Are you ready to have the puberty talk with your daughter?
Often, girls love their daddies best. Or so it seems to many a harried mom. But, at the end of the day, your daughter will only want to share “personal” conversations with you. Privately. While pretending that dad knows nothing.
Puberty can hit somewhere between 8 and 15. Start talking about what to expect early in a casual way, and let her know that she can ask you any question. Use language that your daughter will understand, and give her practical tips so she sees this as natural and she feels prepared.
Your daughter might grow two to four inches in a year. She might gain weight, which is normal and needed to have healthy menstrual cycles. Her body will get curvier.
Tip: Make it fun to buy inexpensive clothes with a pre-set budget and try more “grown-up” stores. It’s time to stop shopping at Justice.
Your daughter will begin to develop breasts and will probably want to start wearing a bra. She also will grow body hair in her pubic area and under her armpits.
She will start sweating more so suggest taking a daily shower and using deodorant. She will likely get pimples thanks to hormone surges so teach her how to keep her face clean.
Tip: Don’t freak out when she wants to start shaving – at a much earlier age than you did. Most of her friends already are shaving. Talk about different options for hair removal, why she really wants to shave and what the commitment means.
This is probably the biggest change and the one that’s most difficult to understand. Offer some basics about the monthly process of getting a period, and make sure she is prepared in case her period starts during the school day.
All of this is part of growing up, and an opportunity for the two of you to bond. Women's health is a journey with many paths to wellness, and puberty is a big milestone. What you share with your daughter today can help you broach the most sensitive issues that may arise tomorrow.
Tip: Fortunately, there are better supplies than ever. Explain the options and how to use each in a matter of fact way. Talk about mood swings that may occur before her period, including irritability, sadness and low self-confidence.