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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I talk to my tween daughter about puberty?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Hello, I’m Jacqueline Hellyer, Sex Therapist and Relationship Coach. I’ve spent thousands of hours working with individuals and couples around sex and relationships. I’ve been … View Profile

    Let her know that her body is starting to transition from childhood to adulthood. There will be changes on the outside and changes on the inside. 

    On the outside she will grow breasts, she'll grow underarm and pubic hair and there will be changes to her vulva as her labia grow.

    On the inside, there will be changes that will mean she'll be able to have babies when she grows up. How much you explain here will depend on your level of comfort and her level of interest. Please don't feel you have to tell her stuff if she's really not interested and therefore not ready to hear it.

    Most girls will have heard about periods, so it's important that you let her know that starting her period is a very important and exciting time in a girl's life. Every month her body will prepare for a baby. She will release a tiny egg every month. If there's no ‘seed’ (or use the correct term of sperm) then the egg will leave, and along with it all the blood that was filling the walls of her womb to make a nice comfortable place for the baby to grow. 

    Be positive about the changes, let her know that becoming a woman is a wonderful thing and that you're there to answer any questions and support her as the changes occur.

  • Family Therapy is my passion, I worked at Redbank House for 10 years, working intensely with families, primarily with children with behaviour difficulties. Then and … View Profile

    All the advice above is good, however, it really depends on the personality of your daughter and yourself, some people are comfortable doing these conversations, some not so much, given that you are asking the question I suspenct you are not so much,  lots of research tells us that talking in the car is a good thing, both facing forward, not so confrontational etc. also discussing things in the third person can be helpful if you think your daughter will be really embarrassed, while watching a movie sometimes things crop up, again not so conforntational.  Good luck
    Mary Jane

  • Karen Amos

    Counsellor, Personal Trainer

    Walk and Talk is just what you need to begin living a life that you love. I'm Karen Amos and at Walk and Talk Australia … View Profile

    It's official and I didn't know it - I now have a tween!  I knew she was growing up but growing into this new stage is exciting and new.  And like you, we are finding our way through the puberty place.

    As all the answers above, honesty and truth is the best platform to deliver your message.  The way I learnt about puberty was because the girls at school with older sisters were making up some wild and scary stories for us 8 year olds and I told my Mum.  “I will tell you the truth,” she said “So that you don't need to be scared and shocked by the girls at school, and you will also know what is coming up ahead for yourself.” Right there, the tone was set - the truth and in measured doses.  It's important to realise that we don't need to drop all the information on our kids in one session!  Knowing your daughter's best way to listen and learn is important.  She might hear you best while walking with you, while you do her hair or simply an opportunity where you have some privacy.
     
    The internet can be a great source of education.  It gives you an opportunity to explore puberty together and using a tool that can be used for good (as well as a source for all things you don't want your precious tween to see).  Sites like http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/body/index.html or www.thehormonefactory.com can be really useful in discovering bodies together at your child's pace.

    Your interest in wanting to progress through your daughter's tween years is really positive and she may not acknowlege it yet, but she has a caring parent on her team.  

    Enjoy Today!

    Karen

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