Our children grow so fast. One day they’re babies and next day they’re going through puberty. This video is about preparing your daughter to go through puberty in a peaceful and healthy way.
You have to start early. The first thing you have to do is start at the age of four, telling your daughters about the difference between girls and boys, anatomically speaking. So, how boys look like and how girls look like on the outside and that they are different body wise.
Later on the girl will find out on her own that she is different because she likes to play with dolls perhaps and boys like to play with cars and trains. So she will start to notice the difference between her and boys. In that meantime it’s very important to make her think and feel that she is equal to the boy, in the sense that they’re two equal human beings, she’s not weaker or she’s not less intelligent. You always have to be careful with making your daughter understand that she’s just as good as a boy. In some cultures this is a very big problem because they make their daughters feel that they are weaker and less, and that affects the girls throughout their lives.
You also have to start gradually to tell your daughter about her body as she approaches the puberty, that you tell her that things are going to change in your body. You have to pick the good times to talk to your daughter, so, if she’s not interested or if she’s embarrassed or too shy or she pulls away and she doesn’t want to talk about it, please respect her feelings. So, every time you get the chance to talk to her about a piece of information about her body, pick the right time. For example when you’re together in the car driving, this is a good moment because you’re not looking her in the eyes and so she’s not that embarrassed. And you go and just driving and enjoying the way and talking about maybe embarrassing things.
While cooking you will have to stress with your daughter on the fact that she needs healthy food and encourage her to understand the relation between eating healthy and looking healthy.
Also, if you’re watching movies together, you can explain your opinions about life and morals and love, via commenting on the people or the characters in the film. So, you will be watching a love story and you will explain the good thing about love and the bad things about sexuality or the good things about it. So you can tell her, convey the message to her, via your comments on the characters in the movie.
Puberty has many aspects of development. Not only physical, but also emotional and social. Don’t forget to prepare your child for the emotional and social aspects, as well as the physical, of course.
THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS
Let’s start with the physical aspects and developments. Puberty is because of the hormones, so the hormones are happening all around your child’s body and she is experiencing a different person who lives inside of her, because of these hormones.
Of course she’s looking at her body and she’s changing. You can give her a book about it and she can read and look at the images of how her body will change. If she gets very confused about it you can also take her to the doctor, a gynaecologist or psychologist, and introduce the aspects of development to her via another person.
It’s also important that if she feels insecure, that you assure her and tell her that girls grow at different paces. So if her schoolmates are different she shouldn’t compare herself to them, because girls are different until the age of, perhaps, eighteen. They have different phases of physical development.
Also, you should encourage her to do sports, because sport will make her more secure about her body and will make her feel much more relaxed with the hormonal changes. Be very practical in that phase, because it’s about time to show the girl practically that she’s a woman.
A good chance at this phase is to buy a book, maybe about anatomy and physiology of the human body. And in this case she will feel more free to know more information on her own.
Around the age of nine it’s a good moment to start to talk about menstruation with your daughter, especially if you have had en early menarche. Menarche is the age at which the girls experience their first menstruation. So if you’ve had an early menarche your daughters’ chance is higher to having an early menarche as well. So you will talk to her about starting menstruation always before it starts, because the experience of the menstruation is sometimes traumatic, very stressful to some girls, and it’s very important that they are physically and mentally ready for it.
Another important experience is the phase of buying her a new bra and new underwear that is fitting for her. So a good thing is to try to measure her size and go together to buy a new bra, it’s a very important experience for a daughter.
And then it’s time to buy pads. I would suggest to always use pads, the cotton ones, or the fabric small towels, because they are healthy and will not have the side effects that tampons can cause. I would not recommend to use tampons. So you can buy her all the things that are important for her menstruation phase, like the pads and the nice water bottle, it’s inside this cute little bear. You can make it yourself if you like.
There’s also the idea of changing in the body odour to your daughter. So it’s important to teach her about personal hygiene, that she should wash everyday and use mild soap. So the soap has to be of a ph that is close to her skin ph. So this soap is ph 5.5, you’ll find it in the pharmacies. That’s better than these aggressive soaps, especially around the genital area.
It’s also important to teach her to be strict with trimming her body hair and brushing her teeth regularly and using deodorant. Some girls would prefer using the roll-on deodorant, some the spray deodorant, but I would prefer to always use natural deodorants. That’s why I’m recommending that you would make your own at home, using for example lemon, baking soda and ginger in a mix. And you can put it in a bottle for your daughter here, like this one.
