasing, a nine year old’s emotions are likely revolving around social aspects like their body image and their social status. This is also a time where kids are eager to take on responsibilities.

Why SEL is important for 9 year olds:

Social emotional learning is important in nine year olds because they are training to be well-rounded and well-integrated members of society. Wanting to fit in is usually a good thing, and with the brain of a nine year old developing empathy, they’re eager to seek out and understand the opinions of others.

Pros and Cons of social emotional learning for 9 year olds

Pros and Cons of social emotional learning for 9 year olds

Pros of promoting social emotional learning

Being nine can be incredibly distracting! In terms of school curriculum, this is usually the age where things start to ramp up, and it’s important that kids stay on track. Promoting and supporting healthy SEL can help kids of nine years be successful in school and in life. Promoting social emotional learning helps keep conversation open between trusted authority figures and kids who may be experiencing harmful peer pressure or emotionally damaging body image issues.

Cons of promoting social emotional learning

Documented issues regarding SEL promotion generally stem from the lack of formal guidelines when it comes to SEL programs. SEL programs can be “ill-defined” while lacking a clear path as to what attitudes a given program is promoting regarding social-emotional learning. 

Social emotional learning examples for 9 year olds

Brief introduction on social emotional learning examples

With peer pressure, crushes, hormones and more, there are many ways in which a nine year old is developing socially and emotionally!

Social learning examples for 9 year olds

Social learning at age nine still heavily involves a kid’s chosen friend group. The sense of peer pressure at this age usually ramps up, so kids are figuring out how to make good decisions to keep themselves safe and happy regardless of what their friends think. Nine year olds have crossed into the big kid category in the sense that they recognize social norms and display appropriate behavior even in tough situations. Because they are so enamored with other kids their age, this is a great time to encourage group work.

Emotional learning examples for 9 year olds

Emotionally, kids at nine may feel as if they are very grown up and really start to look up to older youths. Nine year olds are hungry for responsibility and independence and will enjoy being trusted to do small tasks around the house or picking out their own clothes at the mall. Not only is their sense of empathy evolving, but so are the fears they may have. With these two developments, parent figures could start talking to their kids about the real world.

Social emotional learning activities for 9 year olds

Brief Introduction on social emotional learning activities

Because many nine year olds feel that they’ve crossed into the big kid zone, they will naturally be eager to expand their social emotional learning opportunites: perhaps, maybe even past the scope of their home or classroom.

Social learning activities for 9 year olds

Social learning activities for 9 year olds


Nine years old is a great age to expand social learning activities beyond the classroom or the home! Kids at this age also want to start flexing their empathy and are often passionate about an ethical cause. Some great social learning activities at this age include:

  • joining clubs or sports
  • regularly volunteering
  • social service projects
  • scheduled activities with their friend group like book club or mini golf

Emotional learning activities for 9 year olds

Open communication with trusted adults is incredibly important for nine year olds subject to peer pressure or body image problems. Parent figures should regularly check in with their kids about things like:

  • goal setting
  • what to expect during puberty
  • possible dangers of peer pressure (ie. smoking or dangerous dares) and how to combat it
  • self image

Parents are also encouraged to check in with teachers and coaches to ensure that their nine year old is getting the emotional support they need.

Social emotional learning tools for 9 year olds

Brief intro on Moxie:

Moxie is a gender neutral robot companion who could serve as a confidant and voice of reason for nine year olds navigating social emotional learning development.

Moxie for social learning for 9 year olds

Nine year olds appreciate being treated like the grown ups they are quickly becoming! Moxie treats kids as mentors and seeks structured guidance from them so that their opinions feel respected and valued.

Moxie for emotional learning for 9 year olds

Created to interact with kids of all ages, Moxie acts as a friendly and unbiased face for a nine year old who may be self-conscious or overwhelmed. For nine year olds who crave responsibility and motivation, Moxie’s schedule of SEL missions could act as appreciated guidance.

Final Thoughts: Social emotional learning for 9 year olds


Social emotional learning development is only gaining speed at nine years old: with shifts in peer relations, hormones, sense of independence and values, promoting healthy SEL will help nine year olds stay on track toward a successful and happy future in school and in life.

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