So, before you get into this post I just wanted to say that it is purely for advice purposes only drawing on my experiences with my daughter. Everyone will feel differently about this subject and that is completely fine, I just wanted to offer some advice on when and how to talk to your daughter about puberty.
I ordered Maisie some lovely books from my friend who sells Usborne Books at Home. They deal with EVERYTHING, so you might just want to use something like this as more of a reference. I could not find much advice online and I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some ideas on when and how to talk to your daughter about puberty.
It’s not just the puberty stuff, they deal with things such as anxieties, moods and feelings and health and wellness too! I also really like how Growing up for Girls deals with really important things like sexuality, coming out and homophobic bullying.
Is she ready?
My daughter has just turned 9 years old. She has always asked me questions about my period and I have always been honest with her about what it is. Over the last few months however, she has become more interested in talking about it and when it will happen to her so I think now is the perfect time to begin the conversations about puberty.
I think when asking the question about whether your daughter is ready or not, you should consider what age she is and how much she already knows about periods etc as I think it’s really important that they understand what is going to happen wayyyyyy before it does.
It can be a difficult time as a parent, your little girl is growing up. Gone are the days of bedtime stories and snuggling up together on the sofa. Your daughter may now want to spend more time alone and consider quite alot of the things she used to do “childish” and that’s ok.
Teach her how normal it is
This is a huge one I think. Think back to how you felt when you were facing all these changes, take that and use it. Make it as normal as can be. The reason that people still laugh at periods is because it’s still considered taboo, but why? Maisie knows I bleed every month and has done since about the age of 3 when she first asked me about it. It’s just a normal thing that happens to me every month and that’s whats going to happen to her.
Also talk about how boys go through puberty too! Talk to her about the changes that happen to boys so she knows that EVERYONE goes through puberty, but it’s just different for boys and girls
Remind her that she is still a child
I think alot of the time, periods are seen as a child becoming a woman and suddenly girls have to start behaving grown up. Make sure your daughter knows that just because she gets her period it doesn’t mean she is suddenly a woman, she is transitioning into becoming a woman and it’s still ok for her to like doing things all kids do!
So her childhood isn’t over, this is just the very first steps in her journey to adulthood!
How to talk about it
I decided to order some books as a starting point. Some of the content in these surrounding sex and relationships is quite in depth, but I got them more as something to sit and look at together rather than for Maisie to go off with alone. Start chapter by chapter, let her read them to you and answer any questions she might have.
I think honesty is the best policy, if you are going to normalise this as much as possible, you need to be as honest about as much as you are comfortable with. Kids tend to know when we are fobbing them off and you don’t want her wondering why you haven’t been completely honest, it might have the reverse effect.
It’s an important time in your daughters life. I know that when I was younger, I didn’t really get much in terms of education etc it was just something that happened and I dealt with it. In a way I don’t want my daughter to go through it that way. I want her to be as comfortable as possible and understand as much as she can.
I can’t really offer much advice in terms of what to do once it all starts happening as we aren’t at that stage yet, but I think knowledge is power and the best thing that you can do is prepare your daughter for all the changes she will go through by talking them through.
This is a link to my friends Facebook group Alex’s Little Library
Have you had the talks? Give me your advice on when and how to talk to your daughter about puberty in the comments below