During puberty, young people experience many physical and emotional changes as they pass from childhood into adulthood. Many of these changes are a result of hormones, the chemicals in a person’s body that communicate to certain body parts how to grow and change. Hormones play an important role during puberty, and it’s normal for young people’s bodies to go through lots of hormonal fluctuations while they’re growing up.
Mood swings—the quick change of a person’s feelings, sometimes from one extreme to the next—are often the result of increases in certain hormones. This is because hormones affect the limbic system in the brain, the area that controls the regulation of feelings. So young people might be really excited and happy one minute and then feel angry and upset another. Sometimes it can feel like the smallest thing can trigger an intense response from a young person going through puberty. This is all normal due to the new levels of hormones in the body.
You can use the following conversation starters to help normalize some of the physical and emotional changes your child is going through and to start conversations with them about their feelings and any mood swings they may be experiencing: