The psychology of 16-year-old girls – sorted out point by point

The Adolescent Girl. Peculiarities of a child. The subtleties of parenting

Yesterday it was a nice and sociable girl, and today – a perky “thorn”, testing the strength of her parents. Even if with the onset of adolescence in your daughter you increasingly panic and get upset, hang in there – there is a way out. Information about what’s going on with her and how to raise a teenage girl will strengthen your self-control.

In this article, we will look at how a girl grows and develops between the ages of 10 and 15. As well as the main mistakes of raising teenage girls that parents make in relation to their daughters.

The development of a teenage girl: the brain

According to research in neurobiology, the brain of a young child is very plastic. This allows the baby to quickly adapt to external conditions, actively grow and develop. Plasticity decreases with each year, but in adolescence (from 10 to 15 years) it is still quite large. This period is the last opportunity to create new and strengthen the existing neural connections that will determine the rest of the person’s life.

What is incorporated into a teenager at this time will remain with him or her forever. That’s why it is important in what environment grows up the child, what principles and norms he instilled.

When raising a teenage girl is extremely important to give the correct settings, which she will be guided through life. These are the principles of independence, self-esteem, the basics of emotional intelligence, healthy self-esteem, ambition, etc.

Learn how to give your child the right attitudes to help him in the future at a free online master class by Dmitry Karpachev, “What every parent needs to know.

Teenage girl: changing the body

In her book “On the side of the teenager” F. Dolto wrote: “We can say that we are born twice: the first time to exist, the second – to live; the first time we find ourselves in space, the second – we find sex” . The girls observe with amazement the metamorphoses that occur to their bodies. It actively grows, the face loses its usual baby contours, cheekbones stand out, there is a clearer outline of the chin and lips.

Breasts begin to grow. This process is painful both physiologically and psychologically. The girls even try to wear baggy clothes to hide their growing breasts. Any touch to it causes discomfort, the child slouches, becomes irritable. It is very important to choose the right teenage underwear made of soft fabric without seams to reduce discomfort.

Menarche – the first menstruation

The development of a teenage girl at the age of 11-12 has peculiarities. This is the time of the first menstruation. The task of the mother is to prepare her daughter for this event. To tell why it happens and how to stick to hygiene during her period. If during the first days of menstruation the child feels severe pain in the abdomen, the gynecologist will choose safe painkillers.


Under the influence of sex hormones, hair appears on the legs, underarms and groin. This is another reason for complexes. And here you can not help by persuasion – the girl will really suffer, be ashamed of his appearance, until she masters the safe and affordable at this age ways to combat unwanted vegetation. There are two of them – a razor and depilation cream. Parents should not ridicule the child’s worries during this difficult period or ban her from basic body care.

Development of a teenage girl: the psycho-emotional sphere

The emotions of a teenage girl depend on a number of factors. Hormonal storms increase the level of stress. And he provokes irritability. Changes in the body gives rise to complexes, which leads to withdrawal. There is an acute desire to conform to peers and the search for sexual identity.

Against this background, the need to define gender norms increases. Girls ask questions: “Who am I?”, “What is my role in society?”, “What can I do and what is not allowed/forbidden”.

Tossing between extremes is characteristic of late adolescence – from the age of 14 to 16. Girls explore boundaries, testing themselves and their parents for strength. They are anxious, mistrustful, rebellious with or without reason.

There is a risk of emotional and behavioral disorders. Often girls develop eating disorders. The imposed stereotypical images of Instagram beauties make them refuse to eat or go to the other extreme – eat junk food in large quantities.

Raising a teenage girl: assessing your own appearance

Doubts about their own attractiveness – a typical problem for teenage girls. Any defect in appearance, objective or imaginary, becomes a source of complexes. Regardless of what natural data has a daughter, her parents should maintain the belief that she is the most beautiful. And in no case ridicule flaws. Any feature of the appearance should be presented as a highlight, a personal charm feature.

Guide to the world of beauty and fashion becomes a mother, older sister or friend.

She tells how to use cosmetics, choose beautiful and current outfits and accessories. It is important to instill in the girl the skill to look after themselves, do sports, eat right, follow hygiene. This is an important aspect of raising teenage girls.

