Gone are the days when puberty is considered synonymous with teenagers. As the years go by, girls as young as 8-9 years attain puberty and it is becoming the new normal. As much as we blame the junk food, aginomoto, hormone infused chicken, or milk, we need to be prepared and accept the fact the pubert in girls is a normal process.
Girls grow fast:
My daughter graduated to middle school yesterday. Surprisingly I was not feeling happy about it. I just don’t want her to grow. While I discussed with fellow mothers, a common thought that we shared was the girls grow fast while the boys still remain the molly cuddled little ones. It doesn’t mean that the girls don’t like to be pampered or we don’t pamper them. But yes! They are changing – look-wise, attitude-wise, perspective-wise. One look at her picture a year back brought me to tears. How my baby has changed!
I had enough of panicking and losing sleep over puberty in girls. Come what may our girls have to be there one day. Early or late, they have to be prepared and we have to prepare them.
My daughter has a sort of phobia towards the sight of blood. So the first step into preparation was to let her know that red, slimy, stinky blood would come out of her intimate area without panicking her.
We had ditched the baby talks about private parts long back. So, they are no longer caught off-guard with the terms Vagina and Penis.
Let them know that the genital area around the vagina is called vulva.
Educate your boys along
I had my seven-year-old son sit with me while I was explaining puberty in girls to her. His reaction was “wow boys are so lucky. We don’t have to face this”. The basic thought ingrained in us was coming naturally to my boy. Now, it was time to address this. To let him know that not having to bear the pain and discomfort doesn’t make him superior. I told him that girls are bearing the pain every month for a generation to come by. I am quite not sure if I put it the right way.
The next question my daughter asked was that, if I don’t want kids in future, why should I bear the pain unnecessarily.
This caught me off-guard. Why? Because I was not prepared myself.
Make sure you are prepared to face the uncomfortable questions. Primarily, while preparing your kids don’t portray periods as something unfair. While we women would find it unfair in the long run, I think you should not sow the seed of the “unfair” thought in your child.
I told them that periods happen to women because they are strong enough to handle it. Was I being sexist to my son? I genuinely don’t know. But at that point I didn’t know a better way to put it.
Prepare yourself to accept the fact that your little being is going to undergo the natural changes, like it or not. Keep your emotions in leash.
Observe the changes
Common signs of puberty would be the following
- Breast buds develop
- Hair growth in the armpits and pubic area
- Growth spurt
- Developing acne
While these are the most common signs, some girls sweat more, show mood swings, or become quieter.
Sex educate them
To let them know about intercourse is very important. Their curiosity would be at its peak and if you don’t want them to develop any unscientific thoughts about sex, educate them well. Tell them that the feeling of attraction that they might feel to a boy would be normal. Don’t beat around the bushes when they ask their doubts. Be clear and explain.
Let them know their body
Would you be surprised if I tell you that there are still women out there who don’t know about clitoris, G-spot or orgasm for that matter. Not girls, but full grown women with kids even. Don’t shy away from explaining everything appropriate to their age.
Make sure your child doesn’t have to depend on external sources gain knowledge about their body and sex at large.
Keep cotton pads handy
Keep a cotton pad inside your daughter’s bag even if she has not had her first periods. We cannot predict when this big change would come knocking at the door. Let them be prepared and teach them how to use it.
Puberty in girls and boys is something that we cannot control but we can very well control how they handle it. Don’t be their friends but be their friendly parents.