Help for Handling Tween Daughter Emotions


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I asked her to clean the bathroom like I had a hundred times before. But this time she screamed, “Why do I have to clean the bathroom? I hate having to clean the bathroom when I have so many disgusting brothers!”

She does indeed have so many brothers — five of them to be exact. But in that moment she also had so many emotions. Her emotions were surprising and confusing for us both.

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Now that my daughter is a teen, I see some things I did well to handle her tween emotions and some things I wish I had done differently. Here is how we can handle our tween daughter’s emotions.

#1 Prepare your daughter for puberty early

My only experience with puberty was with boys who all started at 14. I was shocked to see the physical evidence of puberty in my daughter much, much earlier. My daughter’s friend started menstruating at age 9. Today’s girls begin changing before we have taken the time to educate them about the physical and emotional changes they can expect. In my case, that was because I wasn’t willing to believe that my little girl wouldn’t be a little girl much longer.

I love the book How You are Changing by Jane Graver as a good way to start the discussion about puberty with your daughter. A couple of things I add for all my tweens is:

  • Sex is beautiful when sex is private and within the context of marriage
  • Only parents should teach their kids about sex. You are not permitted to teach your friends or younger siblings.
  • If you have questions about sex, you can always ask us without embarrassment. You can’t be sure of getting accurate information from friends or the Internet.

Be sure to discuss shaving, use of tampons or pads, and how to manage breakouts. The more prepared your daughter feels, the less frightened she will be.

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Download Your Free Lesson How to Handle Changing emotions Girls Created to Shine

#2 Explain the emotional fluctuations that are part of puberty

Often we are more concerned with our daughters starting their periods than we are with talking about the emotions that can accompany it. That reluctance may be because of our own lack of understanding. As a mother who has experienced the complicated emotions of perimenopause, I know to tell my daughter what to expect.

We have to be specific: a young woman’s hormonal changes can make her feel angry, weepy, or giddy, seemingly for no reason. Psychological research has shown us that people often try to explain the physical experience of emotion, but make incorrect assumptions in doing so.

When I was a teen I had a CT-scan done to determine the cause of frequent headaches. While I was in the machine, I had trouble breathing. Even though I didn’t feel nervous, I interpreted my trouble breathing as a sign of anxiety. So I tried to relax. Turns out I was having a severe allergic reaction to the contrast dye.

Explain to your daughter that feelings of anger or sadness do not necessarily mean that anything is seriously wrong. Our emotions can fool us when our hormones are changing at various stages of life. Explain that puberty is one season of change, while pregnancy and menopause are other seasons that can leave us feeling more emotional.

#3 Give your daughter tips for managing the emotions of puberty

The first and most critical thing for your daughter to do to manage her emotions is to get enough rest. Explain that like a newborn baby needs lots of sleep because of all the growing she does, so your daughter needs extra sleep as her body does the big job of growing into womanhood. Many tweens resist going to bed early because of their desire for more independence. If you homeschool as I do, consider allowing your tween daughter to rise later in the morning to make sure she is getting enough sleep.

Join me and Dr Melanie Wilson as we chat about connecting with your tween daughter!

The second thing I would have your daughter do is record her emotions. There are apps like this Period Tracker for this purpose, but any calendar will do. It’s a huge help to know that your life isn’t miserable; it’s just that you’re premenstrual. This can be helpful even for tween girls who haven’t started their periods. I recommend recording the amount of sleep your daughter gets and other significant events to see if there’s a relationship with the emotions she experiences.

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The third thing your daughter can do is learn positive ways of handling negative emotions. Share the strategies that work for you — exercise, chatting with a friend, playing music, doing crafts, journaling, quiet time alone, magnesium and a multivitamin, or chocolate! You should also discuss things that don’t make you feel better: food binges, hours playing online games, ranting on social media, or Netflix binges. Encourage her to experiment with various approaches to see what works best for her.

Tween daughter emotions

Fourth, encourage your daughter that she is a part of a sisterhood of women who understand what it’s like. Encourage your daughter to tell you when she is having one of those days. Tell her you’ll agree to give her more latitude on these days, but that you will still require her to treat you and others with respect. My daughter and I ended up laughing about the “disgusting brothers” fit she had. She knew her hormones were involved.

Finally, pray with your daughter regularly. Ask God to give you both the ability to honor Him and others despite the hormonal highs and lows. Encourage her in the knowledge that God will be faithful to work all things together for good — even the emotions she has at this stage of her life.

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Need some more help in Handling Tween Daughter Emotions?

When you sign up here you’ll receive Girls Created To Shine Week 8: How to Handle Changing Emotions completely FREE. You’ll be emailed both the Teacher and Student Guidebook pages for week 8 combined into a printable PDF format.

Get help teaching your tween girl how to handle her changing emotions in a God-honoring way!

How to handle changing emotions Girls Created to Shine Like Minded Musings

Did you miss the other days of the Tween Parenting Blog Party? Check them out here!

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Dr Melanie Wilson Psycho With 6Christian psychologist, author, and homeschooling mom of six, Dr Melanie Wilson’s life can be a little crazy, so she looks for sanity-saving ideas to use and share on

When she’s not teaching her children or friends’ children in her homeschool co-op, she loves to encourage homeschoolers, mothers, and Christian women with her writing, podcast, and live video.

Melanie is the author of The Organized Homeschool Life and Grammar Galaxy language arts curriculum. She is also the podcaster behind The Homeschool Sanity Show.

She also has a wonderful episode to share with parents of boys and girls about Homeschooling through the Hormones that will encourage you and remind you aren’t alone in this!

Stop over to check out her resources and get the practical, encouraging help you need!



10 thoughts on “Help for Handling Tween Daughter Emotions”

  • This is so helpful! As a mom of 1 girl and 6 boys, I really needed to hear this to help me better understand how to deal with the emotional outburst that are already starting at 7! I forget to pray for her emotions when I do pray with her and I know that is key. Thank you for these important reminders and great tips!
    Emmie recently posted…Usborne People of the WorldMy Profile

  • Oh how I wish I read this when we were going through it with my 12 yr old. I was judging her to be lazy and having a bad attitude because as I have observed she was sleeping a lot and seemed always cranky. But all parents that I asked reassured me that their daughters also went through the same thing and it will pass.

    • We have to give ourselves grace, Lynn. You know what they say about hindsight. It does pass and then we enter a whole new stage to navigate.

  • April, it’s definitely different for every child. It’s exciting to see our kids grow and interesting to see when it happens. So glad you joined the party!

  • I have to say I wrestle with my own emotional roller coasters – now having to navigate them with my sweet M is really challenging. I have been watching her with anticipation because of how out of control I was as a pre-menstral youth. I was a hot mess of suicidal depression. I worry that M may struggle there as she is like a mini-me. Have you experienced anything like that? I’d love any advice.
    thanks so much for being part of this.
    in HIM,

  • I don’t have any daughters, but I was still so excited to see that Melanie is a part of this 30 days! Thanks for including her, Lee! She’s one of my faves. Fascinating that your sons didn’t start puberty until 14. The boys’ cousin just shot up like a rocket, his face changed, and his voice became deep, all between 12 and 13. So I had been planning for a much earlier onset. I like the idea of it being slower than I was expecting. Everyone is different, but it’s nice to know we could have a while yet. My oldest is 11 1/2.
    April recently posted…Exciting Things to Come on Stories of Our BoysMy Profile

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