Early Puberty: What It Is and How to Deal (page 2)

Early Puberty: What It Is and How to Deal

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Updated on Dec 14, 2010

Your daughter may be embarrassed even to go to school if she is little and having a period. She may need a lot of help to understand the hygiene involved. Help her, being cautious not to tease or joke. As a parent you may have your own feelings about this event, but it is important not to share them with your child. Talk to other parents or her doctor, but handle her with respectful calm. This will reassure her and help her handle her feelings and the requirements of her puberty.

  • Be prepared for questions. Most questions will begin with, or imply: “What” and “Why?” Good answers can be short and simple.
    • Q: “Why am I getting hair down there/breasts etc.?”
    • A: “Because this is how God/nature/(you pick your word) made people.”
    • Q: “What happens to boys?”
    • A: “They have boy changes. For example, their voices change.”(In most cases, this may be enough.)
    • Q:“Why do bodies change?”
    • A: “It is part of growing up.”
  • Do not underestimate the precocious peer group. Kids talk to each other. They overhear adults talk, and they see things—a lot of things—on TV. By 10, 9 and even 8, many have some dim awareness of sexuality, even though they may not have a clear idea of the “facts.” Because of this, some older children maturing early, may have more sophisticated questions. If you, like many parents, find it uncomfortable to begin the sex discussion, follow Dr. Pickhardts’ advice, and locate a book that you can read with your child.
  • Find support for yourself from your own peers. Talk to other parents who are dealing with the same issues. Find out what their kids are asking and what they are saying to them. Take what you like and leave the rest. You can also check with your pediatrician, school nurse, and guidance counselors for help framing your answers based on your child’s age. Some schools begin to teach about the human body in the early grades. Gearing your answers to what is being taught may help you with what to say and help make things more understandable for your child.


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