Have you noticed a change in your 8-9-year-old daughter’s emotions? It is certainly confusing to parents when this starts happening. At first, you might think that she is just trying to be difficult. But, what’s actually happening is she’s becoming an adolescent.
During the adolescent years (about 10 years old into her 20’s), her brain enters a very rapid time of development. The changes in her mood and behavior are reflections of the changes going on in her brain. Certainly, hormones are playing a part as well, but the brain is the key player.
You remember the rapid brain changes that happened when she matured from being a toddler to a young child. She learned to walk and talk and get into all kinds of mischief along the way. Now, this is happening again. Her brain is preparing her to become a young adult who can make her own decisions and live apart from you. This is certainly a multi-year process, but you see the signs of starting during this age group.
Unfortunately, the emotional part of her brain develops a little ahead of the part that is responsible for good judgment. What you will notice is a lot of ideas that have not been thought through and an emotional determination to make them happen. This will be particularly true of wanting time with friends and having a say in what you want them to do.
As your daughter matures through the adolescent years, your parenting style is going to change and so will you. I want to be there to help you along the way.