Your little girl is growing up (too fast) and sooner or later, you’re going to have to explain JUST what being a woman entails.
You know – the body changes, the periods, the moodiness, the ice-cream binges. All that fun stuff.
Like most of us mums with daughters, you’re probably a little bit lost on how to approach this touchy subject, especially if your daughter is a little reserved or if she isn’t super keen on chatting about this kind of stuff.
This is why we’ve put together this go-to guide on ALL things puberty for girls. Hopefully, this will help you navigate the puberty talk waters without drowning in awkwardness.
When is the right time to have the talk?
When is the right time to have the talk?
The first signs of puberty usually appear around the age of 10, but it can be as early as eight or as late as 13 for some girls. You may want to wait until you see the first signs of puberty or you may want to prepare your daughter by having a chat around the age of 8 or 9. This is your choice.
Remember, you don’t have to have a powerpoint presentation set up or cover everything off all at once. Opt for a time when it’s comfortable for both you and her. Probably best to do it when she’s not on her phone and when dad and siblings are not around.
Real Mum Tip:
My daughter and I went on an outing, just me and her, and I brought it up on the car ride home. It was more comfortable for us that way, as we could chat freely while listening to tunes and concentrating on the road too.”
What are the first signs of puberty?
In girls, the first changes include an increase in body fat, budding breasts, and pubic hair. This is followed by height and weight increase and then their first menstrual period. Other signs to come include hips widening, underarm hair growth, oily skin and hair, body odour and pimples.
Typically, girls will go through a big growth period (weight, height, muscle mass) one year after the first signs of puberty. Menstruation usually begins one year after this.
Of course, these are just the physical changes. There’s a whole lot more to puberty than just that. On the emotional side of things, you can probably expect mood swings and increased sexual feelings.
Puberty talk: What to say
Remind her that she is NORMAL
Puberty sucks. But it’s normal. And it’s just a stage, one that will last four to five years. Except for their periods, of course. It’s a good idea to explain what’s causing these weird changes – hormones – and that it’s all part of the fun of growing up. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s also perfectly normal to feel a bit embarrassed or confused.
Talk through what may happen
Explain what changes she can expect but let her guide the conversation. You may even want to share some of your own experiences, but this will depend on how the conversation is going. If she’s just not interested or is turning a bright shade of red, drop it.
There are books on the subject of puberty that are funny and helpful. If your daughter is a keen reader and you think she would prefer to learn this way, check out Girls Stuff for Girls by Kaz Cooke. You may also find she would rather google these things in her own time, in her own space. If this is the case, perhaps just let her know you’re there for her if she has any questions or concerns.
Don’t downplay it with humour
Avoid good-natured teasing of your daughter about her pubertal development. It may seem harmless to us, but it is no fun for your daughter. Avoid phrases like, “Let her be. She’s going through puberty” unless you want your daughter to shoot you death stares for the rest of the evening.
And whatever you do, don’t overuse the word ‘puberty’. Sure, it’s a normal word for us, but for tween girls it’s cringeworthy.
Don’t be offended if she chooses to ask questions elsewhere
You’re her mum – you’re the most important female in her life, which can actually make it harder to talk to you. After all, she doesn’t want things to get weird between the two of you. If she doesn’t want a bar of it from you, don’t push it. She probably just wants to keep your relationship the way it is, without adding an element of awkward to it. Fair enough.
Prepare her for her first period
Menstruation is probably one of the hardest things to tackle when it comes to puberty and many girls end up missing out on social activities, events, and sport simply because they are worried about their periods. Remember that horrible fear that you’d find blood on the back of your school dress and that you might get teasted for it? The most important thing for us to do as mums is to try and make our daughters feel comfortable. After all, periods happen and they keep happening for years and years to come. Might as well get used to them, right?
1. RED is for confidence and less messy periods
Modibodi recently launched a new line of period underwear for teens called RED, which is absolutely fantastic for teen girls. The products use all the same incredible patented technology that is used in Modibodi underwear but, with RED, there are more patterns and prints, and the sizing is designed for younger bodies.
RED looks like your usual undies but this teen period underwear is odour-proof, leak-resistant and reusable, allowing our girls to skip the pads and tampons completely (and the awkward conversation on how to insert a tampon). Also, because RED eliminates the need for tampons and pads, it’s actually a more environmentally-conscious choice for our little eco-warriors. At the very least, it’s nice to know you’re offering your daughter a sustainable alternative.
2. Consider a puberty-pamper pack
To help prepare your daughter for this special time in her life, why not provide her with everything she needs to feel comfortable and confident. Include items like a sports bra, deodorant, perfume, period underwear, and face wash. She may want to choose her own items in the future but have it there, just in case.
You may also want to make up the first-period pack for school too.
Real Mum Tip:
Recently I picked up a 7-piece bundle of RED underwear and gave it to my daughter to put in her backpack. Her best friend ended up needing a pair and absolutely loved them – she went home and asked her mum for her own straight away. My daughter is yet to need a pair but when the day comes, she’s ready.”
3. Get swimming sorted too
With summer around the corner, it’s also a good idea to invest in a period plan for swimming. Again, we recommend turning to RED by Modibodi. Not only do they have period underwear but also new leak-proof swimwear.
The range fits lovely and really is leak-proof, so your daughter can enjoy pool parties, beach trips and family holidays without fear. I’m sure we all remember how anxious our periods used to make us feel, especially as tweens and teens. The RED by Modibodi range takes this fear away and lets tweens have fun again, even if Aunt Flo happens to be visiting.
Check out the full RED by Modibodi range and get more information on how it works on their website. You can pick up a 7-pack period underwear bundle for $142 and one-piece bathers for $89.
BONUS OFFER: We’re giving Mum Central readers an exclusive offer. Get 15% off 5 x pairs of Modibodi or RED by Modibodi underwear. Simply use the code MUMCENTRAL15 at checkout!
One final tip for all mums of daughters going through puberty...
Whatever you do, don’t let her turn (too much) into a bratty teenager!
Yes, she’s moody. But she still needs to respect you and your rules. Don’t let her get away with being a bratty teen just because she’s on her period or feeling hormonal.
Let her know it’s okay to feel like this and place a bowl of ice-cream at her door. Then, kindly remind her that you’re the Queen of Hormones in this house and she isn’t allowed to dethrone you. After all, you’ve not only been through puberty, but you’ve been through pregnancy too.
Hands down, you win.
*Terms: Offer excludes bundles, gift cards and sale items and is only valid for 5 x individual items of either Modibodi or RED by Modibodi. Promotional offers, discounts and codes can not be combined. Code must be applied at checkout and can not be applied post-purchase. While Stocks last.
This is a sponsored post for Modibodi.