Talking to girls about puberty - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This weekend, I took Beth (8 y/o) to the bookstore and bought one of the books about growing up/puberty for her. DH thinks it is too soon, especially since she is 8, completely not developing, etc. But, I want her to be informed. Some of her friends are developing.

So, when did you starting explaining all this to your daughter?
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#2 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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I think it was more of a from the start, ongoing type of thing. We've always been pretty laid back about bodies, and have answered every question they had about sexuality. They had both seen childbirth by age 6 ish. By 8 or so they knew about intercourse, periods, etc. Some great books are out there about puberty for girls and boys by Lynn Madaras. Also I think Candlewick Press has some titles.

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#3 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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I first talked about periods, pubic hair, penises etc with my kids when they were small, and not giving us any privacy in the bathroom. You know how that goes. There was a time when one of my children loved putting money in the tampon machine for me in public bathrooms. I've had 3 hbs so my kids have been around laboring and birthing.

It's been ongoing, and I am happy that my boys know these things as well. When my sister told us she was pregnant, one of the children asked, 'How do you know". I was going to say she took a test, but my youngest ds piped in with, 'She probably didn't get her period when she was supposed to".

I *think* they think it's natural to talk about these things. I ask questions when it seems appropriate to, so i can see if they are understanding, or need other info. Some topics ar harder than others, of course. When my oldest was 4 and i was preg, he wanted a lot of info and really pressed me for days for more. i was trying to figure out what he wanted, so I was a little slow on facts at first. When it was clear what he was asking, i told him as appropriately as i could. He looked at me horrified, '"i cannot believe my grandparents had to do *that* 6 times". LOL
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#4 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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I just talk and keep talking. Starting at three or four years old with the right names for body parts and simple tales of "when you are older".

My dd is eleven, had her first period recently without any trauma or drama and loves her body. I must be doing something right.

Chinaberry carries a great book for girls on their changing body.
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#5 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are very open but I want DD to know what specifically is happening to her body and why. Yeah, she knows where babies come from and about penises, etc. But, there is a lot left between here you are and here is where you may be at 20 say.
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#6 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 06:28 PM
 
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My mom started with me around the age of 8. Which was good because I got my period when I was 10yrs. and 2mos. old. You just never know.
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#7 of 14 Old 04-26-2005, 06:53 PM
 
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Talking to them from the begining is so important, but I think a good book can be really helpful. Not to take away from talking to mom about it, but sometimes kids don't even know the questions to ask. Some kids are just more private than others, too. My sister would NEVER talk to anyone about "girlie stuff" but she still wanted (And needed) to know. She's still like that, at 17! She's a beautiful, well developed women, but if you ask her she has no boobs, no extra hair, and no piriod! :LOL She just wants to keep her privates private.
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#8 of 14 Old 04-27-2005, 08:47 AM
 
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We've talked "forever" about this stuff...pregnancy came up when I was pregnant with her brother, she's seen labor and birth, she's seen breasts and pubic hair, which started questions about puberty, she's seen menstrual pads and me charting, which started conversations about cycles and birth control. It's all been very gradual and we'll often re-visit topics when she wants more info.


We have a copy of What's Happening to My Body Book for Girls which talks frankly about all kinds of stuff. She's said she doesn't want to read it yet, but she knows it's there for her. In our conversations, I just take my cues from her--she lets me know when she doesn't want me to go any further with the info. At 8, she wouldn't have wanted to know about charting temperatures and ovulation, yet at 10 she likes the idea that her period doesn't need to be mysterious--that she can keep track of things. I'm sure she's not going to be charting herself any time soon, but she's open to the info now.

I don't think you can go wrong by giving info that she's comfortable with, and leaving the conversation open when she says she's heard enough.

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#9 of 14 Old 04-27-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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I don't know when we started- I think I first taught them about menstruation when they were toddlers and following me into the bathroom. Body parts and functions have never been a taboo subject in our house.

They know I get cranky when I get my period, and we've been talking about puberty and body changes ever since I started to notice the beginning of breast development on Leah (about a year ago.) We might have first brought it up even before that, when my cousin started to develop breasts (I made sure to do it in a way that didn't violate my cousin's privacy- just that these are the changes girls' bodies go through, our cousin obviously has some of the signs, but I don't know how far developed she is right now.)

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#10 of 14 Old 06-22-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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By all means, age 8 is not too soon. She needs to know what it is because she will be hearing about it, increasingly from peers in a school setting. Even if her own body has not begun to mature, she will start noticing that some of her friends' bodies are. If you open the door to communication she will feel safe to ask you her questions. You will set a very good and healthy precedent. Also, keep in mind its not unlikely a girl in her class at school will begin menstruating in the coming school year (that girl however will likely try to keep the fact a secret).

Be sure to make this an ongoing dialogue rather than a big talk followed by another big talk once a year.
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#11 of 14 Old 06-23-2005, 02:08 PM
 
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please delete, thank you
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#12 of 14 Old 06-23-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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#13 of 14 Old 06-23-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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I have no children of my own, but I wanted to say that I found out from a friend about sex when I was 8 years old so it's definitely not too early to be talking about puberty! My parents talked to me about puberty before my 11th birthday and just in time too because a month after my birthday I got my period! My Dad said that female co-workers of his told him that nobody explained it to them and when they started bleeding they freaked out and thought they were dying (that would be so scary!) so my parents had a talk with me. They didn't tell me about sex till I was 14 or 15, but I knew from age 8 as I stated above. I never told them that I knew before they told me though :LOL

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#14 of 14 Old 06-23-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gool0005
Ok, I looked up her book, it is called The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls
This is a GREAT book!!!!!!!!!! I bought it when I came across it in a bookstore a year ago. Almost gave it to dd1 (she'll be nine next month) but didn't. Soon. I have been wondering when so this thread is timely for me. Just had to second the book! The American Girl non-fiction books are really, really good. Dd1 has a lot of them "Oh Brother, Oh Sister", "The Care and Keeping of Friends", etc.
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