Often I will get a call from a mum who is unhappy with the way their daughter is behaving. Their friendships are changing, their behaviour is more aggressive, they are angrier than they were before.
They haven’t thought that perhaps their 11 or 12 year old daughter may have started going through puberty. The hormones have started kicking in and that they just do not feel like they did before. Parents need to be more aware that this could be the reason for the change in behaviour and they need to be able to support their daughter emotionally.
When your daughter starts puberty it is like stepping into the unknown. You may wonder:
‘How grumpy are they going to be?
Will I be able to cope?
How challenging are the next few years going to be?
How is our relationship going to change?’
You won’t know how they will react to puberty until you are on that journey with them.
Don’t forget that it is not easy for your daughter either as they see the changes happening with their body and may not be sure how they feel about it and it will also change the way they think and feel generally. But parents can do a lot to help them through the process. Try these ideas:
5 Ways Parents Can Help Deal with Puberty
- Listen to your daughters. Listen when they talk about school and their friendships so you know what’s going on there.
- Help them understand their emotions and deal with them in an effective, rather than a destructive way.
- Allow your daughters to have time away from you doing things they love. They need space to process feelings and also will want to feel more independent.
- Encourage them to talk to their friends about problems and things they are finding tricky. They won’t want to talk to you about everything!
- Teach girls how to solve their own problems and make sure they know that they can come to you about anything that is upsetting them.
The effects of puberty on our daughter will vary but it can be a very stressful and worrying time. But it is part of the family journey and your reactions will really help your daughter to understand what is happening to her and how to deal with the changes.