Puberty and Attitude Question

Updated on July 20, 2018
C.M. asks from Chandler, AZ
6 answers

Has anyone else's daughter's personality completely change when they started puberty? Almost overnight she has turned from being a sweet fun loving girl to crying one minute happy the next. It's almost like she's bipolar. Plus she is obsessed with her weight and is practically starving herself. I have to force her to eat (I am looking into counseling as well as having some bloodwork done to make sure it's nothing physical). Just wanting to know if anyone else has gone through this. Daughter is only 10 years old. I thought we'd have a couple more years before going through this.

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answers from Norfolk on

Sounds like your daughter has an eating disorder.

My sister developed some bizarre behavior at 16.
She's definitely hyperthyroid (was diagnosed years later) and that can mimic bi-polar.
Everyone can tell when she's off her meds.

At any rate - ongoing counseling sounds like it would be a good thing for your daughter.
Don't know if the behavior and eating disorder are part of the same thing but a 10 yr old should not be staving herself and you shouldn't have to force her to eat.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes and it lasted for ten years. I wish I could say I was joking but I'm not. Having two teenage daughters, two very DIFFERENT daughters who not only went through all of this stuff but took it out on each other, well it's been hard to say the least. To the point where I wished I had all boys :( I think the best advice I can give you is to not take her attitude personally, something that was very, very hard for me but crucial in maintaining my sanity. I still remember my oldest, having a huge hissy fit over who knows what, and I was practically in tears, saying to her, "what can I do, how can I help?" and she just looked me in the eye and said "you can't mom, not everything is about you." I really took that to heart going forward. These were her struggles not mine, I was just there for support, and it often sucked. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Typical behavior for puberty. The weight thing is big because her body is changing shape (boobs and hips) and she's thinking its fat and not changing from a little girl into a woman.
If she's developing ahead of her friends then that's tough.

I'd probably start off at the physician's office and let them explain what's going on and what she needs to eat to feed her muscles and brain so she'll be healthy. Go through what she typically eats every day and equate it to protein, carbs, and fats. Most of her eating should be protein, veggies, and fruits. Most non plant based carbs are empty calories so avoiding those is fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

the huge huge red flag that jumps out of this post at me is 'i have to force her to eat.'

if you want to deal with anorexia for the rest of your daughter's life, just keep doing that.

don't dither about. get her into counseling TODAY. get yourself there too. it sounds as if she's already sliding down the anorexia slope. anorexia is a killer. and you are handling it in the best possible way to make sure it gets a lethal grip on your daughter.

stop worrying about her attitude.

get her help for the anorexia today, and educate yourself on how to navigate it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I hit puberty later. I like what Diane mentions about thinking curves = fat. That's how I felt. I started to develop a bit of an eating disorder way of thinking, but thankfully nipped it in the bud (an older sister stepped in). I just felt that I was gaining weight and felt out of control. That can result in anxiety.

You mentioned she had anxiety etc. This can all be tied in together. I felt if I controlled my food (like portions) then that was some control.

Thankfully I talked it out and my mom also took me to see my doctor. She counseled me and got me on track.

I would suggest something like that for your daughter.

There are some good books out there too. I got the ones by American girl (there a puberty one for body and one for emotions that goes along with it) but others that are good as well.

ETA: Anxiety, low blood sugars, hormones ... etc. all don't help typical tween/teen attitude phase. I'm guessing her sugars are messed up if she's not eating well. Make sure she at least eats regularly and gets decent sleep and go from there.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

A change in attitude is common with puberty. Her body is raging with hormone changes and kids don't have the skills to deal with the change. It's similar to PMS. Adult women have difficulty managing their feelings during PMS.

The way I cope with my teen granddaughter who lives with me, is to ignore the attitude by not responding to it. If she has a question or is asking for something I can provide, If it's possible considering her attitude,.I respond to the question or need while not responding to the attitude. Often, I just walk away. At the beginning, when all was calm, I told her I would walk away because I didn't want to fight. That I saw her attempt to talk as a challenge to fight.

I've learned with my daughter, her mom, that I don't have to control her attitude. She knows she's out of line. Her consequence for the bad attitude is my leaving her. Discipline unrelated to her attitude makes her mad and lesson is lost.

I think taking her to her doctor is important not only for medical evaluation but for information about what is happening to her. It's especially important to talk with the doctor about her diet and how to get her started in healthy ways to lose weight.

BTW I've read that this stage is similar to bipolar symptoms. Teens aren't bipolar. They just act like they are.

Also, at 10, she will likely thin down as she grows taller. The extra weight now is her body's preparation for growth. When we starve ourselves our body holds on to the fat because it thinks our body needs it to survive.

1 mom found this helpful
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