Talking to Our Girls about Puberty

Twice in the last two weeks, I’ve had this conversation with other moms. Their daughters are 9 and the moms are wondering about how they are going to go about talking to their daughters about puberty and the changes the girls will be facing in the coming years. 

I remember feeling the same with my oldest.  Just before she turned nine, I mentioned it to a friend of mine who has a daughter a year older. And she shared with me what they did, based on another friend’s recommendation – bought their daughter, The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls from the American Girl Library

 So that’s what I did, and two years later, I still think it was the best decision I made for my daughter. I gave it to her as a reference book, a book that she could look at and read when she was interested or had questions.

Sometimes the book just sits collecting dust, sometimes I find it next to her night stand, sometimes she tells me something she learned from the book, and sometimes she brings it to me open to the page she wants to show me and talk about.  It’s been a great tool for discussion, for information, for non-threatening take it at your own pace, learn what you need to information.

The book covers hygiene, hair, teeth, nutrition, puberty changes and various stages of development, fitness, even discusses eating disorders. The tone is friendly, and positive, embracing of all body types and development timelines. It includes questions girls might be thinking about and their answers. The illustrations are drawn and informative, but not obscene or objectionable (in my opinion).

Normally, I’m in favor of using library books whenever possible, but part of the beauty of this book for us is that it’s a reference book, so I’m really glad I bought a copy for my daughter. That way it’s right there available to her, when she’s wanting the info and when she is comfortable to go look things up. At $9.95 new it’s been a really good investment, and one that even I, as a frugal mom, recommend if you have a 9 year old girl and are looking for some help in talking about puberty and other sensitive body-related topics.

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