Preparing your daughter for puberty
Congratulations mothers! It was only yesterday that you were cribbing about daughter’s nappy changing routine and now all of a sudden she’s on the brink of womanhood. Here’s how you can deal with all your jitters and apprehension
It seems like only yesterday that you were cribbing about daughter’s nappy changing routine and now all of a sudden she’s on the brink of womanhood.
As she enters into her adult mature years, she is bound to envelop you with questions about her bodily and emotional alterations in puberty.
What every mother needs to remember is that this is the stage for your daughter to “feel special”. It’s your job to give an ear to her apprehensions, feelings and to any kind of misapprehensions.
This will help in saving your child from a lot of trauma, anxiety, worry, uneasiness and mainly misinformation if you talk to her about puberty.
Here are some insights on how you can prepare your daughter for this important milestone in her life:
Preparing her for puberty does not always mean just talking to her what is scientifically going inside her body. Just converse with her at lengths and explain to her how normal a thing it is.
Explain to her how to wrap a pad and dispose it of, rather than just flushing it of in a toilet.
Address sex matters on priority
It is essential to take things with a spirit of open-mindedness at times. Explain to your daughter as soon as she turns 10 or 12 years old about what it is in using sanitary pads and why do we use them. Explain to them that it only happens to big girls and not to boys. Chit-chat with them about various advantages of entering into an adolescent stage and how should they cherish these coming years.
Open channel of communication
Believe in an open approach. Children know and can sense things in much larger intensity than we give them credit for. Now a day’s television shows, even channels such as cartoon network exposes children to many adult concepts and ideas. Thus, it is essential for kids to grow up with as much knowledge as they need right from the beginning. They nonetheless, trust us. No wonder, they come to us with so many doubts and queries so rather than misinforming them, it is always better to approach the issues and “talk” about them.
Internal Medicine Medanta Medicity’s Senior Consultant, Dr Sushila Kataria advises to give your daughter confidence and re-assure her that the bodily changes are normal and are a natural part of growing up. “Invest in some good books about teenage, adulthood and puberty,” adds Dr Kataria.
A constructive body reflection
It is very important not to pass comments about your own body or anyone else’s body in front of your kids. And yes, never criticize their bodies’ either. “If your child learns to love herself and accept her body as it is for the person she is, she’ll never go out of confidence while combating major things in her coming life,” says Dr Asha Sharma, Gynecologist, Rockland Hospital. It will also assist in strengthening her sense of self esteem and will encourage her to explore the ideas of her inner self.
What to look forward to
Your angel could get her first period anywhere between age eight to sixteen, however a majority of girls are most likely to get when they are twelve years of age. She will show certain physical changes in her body. She’ll gain weight and height considerably. Around this time, breast buds will appear and she may feel some discomfort and softness around her nipples. She’ll soon start having pubic hair. Parents can help them by making them at ease by their physical and psychological changes. Reassure to them that these changes are extremely normal and are something which happens to every gown up.
Emotionally, she would want her own personal space. She may appear to be moody and distant and would want some privacy at times. It is always advisable to talk about your own struggles in puberty, how you felt and how your parents dealt with it.
Just try and respect her need for change and let her be at times. Allow her to indulge into creative activities in order to utilize her energy into positive direction.
Each girl is extraordinary
Let her be known to the fact that each girl grows at her own pace. At times, it is seen that some girls develop their physical assets much rapidly than others and this itself becomes a cause of great embarrassment for them. Just talk to her about how great it is to be a woman. All she needs from you is reassurance, not only when she stains her clothes but also when you are going out to shop for a bra for her.
Take her out for a celebration
Make merry and mark the occasion of her first period or her first bra by taking her out on an ice cream treat and so on. This will help in making her feel unique and special about the changes taking place inside her. Now that your child is almost all-grown-up, pass on to her same feelings and understanding that your mother did, so that she can carry it forward for her daughter.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 05, 2013
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