My 10yo DD started her period - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 06-06-2012, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm surprised at my internal reaction. She is happy about it, I think because she finally got to use her cool kit we put together at the beginning of school (she got her period at school and didn't even go to the nurse, just got her kit and took care of business.

I am happy that it was not traumatic or a big deal for her. OTOH I will admit there is a part of me that is a little freaked too. I knew this was coming, she started developing just after her 8th birthday, so right on track. I don't know why I'm feeling a little sad.

And before anyone says it: no she's not fat (almost underweight actually), yes we eat organic and she was exclusively. BF as a baby so no soy formula, and no this is not "early" puberty, it's normal.. I started at 11 and other relatives right at 10.5 like DD.

Other moms who have btdt, did you have a mixed feeling reaction?
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#2 of 27 Old 06-06-2012, 08:23 PM
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Yes... my kid was 11, almost 12, and I actually expected her to start earlier than she did because she's had early puberty signs at 7 (I was 12, almost 13 when I started though). So, we had all the stuff already, cute handmade pads from ebay - and then I didn't even know until almost a day later. We were living on a farm and one weekend a year we (and the owners of the farm) threw a huge party for any homeschoolers who wanted to come, and usually there were 50-100 people. Rain was hanging out with the teens in the guest house when she started, so she ran home, got a pad, and went back over there... obviously untraumatized. wink1.gif

It sort of freaked me out, too... I was like, wait, what? You could theoretically have a a baby now? But you are a baby! Ackkk...

 
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#3 of 27 Old 06-06-2012, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Haha, that is great!  I think that is part of my disorientation.  DD came home, we chatted about school, and then she was like, "Hey, guess what, I started my period today at school.  Oooh, did you make popcorn?"  *grabs a handful and stuffs it into her mouth while my mouth is hanging open* "Can I have some?  Thanks!" and then she went back downstairs to dance around in her room and get ready for dance class.  I mean, I don't know what I was expecting, not that nonchalant I guess.

 

I hope this means she will not be stricken with my monster cramps--the girl has the pain tolerance of a special forces leader though.  :P
 

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#4 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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Yes, mixed feelings on my part.  DD was 12 1/2, so pretty much as we expected.  She was great about it, and is so completely independent about it.  We didn't do cloth, etc., because she was incredibly uninterested in anything natural.  She's made her choices, and lets us know what supplies she wants.  Cramps and feeling lousy are an issue for her.

 

I mentioned on another thread that there is an ipod app that my dd uses to keep track of her cycle.  It's yet another piece of her independence.

 

So, a little sad, a little proud, a little overwhelmed on my part.....bu frankly, that's a lot of my experience of parenting a teen right now :)

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#5 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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Starting her period is such a significant step towards womanhood but, especially if she is well prepared, it often seems to mean more to mother than to daughter, and that too is normal.  My daughter hasn't started yet but in my 'coming of age' groups for girls they can be really matter of fact about it while parents experience all manner of feelings - from grief to excitement and back again.

I'm big on marking these important milestones - and especially fascinated by all the different ways that people find to mark something special like this; finding a way that doesn't feel weird for their daughters.  You might like to give her a little gift or take her somewhere special or write her a card - because clearly this means lots to you.  Your little girl is no longer so very little, in a particularly special way.  A big change.  A precious moment.

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#6 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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Can you pass on details of the iPod app please?  Sounds really useful.

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#7 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

And before anyone says it: no she's not fat (almost underweight actually), yes we eat organic and she was exclusively. BF as a baby so no soy formula, and no this is not "early" puberty, it's normal.. I started at 11 and other relatives right at 10.5 like DD.
 

 

 

I'm sorry that you feel defensive about the age that your DD started her menses. My mother started at age 10, and that was like a zillion years ago. It is a pity that so many of us fear being judged over completely normal things.

 

My DD is a little heavy, and I sometimes feel defensive about that. Because we all know that if moms are perfect, their children will be slender. banghead.gif


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Earlier in the year I heard this NPR story going on and on about how if Americans weren't so fat, girls wouldn't be developing "early" (they were talking about 8 year olds starting to develop breasts, which is still 'normal' timing for breast buds!), how horrible it is that girls develop breasts, fear the sexuality that comes with it (because, obviously, you know, if you grow boobs you also immediately become a slut), wow girls who develop earlier than 12 are freaks, ect.  Then without a trace of irony, the last part of the story was about all these people being mystified as to why preteen/developing girls had such low self-esteem and seemed to be more prone to eating disorders or hating their bodies at "alarming young ages".  Sigh.

