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.