Emotional Changes During Puberty

7 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The human body is complex machinery. While most of us consider our childhood as the best phase of our lives, adolescence follows it. It is a transitional phase but quite misunderstood. This is due to the interlinking of the various changes taking place in the body, including the emotional changes during puberty. Emotions have an exact audience, while the internal changes don’t have the same. We all have gone through the same and feel that it could have been comfortable with quick guidance. Let us help you to solve this compounded phase of human life. However, before understanding these emotional changes, it is vital to understand puberty.

kids with different faces

What is Puberty?

Just like a plant grows in phases, the human body also grows in different steps. You must have heard that gender is decided after 20 weeks of pregnancy. While your body has all of the external sex organs, puberty is their time to work. Thus, the associated release of hormones is achieved during puberty. Your body becomes ready for sexual reproduction. Reproduction is an essential part of human lives. It is obvious to observe some noticeable changes during puberty.

There are different stages of puberty. The average age of reaching puberty for girls is 10-11 years, and it is completed by the age of 15-16 years. The average age of reaching puberty for boys is 11-12 years, and it is completed by the age of 16-17 years. Hence, there are three main stages of start, middle, and completion of puberty in the human body. Most people often mistake teenage with puberty. While both terms are associated with the same age only, there is a difference in the holistic approach.

The first stage of puberty has active brain signals to prepare it for the upcoming changes. The second stage marks the beginning of physical development in the body. The third and the final stage leads to the quite obvious physical changes. Hence, this step-by-step onset of puberty makes it easier to understand the cause of the changes during puberty.

What Changes Occur During Puberty?

First of all, it needs to be understood that there is nothing to worry about puberty. It is a phase of growth in the body. All of us know that we are born with the majority of the gender organs. But there is a situation in which they will start working. This release of hormones decides this age.

The hormones can be described as the chemical messengers that are released into the blood directly. The release of hormones is done by the different glands in our body. Puberty starts with the release of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH. This gonadotropin-releasing hormone reaches for help to the pituitary gland that is termed as the contact center of glands.

The pituitary gland further controls the release of hormones by different glands. Just imagine a centralized system that controls the sub-systems. All these work in sync to get the best out of the machinery called the human body. Going deep into the functioning of the pituitary gland, the emotional changes during puberty start with the release of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones.

This marks the start of puberty for young boys and girls. There is the only release of hormones, and hence no physical changes are observed yet. The luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones sectored by the pituitary gland do their work correctly.

The whole body organs are now full of the signals to start puberty. So, your body has made all of the necessary arrangements for the start of a new phase in your life. Sadly, many parents and guardians are not aware of the different reasons that cause changes during puberty.

It can be summed up as a whole that different hormones released at a particular time in our body start the changes. Let us have a look at the various emotional changes during puberty.

Emotional Changes:

You can see the physical changes but what you can’t see are the emotional changes going on in your kid. It all starts when your kid is at the onset of puberty. The physical changes are not alone in this process of conversion from kid to adolescent. These are accompanied by hormonal changes in the body. You can consider these emotional changes during puberty as the start, stop, and again start of some new activity in your kid’s body. While all emotional changes are common for all kids, their intensity can vary from kid to kid. Some of these are:

  • Feeling Oversensitive:

Have you observed your kid turn oversensitive suddenly? It is one of the most common emotional changes during puberty. Your kid is facing a gush of hormones with no reigns to control them. This increases the phase of being overwhelmed at all times. Your kid may feel happy at one moment and sad at the very next moment.  The changes in boys during puberty make them more aggressive and rebellious too. Many parents have reported their boys staying angry at all times. In contrast, in this case, girls are more into crying over the smallest matters and not able to control their emotions.

changes during puberty

  • Uncertainty:

Your kids are facing some changes at the same time when it is the most important part of theirs’ lives. The adolescence age will bring career options, life choices and may even bring love to their lives. Thus, many kids in puberty feel uncertain about their life and future. Thinking about the unknown adds to the problems, and the same is going on with your kid. This uncertainty can also be caused to the mismatch of the expectations and realization. Many parents expect kids to become responsible at once only. However, becoming responsible is not a single-step process but requires time and patience. Thus, there is a mismatch of your expectations from your kid. If you tell them about the same all the time, chances are high they start feeling uncertain. All this will add to their issues only.This uncertainty further results in conflicting thoughts. Your kid is in the transition of becoming an adult. Hence, staying in their current state is not possible but having conflicting thoughts about the future is part of the emotional changes during puberty.