 

Since then, my radar gets pinged more often when people treat puberty as a disease or something that only happens to "bad" families (ones that ate the wrong food, didn't do all the crunchy stuff, ect).  I have kind of seen that here at MDC too.  I think it's hard enough to help a girl in particular (though to be honest, my radar is being pinged for boys now too, since I know of two families that are hormonally treating their boys to keep them from entering puberty until the parents are ready for it, and I've noticed an increasing scrutiny/pressure on boys bodies/appearance too.  I'm sure it's always been there, but my antennae are more sensitive now I guess) navigate these waters without further burdening them with the idea that there's something wrong with puberty, that it means that all of a sudden you're a grown up/can't be a kid (DD is still very much a kid, and still very much 10), and that you should be scared of your body.

 

I don't fear being judged, I've already seen it happen to DD (luckily it seemed to go right over her head, and I gave the other people a private earful).  DD also once asked after hearing a short radio blurb about breast development in girls happening because of obesity (there must have been a study or something that had come out because it was ALL over the radio!) if she was fat (because she had just started wearing a bra most of the time at 9).  She wasn't asking in a negative sense per se (it was more just point of information), but boy did that knife my heart over the risk of her starting to worry about that sort of thing at this age!  While I have NOT heard dieting or super appearanced based conversations amongst her friends, I have overheard it in other girls her age.

 

It has made me more conscious about what I say and the attitudes I display towards puberty, menstruation, body size/shape, ect. though.

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#9 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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My dd was 10 when she started too. I wasn't really prepared. I wasn't expecting it for maybe another year. My primary concern was that she was still in elementary school where restroom breaks are more scheduled & she didn't have as much privacy in that regard as students in our middle & high schools do. She was rather self conscious at that time anyway so I was worried that it would make her uncomfortable at school. Her school nurse was a work acquaintance of mine so dd felt comfortable going in with me to talk to her the next morning. She was able to give her some tips on navigating the teachers & school routines & reassured her that she could always come to the clinic for support. After that first cycle it has never been an issue for her so I've been very relieved!
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#10 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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 my radar is being pinged for boys now too, since I know of two families that are hormonally treating their boys to keep them from entering puberty until the parents are ready for it

 

Is this possible, legal, or a good idea?  What do they mean, that they aren't ready for it??

 

I also heard on NPR about early puberty, but what I remember, was that they were discussing girls as young as 6 getting their period.  I do feel for those mothers and their girls, because I don't think the child is ready at that age to deal with the hormones.  Also, because my own period has a great impact on my mood, my energy, and it used to hurt so badly.  My skin still reacts and I'm over 40!  For those reasons, one would prefer a delay, but when it happens it does, so we just have to accept it.

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#11 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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My daughter was 14.  I was worried because I was almost 15 when I started, and I just kept growing and growing.  I know that girls who start their periods sooner tend to be shorter than girls who start later, so I was afraid she would  be as tall as me.    (She's average height)  

 

I think it's normal to feel conflicted.  It seems unfair to those of us with girls.  They seem to grow up so much faster than boys, and it feels like we have less time with girls as children.  I only had one child though, so I think I might have felt like that no matter what since I didn't have another one behind her.

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#12 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You can give boys injections that suppress and even regress! puberty.  I don't believe it's recommended that you do it for very *long*, just until they reach a more median age rather than being on the "early" side.  Both these kids were just a little older than the threshold of what is considered precocious puberty in boys, so instead of recommending treatment they give the option to do so with the understanding that it's short term.

 

There can be concerns with height (if a boy, or a girl for that matter, enters puberty 'early' I guess there's a chance they'll be shorter, maybe significantly so) and all the social concerns too.  I was really freaked out about how some people looked at DD when she started developing, I can only imagine how people might react to a boy that's developing secondary sex characteristics earlier than people think he should, and that's really going to stand out even more amongst boys I'd think if it's on the early side).

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#13 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nextcommercial,  DD wants to be super tall!  She is already 5'3" which makes her a giant  to most of her classmates, but we've gently tried explaining that there's a pattern in women on both sides of the family being the tallest until 5th or 6th grade and then other people catch up/surpass.  We'll see if she puts on a few more inches after that.  I suspect she'll be taller than me (I'm 5'3", she keeps wanting to measure the two of us every day so she knows when she finally is taller than me) but probably not by much.

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#14 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 02:18 PM
 
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My daughter was 14.  I was worried because I was almost 15 when I started, and I just kept growing and growing.  I know that girls who start their periods sooner tend to be shorter than girls who start later, so I was afraid she would  be as tall as me.    (She's average height)  

But isn't that because they were always going to be their adult height and they reached it a little bit after menarche?  Like if you think of adult height as x then you'll be (for example) 98% of x when you hit menarche?  Or is there some other process by which if you delayed menarch long enough EVERY girl would grow to my height or taller?

