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How Do I Explain Puberty to My Tween Daughter?

In the Judy Blume book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, the main character experiences puberty while also sorting out her religious heritage.  Many mothers have read this book with their daughters to help initiate conversations around the bodily changes that occur during puberty.  Studies show that children want to hear this information from their parents, even though it might not always appear that they are listening.

What are other ways can you help educate your daughter about these transitional steps to womanhood?  With the wealth of information on the internet, it would seem easy to gather a few good websites and just pass the information to your daughter.  It is best though if she has you there to help interpret and understand the information.

To make it more personable, share your own memories and experiences from this time in your life.  Did you have any embarrassing moments?  Where were you when you started your first period?  When did you buy your first bra? Sharing your stories will help your daughter realize that she is not alone in this experience.  Asking other female members of your family to share their stories will provide a sense of family togetherness and will give your daughter an idea of “how times have changed”.

This is an awkward time for girls.  She may be experiencing a growth spurt and outgrowing all her clothes, or having to deal with pimples for the very first time.  Offer her positive reinforcement and assurance that this is a normal step in her growing up years and that she is always beautiful to you.  Gathering a group of friends together for a special shopping day or a trip to the drugstore to explore skin care items would be a way to remind your daughter that all her friends are experiencing the same changes.

Remember to keep the lines of communication open and start early.  Being open and honest with your daughter when she is in her early years will lay the foundation for the puberty years when she will have lots of questions and concerns.  Try not to have one big talk, instead slip in nuggets of information into normal everyday conversation. And don’t wait for your daughter to initiate the conversation, she may be too embarrassed!

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and are not intended as medical advice. For medical care and advice, you should consult your physician or health care provider on a regular basis. If you have any problem which concerns you, consult your physician immediately.