Mind & Spirit

Emotional Changes to Expect During Puberty

Author: Canadian Living

Mind & Spirit

Emotional Changes to Expect During Puberty

You may have already noticed that your daughter is experiencing some emotional changes during puberty. Some changes are really positive — others are more challenging. Here are some types of emotional changes during puberty that you can talk about with your daughter.

You can use these useful topics and practical information as a loose "script" or just as a conversation starter.

Puberty Changes How She Thinks
"Cognitive development" means she’s now beginning to think more abstractly — like an adult rather than a child.

She Can Express Her Feelings a Lot Better
Her feelings might start to make more sense to her. She has the words and experience to begin expressing what she is feeling more fully, whether she is happy or sad. This gives her a clearer sense of “self” — of who she is.

She Feels Really Emotional
She seems to lose her temper easily with friends and family (her parents, in particular). A little thing that wouldn't have bothered her before now drives her bonkers. Her sibling(s) might really get on her nerves. Feeling angry is normal during puberty because of the hormonal changes. In fact, for the same reason, many women get edgy just before their periods. 

“Mood swings” are also common throughout puberty. This is when she feels really happy one minute and then quite angry or even sad the next.

She Cries a Lot
She may cry because of something very serious that makes her feel sad or disappointed — or she may burst into tears because she left her favourite T-shirt in the gym. This is also normal. It happens to a lot of women having premenstrual syndrome too, and will happen to most girls throughout puberty. She should try to accept that it is an emotional time.

She Feels a lot More Womanly
Some girls find that they're feeling more feminine, sometimes or all the time. Whether she prefers playing soccer or talking about nail polish, remember — it's all normal.

She Thinks She’s Weird
She probably compares herself to her friends and feels like there's something wrong with her. She may feel unsure of herself. Everyone else feels the same way about themselves too. Her personality is growing and she’s becoming even more unique — just when all she wants is to fit in more easily! Fortunately, her personality will win this one, and she’ll become a self-assured adult. Just remember that everyone else her age is self-conscious too.

Puberty Will Pass
She’ll hear over and over again how typical all of this is, but that's because it really is normal. She may not completely believe this now, but puberty is a special time in her life, a chance to learn about herself. Here are some practical ways she can keep things in perspective:

  • Taking care of herself: She should be careful with food cravings (like wanting only ice cream for dinner). Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Exercise. This is good for her body and mind.
  • Talking to someone: When she gives her parents and teachers a chance and she’ll find they can be really helpful. She can count on other adults too, if she’s more comfortable with that (see Who To Talk To). Her friends might really appreciate knowing that she’s going through the same thing she is, but she shouldn’t depend on them for the right information. It’s best for her to talk to someone who's been through it.
Concentrating on school and hobbies: Her brain is growing, and this is a great opportunity to use it. The hobbies that she liked in the past will be even more fun for her now, and she’ll develop new interests. Doing something creative is another great way to express all her new emotions.

If your teen is looking for more information, send her to beinggirl.com.
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Mind & Spirit

Emotional Changes to Expect During Puberty

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