Puberty questions are on every young girls mind. Think about when you were going through puberty. The physical and emotional changes were probably pretty overwhelming. You can bet it’s overwhelming for your daughter, too.
Is it time to chat about puberty? If so, here are a few questions and the answers you’ll need.
- “What is puberty?”
Puberty is the name for the time when you start to change from a child into an adult, from a girl into a woman. It's important to know that puberty is normal and happens to everyone.
She should also know that, though she’ll go through a lot of changes, she’ll still be herself — with some important differences. Visually, she’ll start looking more like a woman (developing breasts, growing taller and just overall looking more like a woman) and she’ll also notice the first signs of puberty (pubic hair and getting her first period).
Mentally, she’ll be able to think more abstractly and be able to express herself more clearly. She’ll be able to think and speak like an adult.
- “Is it normal to gain weight during puberty?”
As much as she might not want it to happen, yes it is. Explain to your daughter that she's meant to put on weight during puberty because her body is growing. Also note that an adult woman has more body fat than a young girl!
More than maintaining an “ideal weight,” puberty is a time for girls to embrace nutrition and fitness rather than a number on a scale. Encourage your daughter to eat healthily and participate in physical activities so she stays fit throughout her adolescent years.
- “When will I get my period?”
First, explain to your daughter that every girl is different, so she shouldn’t compare herself to her friends or what she hears in school. In general, girls can expect their first period about two years after the first signs of her breasts developing. Many girls get their first period within a year or so of developing pubic hair and a couple months after experiencing vaginal discharge (whitish or clear fluid that comes from her vagina).
- “How can I keep feeling clean?”
This is a great time to introduce your daughter to pantiliners so she can feel fresh all day, every day.
- We've partnered with Girlology to offer a FREE download of their ebook, "You Got IT." This 30 page ebook, available as a PDF, offers tips to help girls face their periods with confidence. Register for the free download here: https://www.girlology.com/access-free-book
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Patient Brochure 41: Growing Up