Puberty has reared its ugly head in my home. You would think I would be prepared since I have experienced this with my older daughter. The truth is I am prepared. However, I was not expecting it to happen so quickly. I have noticed kids are experiencing puberty a lot faster than in prior generations. Sadly, this has a lot to do with the meat and dairy. There are a lot of chemicals in our food and as a result of that, it is making our children develop a lot faster. As an adult, I do not recall anyone talking to me about puberty. It wasn't until I started my menstrual cycle that my grandmother decided to have a discussion. (I'll share my experience at another time). So, when my oldest daughter turned 7 I had a very simple conversation and I explained the basics to her. As she got older we had more intense conversations and reiterated what I had previously told her. When my youngest daughter turned 7, I repeated the same process.
Two years later and she is going through it. My daughter is 9 years old and her body is putting her through changes. She’s very emotional, has headaches frequently, weight gain, and has developed "fine pimples and bumps"(read between the lines). Now she is a little older and has several questions. I recall having a conversation about puberty in the past, but a few days ago she asked, "Mommy, What is puberty? What causes puberty? Why do I have to go through puberty? How long does it last? Am I going to die? Do boys go through puberty? Before I could answer one question, she came with another question. Nonetheless, it was at that moment I decided to have one of several talks. So I said to her, “Let’s start with the first question you asked”.
My explanation of puberty went like this:
Puberty is one of several stages that will bring about change in your. You are stuck between childhood and adulthood. The changes that happen on the inside will show on the outside. For example, you will grow in height and in weight. As a result of this, your feet will get bigger and your clothes will no longer fit you the same. Also during this stage your skin will also be affected and you will have a few pimples. The key is to take care of your skin. It's also preparing you for adolescence which is another stage that usually begins when you turn 13.
Puberty is caused by hormones. In women/girls these hormones are called estrogen and progesterone and they affect your emotions and your body. You have to go through puberty because your body is preparing you to become a woman. During this time, some girls will begin their menstrual cycle. However, we will discuss that at another time.
Puberty can last from 2 to 4 years or more. However, is different for each person and it does not start or end at a specific time. Yes. Boys also go through puberty. Their experience is different yet similar in some ways. For example, similar things you both experience are growth, emotional and acne. To answer her last question, no, you are not going to die. Everyone has to go through puberty. As an adult you will go through puberty a few additional times. I am going through again for the 3rd time in my life.
I have also purchased a few age appropriate books for her to read to get a better understanding. Later on this week, we will explore an interactive website that will allow her her to visually see the changes that occur during puberty. Listed below are a few informative sites that I visit. They have information for parents to read alone or with their children
I do not recall having a discussion with my mother, grandmother or aunt's regarding puberty until the day my menstrual cycle came. Did you have a discussion with your mother? Did you have a discussion with your daughter/son regarding puberty? How did it go?
Stay tuned for more updates!