Learn how to teach your child to treat themselves properly and not have complexes, at a free online intensive by Dmitry Karpachev. Right now, click on the button “Register” and get a gift.

Transition age in girls: tips from a psychologist

If you have a daughter growing up in your family, you will find it useful to read these recommendations. In girls, adolescence lasts on average from 10 to 16 years of age. During this period, puberty occurs, many body functions and the emotional sphere develop.

The specifics of adolescence differ depending on gender. The transition stage in girls has its own peculiarities, primarily related to the reproductive system. What are the peculiarities of the development of adolescent girls, what situations await parents and what risks arise? How to pass the transition period competently? Read about it below.

Peculiarities of the transition period in girls

First, I would like to mention that in this article I adhere to the classical periodization, and not to the modern suggestions for extending the adolescence to 24 years of age. You can read about why I adhere to this opinion in the article “Transition Age and Crisis in Adolescents – Psychologist’s Advice”.

Based on the analysis of different age periodizations, we can say that in girls, adolescence lasts from 10 (12) years to 15 (16) years. And the peak of negative reactions is between the ages of 11 and 13. And the peak of emotional instability falls on the 13-15 years. In girls, the negative phase ends in literary work (letters, diaries, poems) in 70% of cases.

Signs of transitional age

Signs of transition age in girls include:

  • The appearance of primary and secondary sex characteristics;
  • skin problems;
  • the beginning of menstruation;
  • Changes in the structure of hair;
  • The desire to stand out (often manifested by boorishness, aggressiveness, emotionality, and licentious behaviour);
  • stubbornness;
  • maximalism;
  • mood swings;
  • a sharp change of habitual behavior, interests, hobbies.


In girls, puberty begins on average at age 12, and ends at age 16. A characteristic feature of girls’ puberty is the desire to please. To do this, they start dressing up, grooming themselves. At the same time easily and sincerely fall in love, drawn to the society of boys. However, the formation of femininity (sexual identification) does not depend on the masculinity of the surrounding boys.

Sometimes the desire to be perfect and dissatisfaction with themselves leads to nervous disorders, such as anorexia. It’s worth noting, though, that this has been affecting boys just as much lately.

If you notice or suspect an eating disorder in your daughter, it is urgent to see a specialist.

The beginning of menstruation plays a special role in development in girls:

  • On the one hand, it is perceived as a stage of becoming a woman, is a symbol of refinement and tenderness. The girl begins to strive for this image. However, this only happens on the condition that the girl accepts her change.
  • If a girl cannot accept the beginning of menstruation and regards it as a closing of the door to childhood, it becomes an obstacle to a successful adaptation. Feelings of inferiority, shame, insecurity may appear. However, due to the inconsistency of adolescence, pride and self-confidence arise, which aggravates the situation.

The intrapersonal conflict in the sexual (gender, reproductive) sphere in a girl can be provoked by the desire to separate from her mother, superimposed on the desire to resemble her (a female role model). The mother’s desire to make a copy of her daughter and the father’s positive attitude toward the convergence of “his women” can aggravate the situation.

Physical development

Girls’ growth peaks at the age of 10 or 11, and by the age of 16 their growth slows down considerably. At the same time, weight gain occurs from 11 to 14 years of age.

Building immunity

The final phase in the development of the human immune system occurs during adolescence. For girls, this occurs at 12 to 13 years of age. The formation of immunity depends on external environmental conditions and heredity. That is why it is important for adolescents:

  • to eat well and properly;
  • Exercise;
  • Avoid bad habits.

Cardiovascular system

Girls have a rapid heart rate and hypertension. Blood pressure is maximally elevated at the age of 13-14. From this occurs:


In terms of physical strength, girls reach the level of adult women by the age of 14-15.


The respiratory system is growing. Girls have a predominantly thoracic type of breathing. Girls are less tolerant of shortness of breath during physical exertion.

Emotional sphere

Girls experience all emotions brighter than boys. They perceive everything as highly significant, vital, important.

  • Emotional peaks occur at 13-14 years old, and then they decrease.
  • A new outburst comes at age 18.

