Originally Posted by velochic
Originally Posted by Tigerchild
With respect, perhaps the people who state over and over that their child shows absolutely no indications of puberty perhaps haven't had the opportunity to personally guide their kid through (or aren't in the process of figuring out how to do so themselves--it's a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be) the very confusing time where a child who is still very much a girl also must struggle with impulses that are the beginnings of adulthood as well.
I am "the people" you're speaking of, however, I've helped/am helping 2 generations of girls navigate puberty, so if you think I don't know what I'm talking about, I assure you that I have the experience (twice over) and am speaking from that experience. I was the "go-to" next-door aunt when my nieces were going through puberty in the 80s and now their kids are going through puberty (one with precocious puberty) and I've been on-hand for them as well. My dd is younger, so I'll be going through this a third time soon, I expect. With respect... I am not randomly forming my opinions. They are rooted in personal truths and keen observation that I'm using to make my dd's journey the easiest possible. Perhaps you don't understand because you're just starting the journey. And just because I'm "old" by MDC standards, doesn't mean I don't remember my own adolescence.
No, actually, I don't consider you one of "those people". But I do see people constantly here talking about how proud they are that they won't have their little girls growing up because they're keeping them away from plastic, non-organic food, marketing, ect. Over and over and over again. Most of the time when people do this, I look at their sig and see that they have very young children. Making puberty a freak show seems to have become the latest scare tactic du jour in the progressive/AP parenting and activist community--my email box is flooded with crap from organizations I have belonged to for years with scary titles like "OMG 8 year olds going through puberty because they're fat and wrapped in plastic". I'm sure that it was there before, but as I acknowledged in my other post, until they were talking about MY kid (who is neither) it went over my head. The media is contantly blaring stories about how puberty is bad, especially for girls. I find it heartbreaking that the same groups screaming that also turn around and then say, "But how come girls have their self-esteem in the toilet? Why are girls desperately trying to diet at 8?" Well, gee, I wonder.
FWIW, I have been involved with teen and middle school youth groups since I was in my early 20s, ect. In my experience, it is different when it's your own kid--at least it has been for me. WIth those other kids, and some of my younger cousins though, it was not in my face 24/7. Because I was not the parent, I also didn't have to deal with my friends making horrific comments about my child in front of me, I didn't have to see people treat my child like she was the boobie leper that was going to turn their kids into sluts, since I wasn't buying clothing for them on a regular basis I didn't have to deal with trying to find "in between" clothes that were playground appropriate while still accomodating hips and a butt, and I didn't have to deal with the pediatrician calling my kid fat right in front of her because she is in the 95th percentile for weight (while being off the charts heighwise, BTW) at the very moment when naturally she is starting to care more than she has before about what peers/adults think!!
That's why it's so frustrating to hear "EH, it's just a fake label, no matter what." From the advertising standpoint, I suppose. I wish it went the other way--that "tween" clothes instead of being mini-juniors could be kids clothes cut for changing bodies. But from a social/emotional standpoint (which is, IMO, what I have seen most parenting articles reference, aside from the one referenced from Mothering, though it does state up front that it is primarily talking about the *marketing label*, at least) I do think there is a fuzzy category. Like all things developmental/physical, there is not a hard age and I'm sure there are kids who don't even go through it or spend much time there (I think it may be particularly pronounced in kids that do start to go through puberty when they are younger, to me going through it at 12-14 vs, 8-11 has different implications). But why must people who do view that as a distinct stage be trashed?
I'll say it again. Just because you acknowledge that there may be another reason why your kid is moody to add to the potential list of reasons doesn't mean that you are neglecting the fact that there may be other reasons (or most likely MULTIPLE reasons!). If you do search the "tween" racks of clothes for your kid because osh kosh is not cut for hips or because your kid has hit one of the growth spurts and is an 8 year old in size 14/16 kids stuff, it doesn't mean that you're going to let her dress like a streetwalker and you're signing her up for facebook. I don't think most moms on MDC work that way, about anything.