4th graders - breast buds and body hair and doctor's warning - menarche not far away - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 05-20-2011, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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are ur 4th graders close to this yet?

 

OMG!!! i was at school helping with an art project and working mostly with 4th graders. dd is in 3rd grade. and i was looking at them and they are sooo 'grown up' in personality. and i was looking at them thinking wow this is what my dd is going to be like this time next year. 

 

and then i noticed. OMG most of the class had breast buds. no wait. actually small boobs - beyond breast buds. dd has bbuds the reason why i noticed. so i spoke to the moms - and with most of them their ped has warned them menarche is not far away. within the year.

 

omg they have body hair. in fact one of dd's close friends from her class has bb and body hair and the doc's be prepared warning too. omg. in THIRD grade?!!! her mom helps her SHAVE her underarms because she is so embarrased by it. her mom wont trust her with the razor herself. her dd is too young for the razor. 

 

is that your experience of 4th graders in your school?

 

these kids are still such babies. people still check in with me when they see a sharp knife in dd's hands. 

 

i am not concerned about dd. she knows all. she will manage fine. i am a bit concerned about embarrasement of changing in school if she needs to (she hates using the bathroom at school and doesnt usually use it the whole time she is in school). 

 

i never thought i would be freaking out myself. i am so not ready for puberty. 

 

or is it that just our school is odd?

 


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#2 of 32 Old 05-20-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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Ds is in 4th grade. I'd say that there's a huge range for 4th grade girls in our school -- some are clearly entering puberty, some are clearly a long ways off. Most of the 4th graders are a bit 'puppyish' -- they're getting their growth spurts, but they're still clearly kids. I don't remember any 3rd graders with that shape or those issues.

 

The boys are still boys, and not too many signs of puberty other than puppy feet. Ds' feet have gotten huge this year (and the first thing the delivery nurse said was "look at those feet!" so he's never had tiny ones). 

 

The difference between boys and girls becomes much more noticeable in 5th grade -- we've got a number of 5th grade girls who are tall, and have clearly filled out into a woman's form, not a girl's. Not too many boys have followed suit.

 

 


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#3 of 32 Old 05-20-2011, 10:30 PM
 
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I think it is very common.  I have seen a lot of girls that age that are developing.  Girls do develop sooner than boys. I myself started developing at 9.   A lot of girls also don't develop until about 11 and up.  It varies.  My now 14 year old had buds at 11, and boobs by 12  but this was a very different and abnormal case because of my child's circumstances not beign normal so it does not apply.

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#4 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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Yes, I think it's fairly common. There may be a slight difference in some areas. If your school has an early cut-off date and/or a lot of red-shirting, it would result in older children in the classes.  That might show up in the form of more girls hitting puberty in an an earlier grade, compared to another school district.

 

In grade 4, the change that I noticed was social. The girls became interested in boys and romance. The boys, of course, were completely blind to the idea.  

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#5 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Dd goes to a private school and the 4th grade has less than 30 kids in the whole grade, so the sample size of girls in 4th is 15 or less (so take this for what it is worth).  I have not seen this to be true for the girls in 4th.  There is one chubby girl that is more developed than others, but it's difficult to see if it's the weight or she's really developing.  The 4th graders are 9 or 10 years old.  None of the girls in dd's 3rd grade (14 girls total) are showing any signs of puberty yet.  The boys seem to be quite tall compared to the girls, though.  I'm sure the girls will start out-pacing them in the height department soon.

 

I wonder how a doctor can "predict" when a girl is going to start her period.  The process is different for every girl, even within a family.  My oldest sister started her period when she was 9 and had not developed breast buds or hair.  My older sister, a year younger than the oldest, started when she was 16 and was very well developed when she did so.  I was somewhere in the middle and distinctly remember needing a training bra a few YEARS before I started my period.

 

I would take the doctor's words with a grain of salt.  Their  guess is as good as yours... and that's what it probably is... just a guess.  I wouldn't start worrying until you are actually faced with the situation.

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#6 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I would take the doctor's words with a grain of salt.  They're guess is as good as yours... and that's what it probably is... just a guess.

yeah velochic i agree with you. genetics is more of a factor than what the doctor says. 

 

i still have years with my dd too.

 

but as seh is growing up and my own parenting philosophy is evolving i am becoming more aware of the changes and they are huge to me. 

