“Will she undergo significant EMOTIONAL CHANGES AS she grows?”
Y : With younger children, theoretically, they are not developed enough to experience a wider range of emotions. They do have three primary ones: anger, sadness, and fear. These will then grow into something else as they get older. When they hit puberty, that’s when it becomes very unpredictable as their body chemistry is going through a complete overhaul. The brain, particularly the frontal lobe – which regulates things such as logic and emotions – continues to form until they are in their 20s. So, a lot of situations during the teenage years will have to do with how things feel as opposed to whether it makes sense. Their social circle also becomes a lot more important.
“What do I do?” Throughout this tumultuous time, remember that your logical arguments may not appear as strong as you think they are. Do listen before you jump in and abandon the idea that your teenager should be able to figure out something because it’s common sense. Just because your kid talks like a 25- or 30-year-old, it doesn’t mean they are able to achieve the thought processes of an adult. “How do I get her to open up?” Don’t take offence if your child doesn’t want to talk to you about things – she may either feel that it’s ‘not cool’, she may get into trouble, or get someone else into trouble. Children and teenagers need to feel that they have someone they can talk to – so, don’t feel that it’s a reflection of your parenting if you’re not the person they feel comfortable opening up to. However, do continue building rapport and trust. They are also highly receptive to you when you put yourself in a vulnerable position. For example, if it’s a social or school issue, telling them how you had a hard time making friends back when you were in school will allow them to relate better to you.