Puberty Talk: Starting with the Basics

Tween girl embarrassed by period and puberty talk.

Eek, so you’ve noticed some changes in your daughter’s body (i.e. breast development), and you know it’s time to start addressing it. First, take a deep breath! It's going to be OK. 

Here's where you go next...

According to Kelli Anderson, RN at Children’s Hospital, start with the basic terminology. In the blog post below, Anderson believes that parents don’t have to do an anatomy lesson with an eight-year old. She provides great information with how to start: https://www.chla.org/blog/rn-remedies/talking-your-daughter-about-puberty

It’s important to start conversations early with your child rather than have one “talk.” Saving all of the information for one talk might be overwhelming to your daughter. Keeping an open dialogue will encourage your daughter to come to you with questions as she continues to develop.

 Here are some guidelines for your first discussions:

  • Give her a lesson about the terms such as “puberty” and “period” / “menustration.”
  • Explain what changes her body will experience as she approaches her period including:
    • Changes to her breasts – development of breast buds
    • Changes to her shape – weight gain, growth spurt and curvier body
    • Body hair growth – both under arms, on legs and pubic area
    • Changes to her mind – more emotional due to hormonal changes in brain
  • Talk to her about the importance of privacy.
  • Tell your daughter about your experience with puberty.
  • Explain to her that puberty is a very sensitive issue and that everyone’s bodies will grow and change in a different way and on a different timeline. Pointing out the changes that you see in a friend’s body can upset her.
  • Answer any questions in an open and honest way.
  • Reassure her that these changes are normal and that she’ll experience a wide range of emotions, which is also normal.

 Here is a great book to start with:

 The Care and Keeping of You 1, American Girl

Keep checking back here for other resources. Our plan is to have video content and podcasts to help you along the way, so stay tuned. If you sign up for our newsletter, then you'll get the scoop on when it's available.

We’re here to guide you on this journey!