Volatile tweens: why pre-teens are so volatile

Volatile tweens: why pre-teens are so volatile

Tween toteForget the terrible twos, you are now entering a phase known as the terrible tweens. As your child approaches puberty she will most probably start to have tantrums and mood swings.

Easy going one minute and impossible the next, she will try your patience on a regular basis. Your hitherto happy-go-lucky girl will often feel angry and frustrated. Hard as it is to live with, her unpredictable behaviour is perfectly normal and is likely to continue throughout adolescence. The good news is these mood swings will start to stabilise towards her late teens.

The hormone connection

It’s a well-known fact that the hormones that kick start puberty – the same ones that cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – can trigger mood swings. Fluctuating levels of these hormones play havoc with her developing mind and body, and contribute to her volatile behaviour. In short: the girl can’t help it!

But how can I help?

Hard as it sounds, try to be patient and stay in control. She may scream that you are the worst parent in the world but the reality is she needs your love and support more than ever. She doesn’t purposely lose her temper and these extreme feelings can be overwhelming and frightening.

When she flips, remind yourself that she is going through huge changes, emotionally and physically. She’s likely to be anxious about her changing body, increasingly complex relationships with friends, plus the imminent move from junior to senior school.

Reassure her that all these changes – emotional and physical – are perfectly normal and that you are there to support her, no matter what.

Now tell us what worked for you…

How did you tame your tantruming tween?

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