 

i have to completely rethink my parenting tactics which is new ground for me and i am struggling.

 

i got breastbuds when i was 9. by 10 i was wearing a bra and i started my periods when i was 10 or 11. so i figure dd probably might start early. my mom started early too and i followed in her exact footsteps. 

 

i just realised why i am freaking out. my mom and me had bad cramps till we had our kids and then they went away. bad bad bad cramps that only exercise and clearing out the system helped. i could literally feel the pain flush out of me as i sat on the potty. i was so doubled over i could not do any stretches or exercises. 

 

and i guess i dont want that experience for dd. or the shy element of how to take the stuff in with you to the bathroom at school without anyone finding out. 

 

4th grade has more girls than boys in this school. the group of girls was perhaps around 50 girls. 

 

olly i dont know about 4th grade but in 3rd i find there are a few still 8. almost all the kids are 9 and a few 10. this is california. if they had had a sept cut off date like they do now dd now would be in second. 

 

lynn i find (i guess since i dont have a boy i tend not to notice them) i do this every year. i remember when dd was end of 1st grade (new school) and i was helping out with 2nd graders and since i knew some of the kids i had seen how different they were. so every year around this time i go thru this phase of mine. while here i write about the puberty i am just blown away by the 4th graders 'maturity'. i also notice the difference in interaction between moms and dd's. its more a conversation on an equal level - instead of the teaching moments or i tell you parent child talk i usually hear now. 

 

i will keep my eyes open to see the 5th grade changes. 


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#7 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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My girls are in Grades 7, 4 & 3.

 

When my eldest was in Grade 4 there were girls who definitely had breasts & not just buds.  There were girls who had their periods.  There were girls who were just forming buds.  Most of the girls who had breasts & their periods were almost 2 years older than my dd because A) they had early birthdays and were held back a year.  My dd in Grade 4 was 9, these kids were 11.

 

my dd started to get pubic hair right around when she turned 9.  She is 12.5 & had a small amount of armpit hair.  She has small breasts.  She does NOT have her period yet.

 

My middle one who is in Grade 4 now is getting a small amount of pubic hair.  She shows no signed of buds.  There is less than a handful of kids who would have breast buds in her class.  None of the girls in her grade have been held back, though I don't know if any started early or not.

 

My youngest in Grade 3 has breast buds, though no pubic hair or anything like that so I'm not sure if they're true breast buds or an accumulation of fat as she does have a bit of a muffin top at times(she is slim & quite active too). 

 

Some of the girls in your dd's class may have what looks more like real breasts because they're wearing a padded bra due to only having breast buds(they can become uncomfortable or embarrasing to not wear a bra & the padding helps with some of that).

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#8 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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I was 9 when I developed breast buds and started getting pubic hair.  I didn't get my period until I was 11 1/2, halfway through 6th grade.  I see it as the early side of normal.  Definitely not ABNORMAL. 

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#9 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 12:24 PM
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I started getting breast buds at 8, was wearing a "training bra" at 9 and started getting pubic fuzz around that time, and got my period at 11.5. I was not alone. Many of my friends had their periods before leaving the sixth grade. My mother experienced menarche at age 10 and was already wearing a regular bra by that time.

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#10 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Bandgeek, just like you my dd just had her first (very scant) period at 11.5 and the end of fifth grade.  She started developing before 10yo just a bit and has had pubic hair for a year+ now.  I was really worried that she would have a period much sooner but it was more than a year and now I am not upset by the timing.  She is among the earliest in her class, also the tallest.  (Her poor twin brother is about 6 in. shorter than her--and quite dismayed.)  DD is also older than most in fifth grade since her birthday is November.   Still, she is still definitely a kid, won't wear a bra even though she has prominent breasts and not interested in shaving, both of which are fine by me.  She is homeschooling next year so less pressure at this time of life--yay!  (She only stayed in PS this past year because she has been really into academic team--our other three already homeschool.)

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#11 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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Bandgeek, just like you my dd just had her first (very scant) period at 11.5 and the end of fifth grade.  She started developing before 10yo just a bit and has had pubic hair for a year+ now.  I was really worried that she would have a period much sooner but it was more than a year and now I am not upset by the timing.  She is among the earliest in her class, also the tallest.  (Her poor twin brother is about 6 in. shorter than her--and quite dismayed.)  DD is also older than most in fifth grade since her birthday is November.   Still, she is still definitely a kid, won't wear a bra even though she has prominent breasts and not interested in shaving, both of which are fine by me.  She is homeschooling next year so less pressure at this time of life--yay!  (She only stayed in PS this past year because she has been really into academic team--our other three already homeschool.)


