If you have a young daughter that’s almost a tween, then you may not already know this: puberty is coming and she needs you to prepare her for the changes that she will go through.
My daughter and I have a very open relationship. I’ve told her many things about my childhood and teenage years. Even those things that I’m least proud of. I want her to know, that being me, hasn’t been easy. I want her to see that I am not perfect and I have walked in her shoes many times.
Before she entered the tween years, I tried to prepare her the best way I could. I remember struggling through adolescence myself and I wanted to try to help her avoid a few of the things I had experienced.
Going through puberty with your child will be a roller coaster ride. The ride will either be super bumpy like a wooden roller coaster, that jerks and pulls you this way and that. Or like a steel roller coaster, that still has its ups and downs, and a few bumps, but is generally a smoother ride.
Some of your daughter’s behavior will be affected quite negatively based on her environment and social factors. Personality can play a role here too. If she has a strong personality, the struggles could be greater than if she is a quiet, reserved child. However, many of the changes that will happen can be caused by the biological changes to the brain.
Many girls will only have mild to moderate emotional and physical changes, but 10-20% will have dramatic changes. And the ones that have the dramatic changes, you can expect a wooden roller coaster of a ride.
What is making these crazy emotional changes?
- Estrogen is emitted by the ovaries and flows through the body (through the blood), soaking the female brain, which stimulates maturation and sexual development, including emotional ups and downs.
- A feedback mechanism goes from the brain to the ovaries and through the entire body including all the glands in the body, affecting everything.
- This transformation causes the onset of ovulation.
- Estrogen influences a multitude of functions and emotions, including: anger, sorrow, joy, memory, aggression, thirst, weight, fat distribution and the development of secondary sex characteristics such as pubic hair and breast development. (These are all scary changes for a child)
- These hormones bring a complete makeover of the body, emotions and personality.
- Everything will change. She will not be the same person ever again. (tears inserted here)
You’ll need to brace yourself mom and dad. The move from childhood to adulthood is happening and there is nothing we can do to stop it. The only way to make it through is to be prepared and help them as lovingly as we possibly can. They need us more than ever during this time, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
I know you don’t want to hear this, but this change in your daughter’s life could take up to five years. You will have to commit to helping her all the way through. At the end of this journey will emerge a beautiful young lady that knows that her mom will always be there for her. So… hang on and try to enjoy the ride. You will make it through the ups, downs, twists and turns. You’ve got this. YOU CAN DO THIS!
How Do You Prepare?
- Resources: Books and guides. Research books & websites and find a friend that can talk to you and be there for you.
- Changes: Explain the changes that will happen to her physically and emotionally.
- Relate: Share your experience, she needs to know that you went through the same thing and you can to relate to her.
- Communication: Create a Mommy & Me Journal to communicate during the really rough patches. She may not want to talk to you face-to-face, writing a note may be easier.
- Reassure: Doubts and personal worth will be a huge focus during puberty. Reassure her, starting now, that she is special, loved, lovely, unique, beautiful, smart, and so on.
- Stress: Plan for stressful times: quiet time, shopping therapy, spa day, giving each other space, just listen without giving your opinion, a visit to her favorite relative.
- Nutrition: Nutrition can play a part in emotional health. Many foods include chemicals. These chemicals can heighten emotions. Talk about healthy eating habits and nutrition ahead of time.
- Fathers: Prepare her father! Puberty is not the time for him to pull away from her. She needs her daddy more than ever. He is the one that will reassure her and fight least with her. He still needs to offer healthy hugs and kisses. She still wants and needs to be daddy’s little girl. If the father is absent from the home, try to find a grandfather or uncle that you trust to stand in the gap.
- Available: Be ready to be there for them, all the time. If you’re not there, they will find someone else. That someone else may not be good for them.
There are many ways to prepare for this big parenting life change. If you’re in the pre-pre-tween years, read as much information as you can. Prepare your daughter and yourself as much as possible. If you are already in the beginning or middle of puberty with your daughter, seek out someone that has gone before you. Pick up a book, read a blog post, or listen to a podcast.
Today, we are so blessed, to have soooo many resources at the touch of our hands. The only way you won’t succeed through this period is if you don’t try, if you sit back and do nothing, if you push her aside and wait till she makes it through herself.
She needs you.
Question: What are your biggest concerns going into the adolescent years with your daughter?
Do you have a son? Read our most popular post on 10 Manners All Boys Should Know!
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Welcome! I’m glad that you found my little home on the web. Feel free to sip some coffee and stay a while! I would love to connect with you via facebook! Please note that this post may include affiliate links. All thoughts are of my own opinion. As always, seek professional advice and help for you and your children
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