Sex. Drugs. The menstrual cycle.
As a parent, talking to your daughter about difficult topics is inevitable. And once it starts, it’ll never stop. The good news is that while it may never get less awkward, it does get easier with age. In the meantime, there are several tips to remember to make hard conversations just a little easier.
It Happens to Everybody
All girls develop differently. Some may have their first period as early as 9, others as late as 16 – and emotional development is another ballgame altogether. Talking to your daughter about these changes is paramount in providing her with healthy support. When discussing mature topics, it can be useful to:
- Strike preemptively. As frightening as it may be for the parent to bring up private subjects – periods or sex, for instance – it would be infinitely more frightening for your daughter to discover them on her own.
- Laugh about it. The conversation is equally awkward for both parties. By injecting humor into the situation and not taking it too seriously, you let your daughter know that it is okay to approach you with difficult topics down the line.
- Don’t judge. Self-discovery is an inextricable part of growing up. As long as your daughter doesn’t engage in dangerous behavior, you don’t have to micromanage her every action or overreact. Yes, there will be interest in boys, but it’s not the end of the world. Instead, be available for your daughter to reach out to for support.
- Listen. As a parent, it may be tempting to constantly provide your opinions when talking to your daughter. However, by interrupting, you might shut your daughter off from being candid.
- Be honest, stay positive, and have fun. While talking to your daughter might not be the simplest task, with a good attitude and loads of compassion, you will make the most out of the situation and your daughter will be all the more grateful for it.
If your daughter is struggling with her self esteem or has started to act out during her tween years, just talking to your daughter probably won’t do the trick. Asheville Academy for Girls, a therapeutic boarding school for young girls ages 10-14, can help your daughter get back on the right track.
For more information about Asheville Academy for Girls, please call 800.264.8709 today!