This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
My 10 year old son, who is an only child, plays with kids younger than he is (6 & 7 year olds), when at home. He has one friend who is his age, but would rather play with the younger children than the kid his age. At school, he will play with other kids in his class. My son still likes to play with toy cars, legos, etc., where most of the boys his age are 'too old' to play with these kinds of toys. Developmentally, he is below grade level in reading (on 4th grade, but should be at 6th grade), but other than that there are no other delays. Should I be concerned about who he is choosing for his friends, based on their ages? The boys his age in the neighborhood are not ones to get in trouble, same as with the kids younger than he.
I don't think you should be concerned, he is spending time with kids he's most comfortable with and it isn't all that unusual for a child to prefer to play with children of a younger age especially if he is not interested in the things his peers are into. If he's struggling in school somewhat then he may indeed be a bit behind developmentally, but that's nothing to worry about he'll catch up at some point. Nothing wrong with Legos and cars etc... Plenty of boys never outgrow them (just go to a hobby shop on a Saturday) and I kind of disagree about 10 year olds being too old for them. It takes a person with imagination, persistence and patience to enjoy building with Legos, and those are traits to be encouraged at any age.
Personally, I think it is a good idea to go see a therapist to see if there's something wrong with his developmentally. Otherwise, I don't see anything wrong with a 10 y/o boy playing with legos. Lots of kids are interested in legos and building stuff over 10 years of age. (I'm not kidding. I've seen it with 13 year olds!) But I do find it strange that he is playing with kids 3-4 years younger than him. When I was 10, I was not interested at all in playing with 6-7 year old kids. 10 years old is when kids start becoming more mature, and start to go through puberty, and start to worry about middle school and start to spark more interest in things that teenagers would do. But as I suggested earlier, I think it's best to go see a therapist.
It's perfectly natural, especially if he's the caregiving sort, to want to be around those younger than himself, especially if he isn't interested in what the other kids his age are doing.
Younger kids are usually less threatening and easier to interact with, so that might be a factor. It's probably not the case, but it might be because he's afraid of being bullied? Could be he's just shy. In either case, I wouldn't worry about it if he doesn't seem behind developmentally.
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