She's ten and mostly plays with the boys, fitting in well due to her easy-going nature, outstanding athleticism, strong sense of fair play, and wild and crazy sense of humor. She's super competitive, one of the leaders of the pack in terms of ability, while still stopping to help the kids who need rules/strategies explained. The problem is, from her point of view there's nothing on the other side of puberty to look forward to. The boys will be getting stronger; she will be getting breasts. Not fair! She's miserable about this and it hasn't even started yet.
Since a large part of the community are also members of sites like StackOverflow, I’ll try translating this question to, say, mathematics.
Say you are ten and you are good at math. You and your good friends all go to math camp, have started learning various programming languages, have Raspberry Pi on your Christmas list. You in particular sometimes help the non-math kids with their math homework. You’re very compettive and love to compete in Math Olympiad, and if your score isn’t always the highest for your grade, you’re generally in the top three.
Recently you found out that over the next four years, most of your friends’ math intelligence is going to get a four-fold boost. Even some of the kids you help with math will get this boost. You, on the other hand, will get a two-fold boost. Period. Plus, you are going to have a French accent whenever you talk about math. Not an ugly French acent – it will be pleasant, but it will be very, very noticeable.
So, how comforted would you be if someone said to you, “That’s okay, you don’t have to be any less mathematical, just because everyone else is going to be better! It’s not only about being the best. While other kids are doing calculus or even multivariable calculus in a few years, you can still have fun with trigonometry! Or, why don’t you learn to cook? You get to use math to measure things in cooking, right? Besides, don’t a lot of cooks have a French accent?”
Yes, this is over-simplified. My daughter is more than just a jock (another “label” for you). She’s one of the top math students in her grade and one of the best creative writers… and she’s the class cut-up (even the teacher laughs... sometimes especially the teacher). She's kind. She likes to draw manga; she single-handedly bakes a mean apple pie (crust "from scratch," of course); and she’s currently trying to memorize the periodic table of elements (don’t ask me why).
She has some girl friends, not all of them into sports. But she won’t wear dresses, and she finds makeup and what she calls “fashion lady stuff” ludicrous. She generally prefers the straightforward friendship of boys to the drama of girl friendships. And sports are her favorite thing.
It’s not that she won’t live through puberty, but I'm hoping to find something positive for her on the other side of it, so that she won’t be so depressed about it. She’s already watched a half dozen of the boys get better than her in soccer; it will probably happen in baseball in another year or two.