For the Parents Whose Daughters are Late Bloomers
How many times have you heard your kids yell “last one’s the rotten egg”? Everyone scrambles because no one wants to be last. In fact, most kids want to keep up with their friends and would rather not be singled out for being the last to do anything. If your daughter is developing slower than her friends she may get the feeling that she’s being left behind.
Together with your daughter be familiar with the developmental bench marks for puberty (see Signs Your Daughter’s Period Might Be Coming). There shouldn’t be a reason for concern about delayed menstruation until your daughter reaches 16. Delays may be caused by low body weight or heavy participation in sports. If you are at all concerned then talk to your doctor.
If, on the other hand, your daughter is developing normally but appears to be a “late bloomer” then your job will be to reassure her that her body is unique and is just developing at its own pace. Take the time to point out to her the wide variety of body types there are in the world. We’re just as different on the inside as the outside.
Without getting too negative, this is a great time to look at the bright side of not having a period: no pads, no cramps and no worries at the pool. Also point out that some girls who started menstruating early may be feeling just as weird about that. There’s really no time when it’s supposed to happen.
Some girls may equate getting their periods with being more mature. Let your daughter know that emotional maturity and physical maturity are two different things. Encourage her in all the other ways she shows maturity. Keep a positive attitude and look for ways to celebrate her uniqueness. She’ll know that she’s moving along fine and really not coming in last at all.