We’ve all been through this – while you were dreaming of boys, dressing up and prom, here comes adulthood.
It may be your sister, cousin, daughter or niece now who is right at the edge of puberty. And, when the time comes, you are their best resource to answer their unending questions.
Puberty is influenced by many factors such as genetics and nutrition, and is usually marked by the beginning of changes to one’s body. There is a wide range of ages when a child may begin puberty but girls usually start between the ages of 10 and 11 and then continue to the ages of 15 to 17.
A girl will go through many transformations during this time; most will be puzzling, some will be scary and all will be embarrassing to a degree for both the adult and the child. It’s best and most comfortable for the young adult to hear about this growing up process from you, but where do you start? How do you bring it up and how do you respond when they begin to inquire?
There are various websites available to you, such as:
- Timing and Stages of Puberty from the US government site – GirlsHealth.
- Physical Development in Girls from the site – HealthyChildren – by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Puberty in Girls from the site – MedlinePlus by the US National Library of Medicine.
There have been hundreds of books written to aid in answering those questions. Here are just a few places to get you started:
- Your local library is an enormous resource for you and will give you access to books, e-books and articles written for many stages of understanding, from the basics that would be easy to digest, right up to the meat and potatoes meant for adult.
- Larger towns usually have one of the major book chain stores, but don’t rule out the smaller used book shops that usually have an interesting self-help or health section.
- A doctor, the school counselor, or her sports coach can be great sources for which books are recommended for young women and where to find them.
- About 25% of growth in height occurs during puberty.
- During puberty, girls grow an average of 9 inches and gain 15 to 55 pounds.
- Hands and feet will get larger and then arm and leg bones seem to stretch to catch up.
- This is a time of awkwardness as the changing body parts try to learn to work together.
- You will finally realize why the phrase “growing pains” was invented.
- Young adults lack the emotional development to fully control her moods; she will tend to express exactly what she’s feeling without thinking of the consequences.
- They don’t really hate you and the crying will eventually stop.
- Yes, the sweet, adorable, loving child really is still in there somewhere.
- Changes in hormones are causing this sweet little person to imitate the worst gremlin from any movie.
- Acne is so common that it’s considered to be a normal part of growing up and 8 out of 10 young adults experience it.
- Unfortunately, we are judged by appearance and she will be very sensitive to this.
- If you had acne, your daughter will probably experience it as well.
- In addition to heritage, hormonal changes and stress are contributing factors.
- Coping well with peers is about getting the balance right between being themselves and fitting in with their group.
- Peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing; it can steer the little lady away from trouble as well as push her towards it, but it will be difficult for her to judge the difference without experience.
- Bullying and cyberbullying are common and very hurtful and she could either be a bully or be the target of a bully.
- A change in your one’s friends may signal a shift in peer group allegiance and will warrant your closer attention.
So, here you are – the proud sister / parent / aunt of a moody, pimply, rapidly growing little gremlin. You know what it’s like because you were through it all yourself, but don’t tell her that. She won’t believe you because how could anyone who grew up in the olden days before selfies and Facebook possibly know what they are feeling TODAY!