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Talking About Puberty

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Talking about puberty with your daughter may be one of the most difficult conversations you’ll ever have with her. Our hope is for parents to initiate a dialogue that will not only educate and prepare your child for this time of transition, but also create open lines of communication.

Your involvement and support will help nurture her growth into a confident young woman with positive self-esteem, values, and body image.

Below are some suggestions for how to approach conversations about puberty with your daughter. Remember, just because you are ready to talk may not mean she is. Continue your invitations for conversation even if your first attempts are not successful. Eventually she will come around. She’s probably just as nervous as you are. Do you remember how you felt when you had to talk to your mom about puberty for the first time?

Things to remember before the conversation:
• Don’t wait for your daughter to come to you – she may be too embarrassed or nervous to begin the discussion.
• Puberty includes not only physical changes, but considerable emotional and social changes as well.
• Exposure to information in the media about puberty and sex will likely influence you child’s attitudes and ideas. Be prepared to dispel myths about sexuality or unrealistic ideas about body image.
• Consider these books about puberty as a resource for you and your daughter in exploring the different topics of puberty.

The Period Book by Karen Gravel (included free with each My First Cycle Kit™ for Girls from PetiteAmie.com)

Ready, Set, Grow by Lynda Madras

The Care and Keeping of You a part of the American Girl Library

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles a part of the American Girl Library

Period. A girls’ Guide by Vicki Lansky

• Answer your daughter’s questions openly and honestly.
• Begin the conversations with your daughter before she starts experiencing the physical changes of puberty. For girls, puberty can begin as early seven and as late as fourteen. Most girls start their periods between the ages of 9 and 16, with average age of menarche at age 12.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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