 

I only ask because i am 5'11" and i was 5'10.5 at nearly-13 when i hit menarche, my friend is 5', she was 5' at 15 when she hit menarche, it always seemed to me that the growth spurt and the menarche were part of the same process which was preset (like i was always gonna start puberty at ten, reach menarche at 12 years and 11/12 months, and i was always gonna be 5'11" BUT if i'd started puberty at 11 i would have just reached menarche and my full adult height a year later, rather than been shorter).

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#15 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bec, I have read that puberty influences bone growth in many ways, since it's not just that the bones are getting longer but there's also maturation or something like that affecting the growth plates? I don't know that it's proven or anything but that is a concern listed as a reason for delaying puberty (it will stunt adult height if too early)... So I can see logically how the reverse (delayed puberty=more length and slower bone maturation) could be deduced from that.

I think that height is pretty complex and dependent on a lot of things though!
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#16 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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My dd was 5'4" when she started at 10 years old & now at 13 she's 5'7". I suppose there are lots of factors that go into it. shrug.gif
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#17 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 04:08 PM
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I've only heard of puberty suppression hormones being given to transgender kids, so that they can have a few more years before having to decide which gender they want to go through puberty as...

My daughter is exactly my height (5'7.5").

 
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#18 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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So far, my dd has grown an additional 2 1/2 inches since she started.  Her doctor thinks she could have 1-2 inches more to go before reaching full adult height.

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#19 of 27 Old 06-07-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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But isn't that because they were always going to be their adult height and they reached it a little bit after menarche?  Like if you think of adult height as x then you'll be (for example) 98% of x when you hit menarche?  Or is there some other process by which if you delayed menarch long enough EVERY girl would grow to my height or taller?

 

I only ask because i am 5'11" and i was 5'10.5 at nearly-13 when i hit menarche, my friend is 5', she was 5' at 15 when she hit menarche, it always seemed to me that the growth spurt and the menarche were part of the same process which was preset (like i was always gonna start puberty at ten, reach menarche at 12 years and 11/12 months, and i was always gonna be 5'11" BUT if i'd started puberty at 11 i would have just reached menarche and my full adult height a year later, rather than been shorter).

I'm not sure.  But, I am not just tall (i'm 5 10) I also have broad shoulders and a larger frame.   Nobody in my family is built like me, but all the other women in my family started puberty younger than me.  

 

I was also immature well into my teens.  I still liked childish things years beyond my friends.  So, it's always seemed as if something went just a little wrong.  

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#20 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 07:26 AM
 
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I've only heard of puberty suppression hormones being given to transgender kids, so that they can have a few more years before having to decide which gender they want to go through puberty as...
My daughter is exactly my height (5'7.5").

 

We've known one girl who was given suppression medication because there was something was wrong with her pituitary gland and she was being thrown into puberty at 6. I believe all parties were grateful. I actually wish they'd been able to suppress my little brother's early puberty. By 10 (4th grade,) he was the size of a 15-year-old and getting facial hair and dealing with hormone swings (and yet still being mentally 10.) It made his life pretty hellish resulting in boys from the middle school waiting around after the elementary school got out to beat up the freak. A hold off of even 1 or 2 years could have really made a difference in his life. There are lots of reasons to give this treatment outside of transgender kids or parents who just aren't ready.


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#21 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 08:24 AM
 
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I was a little sad too and my DD was 14 when she started. I didn't want my "little girl" having to deal with pads, tampons, hormonal zits, cramps, mood swings, ect. It's not too thrilling having to deal with them by proxy either lol. It was all just poignant I suppose.

 

On average, girls grow about 2 inches after starting their periods. This is just an average meaning some will grow more, some will grow less. My DD fits in this. She was actually small until about 12. Then she sprouted many inches and started to develop. Then her period hit and she's only grown about 2 inches since and only 1/2 an inch in the last year. She's 5'8" and happy at this height. My two nieces were still growing at 18 (one is 6', the other 6'2") but their parents are both huge so really, no surprise. I don't know the statistics on girls who start very early but the girls we know who started at 10 or 11 had already amassed most of their height.


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#22 of 27 Old 06-08-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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My DD is around 5' 6" and 14.75 and still hasn't started her period. Obviously it is going to happen imminently! I am of the same mind as whatsnextmom, I really don't want her having to deal with it all either, but she is certainly emotionally mature enough to take it all in her stride, and actually be excited about it.  My eldest DD had one period at 12.75 then nothing until she was almost 15. She is 5' 9' and didn't stop growing until she 19 or 20 (she just turned 22). DS is 12.5 and hasn't hit puberty yet, he is about 5' 1" I think. He is an elite soccer player, and so wants to grow, there are a few boys his age that hit puberty early and at this point they have a huge advantage in terms of height, strength and speed. Thankfully because of his technical and athletic skills he more than holds his own against them and even older and bigger boys. [Apologies for the mama brag]

 

ETA: I am a shorty at just about 5'3".


