Puberty in girls can cause a young girl to question everything about herself without the proper guidance. In a recent study conducted by The Journal of Adolescent Health, it was found that when puberty comes around for adolescent girls, their participation in sports and exercise drops significantly. Researchers found that this is linked to young girls’ ideas about their changing bodies.
So, how do parents help change the tide on this issue? By talking about it with their daughters. Obviously, as shown by the study, school doesn’t do enough to inform adolescent girls of the changes that come with puberty in girls. Parents can help by sitting down with their children and explaining the changes.
How to talk to your daughter about puberty in girls
Puberty in girls usually happens from age 8 to 13, so if your daughter is in middle school, she’s most likely curious about some changes going on with her body. So how do you, as a parent, address these changes? The best way is to sit her down and explain it. Yes, this is awkward for both of you at first, but it will avoid a lot of confusion later down the road.
Start off by asking what she’s learned already in health class. This prompts her to think about the questions she was too scared or embarrassed to ask during class. Recap the basics with her. This includes:
- Physical changes: Explain that as puberty runs its course, her body will change–most noticeably her breasts–and that when she starts menstruating, it is completely okay to come to you and ask for guidance. Make sure she knows that puberty happens at a different time and rate for everyone so that she knows not to worry if it’s taking longer for her to get through it.
- Hormonal changes: Puberty in girls is a time of extreme hormonal change. If a teen or tween doesn’t know why they’re feeling a certain way, it can be very disorienting. Make sure your daughter knows that puberty isn’t just about physical change, but also emotional. The hormones coursing through her body can cause her to have mood swings and that’s normal. Tell her that if it ever becomes overwhelming that you’re there to help.
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls, ages 10 to 14, struggling with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other behavioral issues. We strive to help each of our girls succeed and move towards healthy lives as young women.
For more information about how Asheville Academy can help your daughter, call 800-264-8709 today!