Your daughter will also wonder about waxing and shaving the bikini area. While it’s good to trim the hair with save scissors like those or to shave it with a shaver, like an electric shaver, the epilation, so, removing the hairs from the root is actually not very healthy because this hair protects her against the mechanical rubbing of the skin against her tight clothes and it also protects her partly against the bacteria. So, having trimmed pubic hair is much better then shaving it or epilating it completely.
It’s also very handy to teach your daughter about the trouble that comes with menstruation. So, you can provide her with painkillers like paracetamol or panadol. I would not suggest her to use aspirin until she’s twenty-five.
Another important aspect of her health development – physically wise – is that she will start to notice skin changes, in the form of acne or maybe other changes like stretch marks and so on. So skin care is very important in this phase. One thing to know is that skin care comes first from inside, so healthy nutrition is a must for young people, as well as everybody, but young people have to understand that healthy food is very important for their appearance as well as the inside. A good way to teach your children to eat healthy food is that you eat healthy food yourself, set a good example, but also explain to them that omega 3 in the form of capsule or gummies, here, will give them very good skin.
At this phase of physical development your daughter will also have problems with her body movement. So she might become a little bit jerky and goofy and will drop things and forget things and so on. So it’s very important to be patient with her and not get angry at mistakes that she might make.
So at this phase it’s important to help her set her priorities and make a to do list, perhaps. And it’s good that she makes it herself, so that realizes that she’s now responsible person.
Now it’s the time to talk about sexuality and how sex happens. At the age of around nine or ten the child fully understands that people have sex. So you can explain to her the importance of sex in reproduction. Use scientific terms and a very serious attitude, and in the meantime a very respectful attitude of the role of sexuality in our lives. You are the source of information, and be sure that if she doesn’t know from you, she will know from other sources. So you’d better tell here the good information that you want her to know
You can give your daughter the values you would like to give her, about virginity, for example, but it’s very important that you don’t scare her of, for example doing sports because she might lose her virginity. The idea is to explain to her that sexual intercourse would affect virginity, but it’s very important, and even more important, to know about sexually transmitted infections. So, she should be aware of the sexually transmitted diseases and the possible ways of getting pregnant, not only be afraid of virginity and losing it.
THE EMOTIONAL ASPECTS
The emotional aspects of puberty are mainly involving the mood and identity of the child. The girl will have a lot of mood swings because of those hormones, so please put up with her and be a loving and caring parent instead of having an opponing position.
Now the identity of the girl is becoming clear and obvious within the family especially. So her identity forming, at this phase it’s very important that you are focused on this, in a sense of being a positive supporter for her. So what you do is that you are telling her how much you are proud of her and explain to her her role in the family. She’s for example, perhaps, the big sister, the small sister or the middle sister. She is responsible for doing things around the house that are her tasks. So all this identity feelings that she is developing should be your focus as a parent.
Also the fact that she needs emotional and mental supporters all the time. You need to work on that every day.
The decision making process, also. She needs to understand that she can make her own decisions now. And she will start rejecting your authority. That’s okay. Put up with that and support her in it.
The daughter will also start to fall in love and feel emotionally and physically attracted to movie stars or maybe other kids around the block or whatever. So, you have to respect this phase and not make fun of her taste or tell her that it’s not good to be in love with a guy or whatever. So you have to be also positive about her feelings towards the other sex.
THE SOCIAL ASPECTS
The social aspects of development include the guidelines and the rules that you have to set for your child in order to be able to deal with the society in the best way possible.
You also have to set your rules about mixing with boys and whether you need to talk to her about having sex, and birth control. It’s good to know from her what she’s doing, and of course you should set the limits whether this is acceptable or not.
Remember that peer pressure can cause a lot of situations for her that she would not be able to judge whether it’s right or wrong. So it’s better to know from you whether things are acceptable or not when you are not around. Like when they’re outside the house and going out to party or whatever, she needs to know what’s good and what’s not from you, not from her friends.
This was a brief discussion of the aspects of development of the child around the puberty time. There is a detailed video about menstruation, if you’d like to look at it, and for more information about personal care during menstruation.
I wish you all the best of health!