I was the third girl in both 6th grade classes to get it (yes, we talked! LOL).  The first was one who was a full year older than the rest of us, as she was held back a year.  The other was a girl who was just a big girl in general, tall and a little overweight.  She just LOOKED older.  I was always the shortest in my class until I hit puberty.  Then I shot up out of nowhere and reached almost my full adult height by 12 or so.  Then by high school I was one of the shortest again.  I was definitely an "early bloomer".

 

I was a *little* young to be dealing with everything, although some of that could be attributed to the fact that I was NOT prepared for womanhood.  My mom avoided talking about it, left it for the schools to educate us.  I was embarrassed to even go to her for menstrual supplies.  I think if I'd had more emotional support through that time I wouldn't have felt so lost and scared.  11 1/2 really wasn't too bad of an age, even with all the support I lacked.  I'm surprised when people feel it's entirely too soon.  It's not.  Our kids will survive. LOL

 

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#12 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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I have noticed a lot of kids start budding then, but that really doesn't seem weird because 8-12 is the average range for puberty starting so 4th grade is right in the middle of that.  Our district has a ridiculously early cutoff so a lot of kids in fourth grade are 10.  In some schools a few of the kids are kept home a year and they are 11 or really close to that in fourth grade.  It is hard to be the one developing the quickest but most girls are developing some. 

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#13 of 32 Old 05-21-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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I was 8 when I started wearing a bra (and I needed one - it was hurting to run) and around the same age that I got a bit of pubic hair. I was 10(5th grade) when I started my period, and I'm pretty sure I was the first of the girls in my class to have it.
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#14 of 32 Old 05-23-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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My 10.5 yo DD has had breast buds since around her 10th birthday, with pit hair but I think that's it as of yet. Her older sister had them around the time she turned 9 and started bleeding at 11.5. A friend of our family has a 10 yo 4 months younger than DD2 who got her period at 9 and looks about 16. I would guess she's a C cup. Her 11 year old sister still just has buds. Their mom is probably an AA after breastfeeding 3 girls. There is a massive amount of variation. 4th grade seems about average to me.


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#15 of 32 Old 08-07-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Kids, especially girls seem to be maturing earlier than I remember when I was young (I started breast buds around 11yo and had my first period at 121/2). Oddly enough my own child (now 12) started developing breast buds at 11 too. Unless they are very young (pre 4th grade) then there is no need to worry too much except to make sure the child knows what is happening and can cope with it. It can be difficult if they are very different to their friends, but itsvsomething you have to steer the child through.

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#16 of 32 Old 08-07-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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My dd is 10, she started her cycle the end of her 4th grade year. She already wears a 34 a bra because she has to. Body hair everywhere. It seems crazy at her age.


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#17 of 32 Old 08-07-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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My daughter and I got our period at the same time... end of fourth grade. I don't think that's unusual.
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#18 of 32 Old 08-07-2011, 09:45 PM
 
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There's a general rule of thumb, that I learned about a few years ago, that once pubic hair emerges you've got about a year, give or take, before the period arrives. This is probably the same thing those docs were using to make their predictions. Of course genetics plays into it all, but we're all set to the same general body clock and progression of milestones too.


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#19 of 32 Old 08-08-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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Holy Camolie! I got breasts at age 13-14 and my period at 17!

I had an early bedtime though. And I am old, so probably not half the hormones in all the clothes and food as today.

I hope DD follows suit.

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#20 of 32 Old 08-08-2011, 07:27 AM
 
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I got my period at 13, but didn't get breasts until I was 15. But I was really really skinny.

My dd is 9.5 and is just starting to get a tiny bit of breast development. She's thin to average.
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#21 of 32 Old 08-08-2011, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Holy Camolie! I got breasts at age 13-14 and my period at 17!

how did you feel Allison when you didnt get your periods when others did?

 

i have spoken to some older generations and the couple of them who started later than normal were actually quite stressed that they didnt begin when others had begun. they feared they might not get it.

 

was that your experience too?

 

in my mom's and gma's generation the normal was 13 - 14. 


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#22 of 32 Old 08-08-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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I'm not sure how much of early development is environmentally-related and how much is genetic and just "normal" because we have better nutrition.

