Having your daughter enter the pre-teen stage aka “tweenhood” from childhood can be an emotional and challenging part of life for most parents. You may feel conflicted between missing the childhood she is outgrowing and excitement about your daughter moving into the next phase of her life and becoming her own person. Entering into your tweens has also been known to have some negative factors attached to it, kids can become more irritable, demanding and closed off from their family. Read on to learn ways you can help your daughter through their own emotional challenges they may be facing during this time.
“It’s a shock when your previously sweet little girl starts tantrumming again” – Dr. Laura Markham. As much as you feel it is your daughter that needs to make an attitude adjustment, you need to incorporate change as well. Altering the way, you parent to fit the current needs of your daughter is one of the most important tips to note. One tip that is well known when talking about teenagers, but can be overlooked with this age group, is ensuring your tween is getting enough sleep – it is recommended that preteen girls get a minimum of 9 hours sleep each night. If your child is not getting enough sleep, the chances of developing a mental health concern such as anxiety or depression will increase. Additionally, tween girls often have a sense of what adolescence can bring (especially now thanks to social media), and the added pressure that females have when it comes to their physical appearance. It’s important to be present for your daughter and allow them to openly discuss their thoughts and fears, even if the topic may be an uncomfortable one for you. Lastly, ensuring your daughter has an outlet where she can engage in activities she is passionate about, as well as a safe place to express herself is vital and will allow her to see that mom and dad aren’t pressuring her into anything.
Preteen girls face a lot of changes and challenges, eating issues and other concerns, at a time in their lives where they may not be ready to face them. Issues at school, low mood, concerns with academic performance, or social anxiety may be present and require additional support. At The Therapy Centre, we have a dedicated group of clinicians who specialize in working with adolescents and also addressing anxiety, depression and mood disorders. We have two locations in Oakville and Hamilton that are easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Hills, Guelph Wellington and the Niagara Region.