Discussing Puberty with Your Tween

Columbus gynecologist, Dr. Otto Umana
Some parents may put off talking to their daughters about puberty, but your Columbus gynecologist, Dr. Otto Umana, stresses the importance of sitting down with your tween when the time comes.

Parents need to be proactive about initiating this discussion so their daughter will know what to expect.  If not, their daughter may enter into this very important – and sometimes confusing – time of their lives completely uneducated.

If your tween is approaching puberty, read the following tips to make the conversation easier for both of you.

Watch for changes.  Your daughter may not feel comfortable coming to you when she begins experiencing changes in her body.  So it’s up to you to be on the lookout for changes that may be occurring and let her know what to expect.  Puberty usually lasts about 3 to 4 years, beginning at age 8 or 9.  Changes include underarm and pubic hair, breast development and finally, menstruation.

Ask about her friends. Having a discussion with your daughter about her friends can take the focus off of her and create a way for you to start the conversation.  Things you can ask can be about whether they’ve begun wearing a bra, having their period, or started shaving their underarms.

Always stay positive. Your daughter needs to know that puberty is a natural occurrence, experienced by all girls, so there’s no reason to feel embarrassed.  Be sensitive and positive with your approach to the subject.

Dismiss the myths. Answer any questions straightforwardly and address any misconceptions your daughter may have about the way puberty will affect her body.

Address proper hygiene. You can’t stress this one enough!  Be sure she knows what is available to help her stay clean during her period.

Discuss the realities of fertility. Stress to your daughter that the beginning of her period signifies the beginning of her fertility and that she can become pregnant.

Columbus gynecologist, Dr. Otto UmanaYou should also consult with a Columbus gynecologist if your daughter begins to show signs of puberty prior to age to determine if there is an existing health concern. The early onset of puberty may lead to diminished bone growth over time due to the impact of hormones on the bones.

If you don’t feel comfortable discussing puberty with your daughter, schedule an appointment today with your Columbus gynecologist, Dr. Omana.  We’ll be happy to discuss the topic with you and your daughter!


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