Often these outbursts are referred to as a crisis of adolescence. Emotional and mood swings are characteristic – sadness and despair alternate with euphoria and joy. In general, a manic-depressive state prevails in girls, which is caused by hormonal and somatic reorganization with low self-awareness and self-acceptance.

Facts about health (psychological, physical)

If we talk in general about the health of modern adolescent girls, we can note several disappointing facts (data from the study of M. B. Krasnikova):

  • retarded rate of physical development;
  • problems in the formation of the reproductive system;
  • an abundance of chronic and recurrent diseases
  • psychosomatic problems;
  • prevalence of sexually transmitted infections;
  • early pregnancies;
  • deviant behavior (alcoholism, drug abuse, substance abuse);
  • problems with social integration;
  • Every eighth girl has disorders in sexual development or gynecological problems.

It is noted that these facts are associated with problems of mental development of adolescent girls. This arises under the influence of destructive family upbringing, decadence of morality in the society, availability of information on the background of small amount of organized propaganda of useful material.

The role of the family in the formation of the adolescent girl

The task of parents in solving this problem is to contribute, that is, first of all, to create:

  • favorable intra-family relations;
  • psychologically comfortable conditions for the development of the adolescent girl.

It is also necessary to conduct educational conversations, in time to acquaint the girl with the changes in her body (first of all to talk about periods, pregnancy), to describe the pros and cons of these changes, that is, the benefits and risks.

It is important to show by personal example the value of a healthy lifestyle. It is unacceptable that your words and actions differ. It is also unacceptable to have parenting positions that diverge.

Common, but erroneous is the notion that in the family there should be prohibitions against discussing any topic, such as sex. Or sometimes parents feel shy. There should be no taboos. The girl should and has the right to know about her function as a woman and future mother. It is illiteracy is often the root cause of deviant behavior. Can not talk to yourself – give a book, videotape, CD.

Recommendations to parents

  • If the girl’s problems are far-fetched, but easily solvable, you need to do this. It is important to see the thin line between dangerous behavior and permissible behavior. For example, if the girl is unhappy with herself because of her hair, it can be changed. If there is a real problem of being overweight, then the reasonable way is to lose weight. But if the girl stops eating altogether, then prevention (treatment) of anorexia should be started.
  • You can’t dump your daughter’s upbringing on her mother. The father is an equally important figure. He is the model of the male role. Dad is important not to be afraid of his growing up daughter, and not to run away from her, but do not fall into total care, prohibitions. The father is supportive, caring, protective (if necessary).
  • Together deal with teenage criticism and maximalism. Take each situation apart and demonstrate the duality of each event and step. There are two sides to everything. Describe your real situations and feelings, but remember that your child is unique (he is not you).
  • Give the girl the right to choose, but with further responsibility.
  • The main tool in making contact is dialogue. Always. Even if the child is screaming. He is not an adult, so he is excused (hormones, character accentuations). You are an adult and have no right to stoop to this level. But you can’t swallow it either. You can talk about what’s upsetting you. If you can’t talk calmly yet, walk away, calm down, and talk through the situation later.
  • Don’t you dare read your daughter’s diary. I understand wanting to know what she’s breathing, but that’s not an option. The only exception is if you are 100% sure your daughter is in danger. If you’re just curious about what’s going on in her life, then you have to be patient and find ways for your daughter to want to talk about it herself.

Remember that the teenager himself does not understand what is happening to him. Asking “What’s wrong with you?” is not going to improve the situation.

Bottom line

Self-knowledge is the foundation of adolescence. Girls take the leading role in planning a future family life, the search for a potential husband, the creation of his ideal. The girl evaluates her success through her success in interpersonal relationships.

All adolescence can be described as critical. Do not aggravate the situation. Most of all, the teenage girl is waiting for your wise advice, support, understanding.

Adolescence is in many ways similar in boys and girls, so in addition I recommend reading the article “Transition Age in Boys – Advice from a Psychologist”. There you will also find additional advice on interacting with your young lady and references to the literature.

Be what you want your child to be! After all, he will copy the basic traits from you anyway.published by

Author Svetlana Troshina

Photo ©Lisa Visser

P.S. And remember, just by changing our consciousness we change the world together! © econet

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