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#23 of 27 Old 06-09-2012, 10:48 PM
 
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I just wanted to say, I think it is so awesome that you put together a kit for your DD and she knew exactly what to do when her period started.  My mom is great, but she really REALLY did not want to have "the talk"...when my period started I hid it from her for year or so because we hadn't had the talk yet and I was too embarrassed to tell her.  There was a whole lot of private freaking out and wadding up of paper towels to make menstrual pads (since she didn't know about it, I didn't really have access to any supplies, unless I clandestinely swiped them from her).  In retrospect it was very messed up...but I was a really shy kid. :)  To this day she thinks I "miraculously" started menstruating two weeks after she finally nerved herself for "the talk", and I haven't got the heart to tell her what really happened...because other than that one thing she was always a really great mom!

 

(Naturally DD and I will be having the talk pretty young, and she will get a nice Gladrags starter kit that will be a lot better and hopefully more exciting than yucky plastic pads or, heaven forbid, wadded-up paper towels! :) )
 


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#24 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 02:48 AM
 
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I just wanted to say, I think it is so awesome that you put together a kit for your DD and she knew exactly what to do when her period started.  My mom is great, but she really REALLY did not want to have "the talk"...when my period started I hid it from her for year or so because we hadn't had the talk yet and I was too embarrassed to tell her.  There was a whole lot of private freaking out and wadding up of paper towels to make menstrual pads (since she didn't know about it, I didn't really have access to any supplies, unless I clandestinely swiped them from her).  In retrospect it was very messed up...but I was a really shy kid. smile.gif  To this day she thinks I "miraculously" started menstruating two weeks after she finally nerved herself for "the talk", and I haven't got the heart to tell her what really happened...because other than that one thing she was always a really great mom!

(Naturally DD and I will be having the talk pretty young, and she will get a nice Gladrags starter kit that will be a lot better and hopefully more exciting than yucky plastic pads or, heaven forbid, wadded-up paper towels! smile.gif )

 

OMG, this was me! I started at about 10.5 yo and did not tell anybody because I was embarrassed since I "knew" that I was not supposed to start until at least 12. I waited until I was in middle school (day 2) to fess up. I went through a ton of toilet paper. My mother hardly talked to about anything growing up and I was too embarrassed to ask any questions.

DD is now almost 8 and I am seeing the start of breast buds, which I got around the same age. So it is probably time that I start talking to DD. I do not want her to ever feel like I did growing up.

Apparently doing it rong and ruining it for everyone, but I don't give a crap anymorebanana.gif

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#25 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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I know! My older sister had her period at 12, so I basically assumed that I would have it when I was older, but I got it when I was 11 instead, and thought that I'd gotten some tropical disease, since I KNEW that I wasn't supposed to have it at age 11. that's too young! was my opinion at the time. I really wasn't prepared for it, as you can see. Fortunately, I adjusted, but I was one of the youngest kids in my class to get it, which really made me feel mad. But if it was any consolation, I had a friend who started hers at nine.

 

As for my height, I'm about 5 feet 5, and my sister ended up being 5 feet 8. Go figure. My husband is very short, at 5 feet 2, so I'm sure the kids will be on the shorter side as well, although many people on my side of the family is tall, so we'll see.


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#26 of 27 Old 06-10-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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I started at 10 also I am now 40, I was tall ,slim and athletic I stated developing around age 8 had breasts by 9( 32 B). I'm glad your DD is happy and excited and that starting did not scare her.

Did you do anything special like a day out,a gift,etc?
 

As for my girls they did not start until 13(oldest) and 14. both are really tall and skinny more athletic than I was,etc.


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#27 of 27 Old 06-13-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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Both my DDs and I were the first in our class to develop, older DD14 and I were among the tallest in our class but DD11 is more in the middle. DD14 has stayed 5'2" for the last 2 years, I think her breasts are the only thing still growing, poor child. She started right before 6th grade started at 11.5, DD 11 will be 12 soon and still seems a little ways off, I'm guessing more around her birthday or later in 6th grade. DP and I were barely 11 when we started ours. We know a few girls who started at 9 or barely 10 (and they are all short as 12-14 year olds now, fwiw), our DD14 was pissed that one of the 9 year olds only 6 months older than her sister got hers first, lol. We met up with her dad and some close family friends when DD14 started bleeding, and she received an enviable amount of gifts, including cloth pads and a pouch for her backpack. She also got a copy of "My Little Red Book" which she enjoyed, and DD11 has already read in anticipation of starting hers at some point.


(gender)queer vegetarian artist co-parenting DDs 14 & 11 with DP and TTC  little peanut #3 3rdtri.gif

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