9th Grade  Social & Emotional Development

The high school years are a time of great personal development as teens are further developing their identities, preparing for adulthood and gaining more independence. Encouraging your teen’s social and emotional development is still important at this age, as these skills can be developed throughout life. While your teen is becoming more independent, it is important to remember that you are still needed. Reminding your teen that you care can go a long way in keeping him on track and planning for the future. Keep in mind that all adolescents have different social and emotional tendencies and behaviors and develop at different rates. The concepts highlighted in this section are based on the five sets of competencies developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). If you have concerns about your adolescent’s development, please contact your healthcare provider or his teacher or school counselor, or visit our additional resources page.

Social & Emotional Development


Self-awareness is knowing yourself. It’s about knowing your emotions, strengths and challenges, and how your emotions affect your behavior and decisions. Self-awareness is key to managing actions and setting goals for the future, and it is a skill that will help your child thrive. In high school, your child may gain a better understanding of her strengths and challenges and start making choices based on her abilities.

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Self-management is the ability to recognize your emotions and control the behaviors sparked by those emotions. For example, a person showing self-management is able to calm down, not yell or act out, in moments of anger or frustration. You may notice your teen becoming less volatile than she was at younger ages as she develops her self-management.

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Social Awareness

Social awareness is the ability to understand and respect the perspectives of others, and to apply this knowledge to social interactions with people from diverse backgrounds. As teens make their way through high school, their sense of social awareness is maturing, as is their ability to understand how their behaviors affect others.

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Relationship Skills

The ability to interact in meaningful and productive ways with others and to maintain healthy relationships with diverse individuals and groups contributes to a person’s overall success. During the high school years, teens are learning more about how their feelings and behaviors affect others, and they are gaining a better understanding of how relationships work.

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Responsible Decision-Making

Responsible decision-making is the ability to make choices that are good for you and for others. It is also taking into account your wishes and the wishes of others. The ability to understand yourself, your actions, how your actions affect others, and what is socially acceptable all go into the responsible decision-making process. Throughout high school your child will become more and more independent until he’s ready to leave your household. By continuing to support your teen and allowing him more responsibility and room to make his own decisions, you can put him on a path to success after high school.

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Parents' Guide

Research has shown that those with high emotional intelligence have better attention skills and fewer learning problems, and are generally more successful in academic and workplace settings. We offer the following examples as a guide to help you continue to be a strong, positive influence on your child's social and emotional growth, and to reflect your own skills in the process.

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Other 9th Grade Growth Charts

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