What you need to know:
- It’s best for your daughter to be informed about the changes in her body before they happen.
- It can also be helpful to get sanitary pads ahead of time and explain how to use them before her first period.
- Teach her about sex education, personal grooming, and pregnancy.
Reading books and researching about teenagers can help a parent understand and respond appropriately to these changes.
Providing physical and emotional support will help them cope better.
Puberty is the time when your body begins to change and develop from a child to an adult. In girls, puberty occurs between 8 and 13 years, but it may occur earlier or later. Puberty often happens earlier in girls than in boys. Girls experience many physical changes during puberty as well as emotional and mental growth as they grow older.
Every child is different, and changes can affect them differently. For example, some girls are excited about the changes they’re seeing, and others may be worried about the new changes in their bodies.
As teenagers mature physically and emotionally, they become increasingly curious about their physical and sexual changes. So be prepared to talk to your daughter about the anticipated events of puberty before they start.
Below are the changes you need to know about your girl to help her get through puberty.
Breast development- for most girls, the first sign of puberty is breast development. A girl will initially have small tender lumps under one or both nipples. It is entirely normal. The firmness and tenderness will fade over time, and the breasts will continue to grow.
Pubic hair will start growing around the genitals, and later similar hair will begin to grow under her arms.
Body growth: her body will start to grow, height will increase and she may build up fat around her breasts, hips, and thighs. Her legs, arms, and feet will also grow.
Skin changes: you will notice some changes like pimples, acne, and more sweating. Pimples are expected for most teens, both boys and girls. Puberty hormones stimulate the skin glands to produce extra oil that can block the pores causing pimples or acne. Gently washing your face with water will help reduce breakouts.
Menstruation/Periods: your daughter will get her first period depending on when she began puberty. Most girls get their first period two to three years after entering puberty. However, the first period may start between the ages of nine and 16.
Emotional and mental changes
Puberty can be a difficult time for children. They’re experiencing changes in their body, and sometimes they may feel self-conscious. While their body is adjusting to all the hormones, so does their mind. Hormones responsible for the physical changes in their body are also making changes in their minds and emotions.
They may experience mood swings, anxiety, confusion: they need empathy. There may be so many changes that can lead to feelings of loneliness and insecurity. They may even feel awkward about the changes they’re experiencing; and while adjustment can feel challenging at first, it will gradually become more manageable.
Social and behavioral
Puberty is often a time of experimentation and sometimes can involve risky behaviors such as sex and drugs. Your daughter is trying to figure out who she is and also trying to fit in.
Talking openly with your child about sex and drugs will help her act responsibly when facing them. In addition, it’s time for your daughter to learn about her interests and goals.
You will notice your daughter starting to separate from you. As she goes through puberty, her friends become more important to than the parent(s), but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you anymore: she is just trying to figure herself out.
She will begin to appreciate how others, especially her peers, view her as she tries to gain acceptance. She will start to try new looks and identities as she figures herself out. Tell your teenage daughter about what is right and wrong. Tell her everyone goes through puberty and she should not to worry about the changes.
Academic and cognitive development
As your daughter reaches puberty, not only does her body start to change, but her brain also grows. As she approaches adulthood, she will eventually become independent, responsible, and communicative.
Your daughter will develop the ability to think logically, rationally and eventually set long-term goals. She will become more concerned about more important things like her studies and sports. She may also want to take on more responsibilities at school and home.
Why you need to know about these changes
Parents who are informed of what’s coming can cope better. The more you know, the better for you and your teen daughter.
Reading books and researching about teens will help you understand and respond correctly to your daughter.
However, the more you wait, the more likely your daughter may form misconceptions or become afraid or embarrassed of the physical and emotional changes she will encounter.
Parents need to respond with patience and understanding when dealing with teenage daughters as they’re already experiencing many changes. In addition, providing physical and emotional support will help them cope better.
Talk openly about puberty with your daughter to help her understand better what is going on in her body. It’s best for your daughter to be informed of the changes in her body earlier on in the process of puberty. It can also be helpful to get sanitary pads ahead of time and explain how to use them before her first period. In addition, teach her about sex education, personal grooming, and pregnancy.