Ask Moderate Mum - How do I deal with my teenager hitting puberty


How do I deal with the a previously quiet, helpful teenage girl that has hit puberty and has discovered hormonal tantrums , tears and insecurities bless her? Kim Styles 

Often when it comes to parental anxiety I think, honey, this is what you signed up for. Even when I'm complaining to my mum that my boy woke up at still actually the middle of the night o' clock. I can see the mirth in her eyes, the little glint that says, what you thought this was gonna be easy? Humans are amazing and to make anything amazing takes hard work, so first and foremost make sure you're up to the challenge. Prioritise your own self care, are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? It's so much easier to combat teenage misery if you yourself don't feel like climbing into a hole and shutting the world out. 

Please remember puberty is a scary place. Imagine going to bed one night with everything okay in the world and waking up in Guatemala and if you're thinking, ah yes Guatemala, love it there, we have a little cottage in Chinautla, pick somewhere else, somewhere scary and unfamiliar. So you wake up there and no one can really explain to you why you're there or what's going on. At first you'd probably be polite, have a nap and see if anything becomes clearer but after a few days you'd get panicked, you'd be angry; you'd start screaming at people to get you out of there and no one would understand you because you'd be shouting in English and they'd all speak Spanish. What would you need in that moment? Someone to take care of you. When your daughter has a tantrum or an unexplained emotional breakdown she's just scared and lost; rather than letting out the mutterings running through your mind bake her a cake or make her a hot chocolate with those little marshmallows. Reminding her how much she is loved will help to bring her home and also it's hard to be mean in the face of tiny marshmallows.

Finally quiet, helpful girls aren't always happy ones. I was quiet and helpful for a good deal of my life because I was riddled with anxiety. I was terrified of everything - those flying spiders, busy roads and most of all stepping out of line. Your daughter sounds like she's finding her voice and in this day and age, Lord knows she's gonna need it. It might not look like it right now but being willing to ruffle a few feathers is a very good thing. 



photo credit: Sarah Wampler via photopin (license)

24 comments

  1. Brilliant advice here - i was the quiet and helpful girl riddled with anxiety and insecurities so i can completely relate to everything you've said! x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have two teenage daughters. Both very different. Of course I'd have liked them to be as I wanted them brought up, but going in to young adulthood has proved them finding their own feet in some ways. I have learnt to not go against the grain, but to be there for them, to reassure them of the love I have for them, and that I'm here if they need me. When I stopped struggling to cope with their changes, the tantrums seemed to come on less. It is a very difficult time to go through, but can be so rewarding too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a three year old and I'm already so worried about this age - a helpful read thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Such wonderful advice. I'm sure this lady will find it so helpful xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very valuable article. I'm sure many parents struggle to find the best way to deal with that problem. I think the most important is to show your daughter you are here, whenever she needs you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Puberty is definitely scary for both mother and child I agree. It is a good idea to support them and show them that it is perfectly natural.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I secretly love it when my daughter has one of her hissy fits. It's always when she is up against a big challenge (big to her small to me) and she needs to let off some steam and home should always be the place you can do that. I have found the trick is to be around but not so close as to get a metaphoric punch. When they are that way out there is no right answer..in fact sometimes a big row can help pull all the frustrations out and it just takes the adult to be first to apologise afterwards and let them know it wasn't serious but I do think its important to not let our kids batter us when they are having a hard time without standing our ground because they need to practice how to handle frustrations on safe people but not mugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This sounds perfect. My goal is to set loving boundaries x

      Delete
  8. I love the hot chocolate idea, and imaging yourself in a scary place to gain empathy. A really good read :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. My eldest is 13 in april and this is fast approaching, it's very hard when they hit this stage but great advice!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great advice. My daughter will be going through this soon. She already has the temper tantrums!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a 14 yer old and it is so strange parenting a teen, they are a lot cooler these days then when I was teen that's for sure. This is great advice xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erm, no way, we were the coolestb ;)

      Delete
  12. good advice, I think dealing with teenagers is so tricky and one needs to stay calm x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful post and great point of view! Empathy is so important here.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My nieces are a long way off this thankfully and I have no children so for now not an issue but a stage I think most people dread x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Really good advice, it's so important to try and understand them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fantastic advice - I'd hate to relive those anxiety stricken puberty years. Horrible!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am not looking forward to going through this again, luckily I have a few years Grace before Eliza reaches the teenage years

    ReplyDelete
  18. Brilliant advice. I'm still a few years off from owning a teenage girl, but we already have our fair share of tantrums and hormones. One day I'll have three teenage girls!

    ReplyDelete
  19. brilliant advice I am a way off this stage yet but with three daughters all within 3 years of each other it will be a tough time!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such good advice. I've got all this to come but have a few years yet x

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can't really relate to this. Fingers crossed when my two comes to this stage it will be easy on them.

    ReplyDelete