Talking to young girls about Puberty
When our kids are young, we all try to make them aware by talking to them about Appropriate & Inappropriate touch (Click the link to read about when & how to talk to your kids about touch) to make sure that we keep our kids as safe & informed as possible for us. But when they start growing older, questions get complicated & discussions become difficult. Especially here in India, we prefer not to talk to our kids about topics like Sex, Puberty, Menstruation. But Why???
Especially parents of young girls face the all-important question, “When do I talk to my daughter about puberty?” Luckily, it’s not necessary for parents to give a full anatomy class. When girls are as young as 8, just hearing the terminology is a good way to start. They may get the giggles, but these early discussions will help them become comfortable with talking openly with their parents on the subject.
While it’s great to talk to our daughters, the discussion about puberty should be more than just one chat or lecture. The best way to prepare your daughter for the big changes she’s about to go through is to have a series of frank discussions. These can begin quite young and don’t have to be detailed in the beginning. Just opening up the channels of communication and laying a good foundation of trust is the best way to start. This way your daughter will feel comfortable and secure talking to you. So what topics to discuss with them? Start with the basic difference between a man’s and a women’s body, why kids have such clear skin while a lot of grown-ups have acne and pimples on their skin, how grown women have s different upper body structures as compared to young girls.
The goal is make your daughter comfortable with the idea and help her embrace the change and not fear it. Emphasize that going through the stages of puberty is a natural process that every young girl will experience. Each year as girls mature and get closer to their own time to change, they will have more questions and need more details. By planting the seeds of education early, you can help prepare your daughter to be prepared for a more in-depth conversation when she reaches the age of becoming an adolescent.
Tell her what exactly is Puberty? Puberty is the term for when a girl’s body starts to change into that of a young woman. It’s a process that takes place over several years.
It’s recommended you discuss the subject with your daughter before she starts to go through many physical changes so when she does, she’s more comfortable with what’s happening to her body. This openness can help decrease any potential anxiety she might otherwise experience.
The average age a young girl starts menstruating is around 12 years of age. Girls can start as young as 8 and some as late as 17. Whenever your daughter starts the process, it’s important to be prepared to discuss the following topics. Soon you’ll need to talk to her about wearing a bra and getting rid of her unwanted body hair. You’ll also need to tell her how to be prepared in case she gets her periods. You’ll have to introduce her to a deodorant spray. You’ll have to make her confident about using face care products such as acne control face washes etc. as she will also experience changes in her sweat glands and hormones.
Prepare a pack of sanitary products like pads, liners, intimate wash, wipes etc. that she can carry in her school bag, in case she gets her period while out and about. This is a good chance to talk about what different products can be used and when. It will also make her feel more confident about what is happening to her.
During puberty, a young girl’s self-esteem can take a battering. Her changing body can make her feel self-conscious and embarrassed. You can help her by complimenting her looks and making her feel good about herself. A girl who feels confident will be able to handle the big changes with greater ease.
REMEMBER – this is not a one-time conversation or a lecture. It is an ongoing conversation.