Aimlessly wandering through the internet the other day, I started reading an article about puberty in girls. It recommended that you start talking to girls around the age of eight about puberty. I nearly choked on my tea. Eight. Eight!!
So as you can imagine, this isn’t a post that I was expecting to be writing just yet. My daughter turned eight at the end of last year and to me, she is still my baby, my youngest, my little girl. But this year has already seen some changes, she is growing so rapidly, she isn’t little anymore. There is more attitude, more answering back and definitely more strops. But surely these aren’t the first signs of puberty are they?
Apparently, they could well be. Girls can start puberty anywhere between the age of 8 and 13, most start in the latter years, with the average age being 11, but their bodies start preparing in advance.
The other thing that I have noticed is that she is much more aware of, well pretty much everything. She listens intently to conversations, to TV programs and questions everything. Curiosity is a good thing and I have always tried to be open and honest with all of my kids as they get to this stage, but she has asked some rather interesting questions of late and I am wondering whether she might be a bit young for the full uncensored answers.
I have boys of course, who are all older, one is well and truly through puberty, one is bang in the middle of puberty as I write, with all of the emotional and hormonal ups, downs, slammed doors and dramatic sighs that come with it and the other is just starting. Bizarrely, I feel more equipped to deal with puberty in boys in a been there done that, sort of way. It isn’t easy of course but we have survived so far.
Surely being a girl myself, it would be so much easier to explain the process to my own daughter.
Not so much. I am finding it really hard and I don’t really know where to start. Is it because she is my baby and I don’t want to accept that she is growing up?
Luckily, there do seem to be things that make preparing for puberty easier these days. The internet can be a great source of information with lots of guidance and help for both parent and child. Thank the lord that you don’t have to tell them everything all at once, it does all still need to be age appropriate to a point, so I will put the childbirth videos on hold for the moment.
I have been researching some really good books that you can read with or give your daughter to read. Usborne’s What’s Happening to Me? is a really good book, we already have the version for boys and it is a light-hearted, easy to understand look at the subject of growing up and puberty. Funny pictures are always good in these situations. I definitely need to invest in the version for girls.
Another product that I would invest in to help would be Betty Box. I did a review last year of Betty Box, a period subscription box, filled not only with monthly essentials but sweet and beauty treats which are a perfect pick me up for that time of the month.
On a recent trawl of Google, I discovered the idea of putting together a ‘puberty kit’. In a nice inconspicuous box or basket, buy a few essentials such as tampons, sanitary towels, panty liners, deodorant, body spray and other things. If your daughter is older, you could add in a bra, skincare products or leak-proof undies such as Knixteen’s bikini. This might be a nice icebreaker to start off the conversation and again it can be adjusted to be appropriate to the age of your daughter.
One way or another, puberty is on the way. I know that when I do think she is finally ready to sit down and talk about puberty, periods, pants and all that, I will hopefully handle it well and prepare her for puberty as best I can. She will certainly have lots and lots of questions, that is for sure although, unlike her brothers, I think she will really listen too.
Photo by Alexander Shustov on Unsplash