Middle school is around the time that girls go through puberty and have hormonal changes. They go on emotional rollercoasters and tend to push their mothers away.
It can be a very lonely time for mothers and it may difficult to know how to cope with your tween daughter’s changing behavior.
Although your teenage daughter might act like she doesn’t need you or even want you around, this is the time that your daughter will need you the most.
What Causes The Puberty Rollercoaster?
To understand your teenage daughter, you need to understand what is going on with them physically and emotionally.
When girls reach middle school, they typically begin to undergo a period of rapid physical and emotional change. Girls go through puberty around the age of 10-11 and it typically lasts for about four years.
The female hormone estrogen causes the physical and sexual changes during puberty that include breast budding, weight, and height gain, the development of curves, and, about 2 1/2 years later, her period.
Also, the changes in her brain cause her to feel intense emotions and have mood swings, and it also makes her feel alienated in her new, complex social environment, one she desires so desperately to be a part of.
A girl’s body image and her self-esteem directly relate to her health and well-being during this transition period.
All these changes mean that girls need their mothers more than ever.
What Can You Do To Help Your Tween Daughter?
Spend More Quality Time Together
Even if your daughter is not actively seeking to spend time with you, try to fit in at least one activity per week where you spend quality time together.
This might be difficult for working moms, so try to incorporate normal activities into something that you can do together.
Maybe you cook a large meal over the weekend to freeze for the week. Get your daughter to help, ask her to put on her favorite music, and spend time cooking and chatting in the kitchen.
Or you might take the dog for a walk every evening. Maybe she’d like to join you if she could rollerblade or ride her bike alongside you.
This is a great time to discuss the changes that might be going on in her body.
This quality time will prompt conversation and help her share her motivations and struggles.
Focus on listening and don’t judge.
These are her feelings and emotions, and even if you might feel they’re ‘silly’, they’re real to her.
It’s hard not to try and give advice or come up with solutions, but unless she asks you for advice, all she needs is a listening ear.
Listening carefully helps you understand what she may be struggling with.
Give Advice When Asked
She may ask you for advice or question what’s happening to her body. Be ready to explain the physical and emotional changes that she’s going through. Explain how her hormones are making her feelings more intense.
She may have issues at school with other girls.
Be open to brainstorm ideas on how to reduce stress in her life. These are tools we all continue to use throughout our lives.
Letting her know that you’re available to answer any questions, will encourage her to turn to you, instead of her friends for guidance.
Give Her More Independence & Responsibility
One of the things every teenager starts to do is to push against your boundaries.
It’s time to give your daughter some more freedom & independence.
But with freedom also comes responsibility.
Talk to your teen about responsibility, independence, and trust.
Make sure they understand the amount of freedom you give them is tied directly to the amount of responsibility they can handle.
Work on setting up some new rules together. What chores will she do? How much screen time is allowed? What is her new bedtime?
Discussing these things with your daughter upfront will help her understand that if she breaks your trust or if her grades suffer, you might have to take some of that independence back.
Help Her Develop A Strong Sense Of Self
This is an important time for your daughter to start forming her own identity.
Having a strong sense of self will guide her if she’s torn between pleasing others or following her own path.
Hug Your Daughter
They need to know that you love them. Never assume that they know. To me this is one of the forgotten things every teenager needs from us.
It’s natural for them to pull away during adolescence, so you need to lean in even more.
If your daughter is not a hugger, then use words to let her know that you love her.
There are 5 different love languages that you can choose from, to let her know that she means the world to you.
A smile or a squeeze of the shoulder can also show that you’re here and available to them.
- When a mother has a daughter in middle school it can become like a roller coaster ride.
- Middle school is when girls go through puberty and this is when there are massive hormone changes.
- Your tween daughter needs to spend a lot of quality time with her mother – going shopping or just going for a walk.
- Be available for your tween daughter so that she knows she can ask you any questions she might have and that you love her unconditionally.
According to a study in Developmental Psychology, moms reported feeling the most stressed and lonely during the middle school years.