 

I started getting breast buds at age 10, developed pubic and arm hair around the same time, and my period started right when I turned 11.  I think I was on the early side but most girls that I knew started somewhere between 11 and 13.  I think the big thing is really just to discuss how to deal with hygiene and basic body care once things start progressing.  Maybe now just discuss how our bodies change as we get older.   From a Waldorf perspective, I think it would be nice to have some stories of fictional growing-up stories.  I don't have any to suggest, as my dd is only 5, but maybe others will.


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#23 of 32 Old 08-08-2011, 10:45 PM
 
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how did you feel Allison when you didnt get your periods when others did?

 

i have spoken to some older generations and the couple of them who started later than normal were actually quite stressed that they didnt begin when others had begun. they feared they might not get it.

 

was that your experience too?

 

in my mom's and gma's generation the normal was 13 - 14. 


It didn't bother me, and I don't think anyone else bothered me about it either. One of my best friends also got her first period at 16 or 17, a few months before me. Maybe other kids got it at 12-13 then, but either I don't remember, or I was oblivious to it.

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#24 of 32 Old 08-09-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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OP, if you don't already have it, The Care and Keeping of You, in the American Girls series is a very nice intro sort of book to puberty, self care, etc.  It's very readable for a 4th grader, not overwhelming.  My dd still keeps her copy around.

 

Puberty is a process.  With the girls I would say I started noticing a bit before 5th grade started, maybe end of 4th, and by 6th grade most of the girls were clearly starting to mature.  Talk w/your dd, be open, plan for how to make sure, when she needs to, that she can care for herself at school.  I find most girls, including my own, are amazingly confident and self sufficient.

 

 

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#25 of 32 Old 08-10-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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My dd is 9.  She really needs to wear a soft camisole-type or sports-bra type bra as she has breast buds that become sore and are visible beneath her clothes which the boys were noticing. Not a surprise really since I was a full C cup by grade 5... only my mother never helped me find a bra or anything of the sort.  I remember how awful that felt, and I don't want her to have that experience. (In her defense, my mother was an AA/A cup throughout her life who HATED bras- it just didn't cross her mind...)

 

We've talked some about other body changes, and every so often I catch myself looking over and wondering where my 'little kid' went as she is carrying herself in a far more mature way these days.  We also had to have a talk about the fact that the older boys at the pool really weren't interested in the things she was because they were interested in those subjects.... they had different motivations (the boys were in their early teens... and holding conversations with her chest. 

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#26 of 32 Old 08-10-2011, 08:54 PM
 
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I distinctly remember getting my first period at age 10 years 8 months, which was near the end of 5th grade for me. I don't remember when other puberty changes happened.

 

 

 

Quote:

I was a *little* young to be dealing with everything, although some of that could be attributed to the fact that I was NOT prepared for womanhood.  My mom avoided talking about it, left it for the schools to educate us.  I was embarrassed to even go to her for menstrual supplies.  I think if I'd had more emotional support through that time I wouldn't have felt so lost and scared.  

 

 

Same here. Sexuality was just something not talked about in my house (unless the speaker was my step-father and Mom was out of earshot eyesroll.gif) I vaguely knew what periods were somehow,  so I wasn't TOO shocked when I started bleeding (didn't think I was wounded, sick, dying, whatever). But I was too embarrassed to tell my mom. We actually had some applicable sex ed before my second period came around (they even told a sad story about another girl who didn't tell her mom, her mom felt all betrayed and blah blah blah--Didn't get me to tell Mom, just made me wracked with guilt), but somehow I got through it without realizing that I had to worry about another period soon. Big shock when I bled much more noticeably next month, and classmates noticed before I did. (I remember some girls calling out and asking how old I was when I was obliviously walking to recess with bloody white shorts. They may have been the one to alert the playground aid lady, who escorted me to the nurse. She found me in the bathroom with toilet paper stuffed in my underpants AND held to the outside of my shorts, because I was hoping to hide it that way, LOL. Man, I cried so much on the way to the nurse. The good news is that the nurse told mom so I didn't have to!

 

My mom was (and probably still is) convinced that I didn't tell her because I thought she'd be mad. (I can't find the head-banging-on-wall smiley.) In her defense, the reason she didn't prepare me for my period was because she thought I wouldn't get it until 13 or 14 years old.