  • Identity Crisis:

You have always pampered your kid since birth. The changes in girls during puberty have suddenly made them exposed to the world’s situations. The same is true for boys as now they have to look for things that are new to them. This starts the identity crisis in your kid. This identity crisis is further linked to the social changes going to happen in their lives.This identity crisis starts with self-consciousness. Your kid will be more inclined to think what others are thinking about his appearance, looks, and thoughts. This self-consciousness is observed more in girls than boys due to the fact that they reach puberty earlier.

  • Peer Pressure:

Is your kid stubborn about buying a new dress or a new bike like her/his friend has? This is due to peer pressure and due to the reason that they connect more with friends. They want to have all that their friends have and may sometimes feel to show the things.

  • The Onset of Sexual Feelings:

Since the onset of puberty is related to the reproductive systems, the emotional changes during puberty attract the sexual feelings too. Thus your kid may feel attracted to the bodies of the persons who had lived near to him before as well. This new feeling of love defines the sexual maturity of the kid. The curiosity about sex is another reason why your kid will be thinking about sexual feelings. It is all about the gush of sexual hormones.

  • Mood Swings:

Mood swings are related to all changes going on in the body. As written earlier, your kid may be happy and sad quickly. The frequent mood changes are linked to the variations in the hormones going place. The onset of new hormones and existing ones don’t have a controlling mechanism at the initial stage. Thus, your kid is prone to mood swings as his body is not able to tackle the emotional changes during puberty, and he is not sure how to react.

How to Cope Up with Emotional Changes?

So how will you do this? Being a parent to a teenager invites loads of responsibilities. First of all, try to understand before you react to your teenager. It is best to be a friend to your teenage child. He/ she is already going through multiple emotional changes during puberty, and you need to extend help without adding to their worries. Some of the handy tips to cope with these changes are:

  • Tell them it is perfectly ok to be not in a good mood always. Let your child know that it is happening to all of his friends and has happened to you as well.  This will give them the confidence to deal with their situation.
  • Have a discussion about the scientific reason behind these changes. Many teenagers won’t understand but sharing with them makes them familiar with all these changes.
  • Encourage your kids to ask questions from you regarding sexual health. It will make them understand about the changes from someone who they trust the most.
  • Listen to your child without being judgmental. Remember, you don’t have to blame them.
  • Teach them about responsibility and expectations of others from them.
  • Give appropriate time to your teenager and make them believe that change is good.


1. Is it correct to discuss the emotional changes during puberty with my kids?

Having a good discussion with your kids will make them feel that all these are quite normal.

2. How can I make my kid listen to me?

Avoid forcing any decisions on your kid when he/she is in the puberty age.

3. What are the special needs of kids to facilitate the changes during puberty?

A healthy diet that is full of vitamins and all essential nutrients can help your kid overcome puberty issues.

mental changes during puberty

Emotional Changes During Puberty: Quick Facts

  • According to a survey conducted by an NGO, 71% of adults feel that they didn’t get the right guidance on puberty. The parents or relatives feel shy to share these things with their kids.
  • Girls reach the age of puberty faster than boys.
  • According to a crime survey, 82% of first-time crime offenders are in the age of 13-18 years only.
  • The height of the boys increases at the rate of 2 to 3.2 inches per year and that of girls at the rate of an average of 3.2 inches per year in puberty.
  • Many tribal communities celebrate the first period of the girls as a festival.

Remember that your child is unable to deal with all of these changes during puberty, and the parents or guardian must take care of them. Your kid may not demand your attention at this time, but you have to ensure the same with the least interference.

Last but not least is the awareness to your kid that what is happening with him/ her.

You can educate them on the emotional changes during puberty. Puberty is an important phase of life, and you can make it a lot easier and enjoyable for your kids.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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