You’re not alone if your 7- or 8-year-old has become depressed and tearful all of a sudden. They may be acting differently because of the effects of adrenarche on how your child manages their emotions.
A little-known developmental phase known as adrenarche is to blame for my daughter’s sudden shift in behavior. Scientists have been studying this period more closely, and they believe that youngsters between the ages of 6 and 8 begin to experience an increase in hormones that can induce increased emotions. Learn more about adrenarche symptoms and the best strategies to deal with them in the following sections.
What Is Adrenarche?
An Australian study on children’s development from childhood to adolescence indicated a rise in adrenal androgens, hormones that play a major role in puberty, between second and third grade. All children see a surge in adrenal androgens, but not all experience mood or behavioral abnormalities.
At least two years before the onset of puberty, a period known as the adrenarche occurs.
Adrenarche Symptoms in Children
In contrast to puberty, adrenarche is primarily a stage of psychological and emotional maturation, which can be observed on the surface. When it comes to physical signs like pubic and armpit hair growth or acne, the hormones rushing through your child’s body are less likely to trigger them.
When it comes to emotional processing, neurosteroids like adrenal androgens may have an impact. Unless the symptoms are accompanied by rapid growth of the breasts before the age of 8, penile or testicular enlargement before the age of 9, or aberrant linear growth, it is rare for children to exhibit physical signs (including pubic hair, underarm hair, and body odor).
This means that your 7 or 8-year-old may appear enraged or tearful for no apparent cause if they are having difficulty processing their feelings. They may begin to distance themselves from their friends, or their behavior may be out of character. Fortunately, there are methods available to parents to assist their children in adjusting to the shift.
Adrenarche Phase management
Parents who are used to dealing with mood swings in their children as toddlers or teenagers may be perplexed by the adrenarche stage. However, it is critical to maintain open lines of communication.
When you and your child are calm, talk to each other about how you are feeling. Make sure that you “are consistent, firm, and fair. As a team, brainstorm ways to assist your child cope with their emotions. When they’re irritated, you can encourage them to take a few deep breaths.
We also caution parents against allowing their children to act out due to hormonal fluctuations. Instead of blaming hormones for all of your child’s behavioral shifts, look for other factors that could be at play.
Assist your youngster in identifying and expressing his or her emotions by giving them a name. Invite them to ponder how they might approach the situation differently in the future once they’ve recovered from their initial reaction. Making them in charge of the solution encourages them to take ownership of their feelings and actions, which gives them the freedom and ability to make better decisions going forward.