 

When I hear people objecting to sex ed in elementary school, I'm horrified! If I have daughters, I think I'll give them a little heads up when they turn 8, just to make sure they aren't too shocked when they're suddenly oozing blood. Even though they probably won't get their period until 11+, I figure there's no harm in knowing about it.

 

Quote:

11 1/2 really wasn't too bad of an age, even with all the support I lacked.  I'm surprised when people feel it's entirely too soon.  It's not.  Our kids will survive. LOL 

 

I get the feeling many people are really resistant to girls growing up... or something. You see it in parents denying their girls control over their appearance, often with really strange justifications. Lots of moms on this site can tell you some depressing story about how their own mother wouldn't let them wear a bra, even when they really needed it. Another common one is that the girl isn't allowed to shave her legs, even when she clearly has terminus hair dark enough to embarrass her, because... shaving makes the hair grow in darker! (head + wall) A recent topic had a mom saying she didn't want her daughter having earrings or nail polish because she didn't believe in sexualizing young girls. I once saw a really old topic where a mom felt that NOT wearing pantyhose made her daughter "look promiscuous." Same with make up, hair coloring....

 

In fact, even though my own mother was the sort to let us kids smoke and drink (in the safety of home!) and even buys my 13-year-old brother cigarettes, she forbade my 12-year-old sister from dying her hair black, because that's "too young" to have your hair dyed. When I press for an explanation, Mom said she didn't want Sister to destroy her hair so early with all those hair dye chemicals. (Because buying a wig or just going without hair is way harder than getting a lung transplant or just going without lungs, right?) 

 

I'm pretty sure Mom would have held back our menarche if she'd had a way. (Which I wouldn't have minded, because periods are annoying, but my convenience would not have been her main motivation.)

 

Maybe most parents can't help to resist their kid growing up, and I'll understand it when I finally have my own babies. But... I haven't noticed as much of this for boys.

 

 

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#27 of 32 Old 08-10-2011, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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karne thanks for the book recommendation. i will check it out. extra info will be good for dd. This is a book I am looking to share with dd once she gets a little older - maybe next summer or later. http://www.amazon.com/Breadwinner-Deborah-Ellis/dp/0888994168

 

the thing is dd is fully 'armed' - knowledge wise about the direct physical aspect of when and why. reason being she is a super curious child and i had no privacy in the bathroom till she was older so she is aware of it all. 

 

the part that concerns me is she starting before she is emotionally and psychologically ready. not just about menarche itself but everything around it. i want her to understand that any mood swings or the emotional aspect is part of it. and give her ways to handle herself. she is already a v. sensitive emotional child (a combination of a child AND a teenager at the same time). i really think watching her, her 'puberty' started at 5 when she went thru huge mood swings and then boom she got BO at 6. i happened to discover that by accident. if we didnt cosleep i wouldnt know it. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

OP, if you don't already have it, The Care and Keeping of You, in the American Girls series is a very nice intro sort of book to puberty, self care, etc.  It's very readable for a 4th grader, not overwhelming.  My dd still keeps her copy around.

 

Puberty is a process.  With the girls I would say I started noticing a bit before 5th grade started, maybe end of 4th, and by 6th grade most of the girls were clearly starting to mature.  Talk w/your dd, be open, plan for how to make sure, when she needs to, that she can care for herself at school.  I find most girls, including my own, are amazingly confident and self sufficient.

 

 



 


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#28 of 32 Old 08-11-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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wow interesting thread.


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#29 of 32 Old 08-15-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Yikes... this is scaring me. DD is turning 9 and starting 4th grade. She is young for her grade, many of them are older, but still. I have wondered if she's getting breast buds but not sure if that's just fat? (How do you know?) I think I got my first training bra in 5th grade but didn't get my period until 15. She is not ready. Too much anxiety already, I am afraid of adding in the hormones. I don't know how she will handle it. 

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#30 of 32 Old 08-15-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andromedajulie View Post

Yikes... this is scaring me. DD is turning 9 and starting 4th grade. She is young for her grade, many of them are older, but still. I have wondered if she's getting breast buds but not sure if that's just fat? (How do you know?)


My daughter just turned eight, and she is starting to develop breast buds. They are not very visible yet so I would not have noticed had she not come to me last month wondering why her chest hurt so much under her nipple area. I was VERY surprised; I did not expect this for another year or two.

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