Puberty, the time when a girl’s body transitions from a child into an adult body able to sexually reproduce, is a time of many physical and emotional changes and challenges. Fortunately, you can take steps to make things easier for your daughter.
Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, and our team at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, specializes in helping adolescent girls understand their gynecological health. We’re also here to help you make this transitional period less turbulent for your daughter.
Check out our informative guide with practical advice on how you can help your teen daughter through puberty.
1. Don’t wait to talk about puberty
One of the best ways to help your teen daughter through puberty is by giving her time to prepare mentally for the changes her body will go through. It’s helpful to discuss puberty and periods early, around age 7 or 8, before your daughter’s body begins to change.
Discuss the changes she can expect in a straightforward way, and answer any questions she has honestly. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can get your questions answered by reaching out to your child’s pediatrician.
2. Discuss periods openly and honestly
While periods aren’t anyone’s favorite subject, it’s important you discuss them openly and honestly with your daughter. Let her know what she can expect once her period starts, and be sure to review important anatomical aspects of the female body.
Talk about the symptoms she might experience as part of her monthly cycle as well as tips on how to manage them. And help her be prepared for her period by giving her an emergency period kit and discussing how to track her cycle so she can know what to expect.
3. Talk about body hair and other physical changes
Remember what it was like to notice body hair developing, breasts growing, and other changes associated with puberty? While some girls take these changes in stride, for others they’re a source of embarrassment or self-consciousness.
Changes to her body are nothing to be ashamed of, yet it’s important not to dismiss her experiences. She may be worried about acne and other physical signs of puberty. Provide what support you can by listening and talking openly, and get expert help from your pediatrician or the team at Alpenglow Gynecology when necessary.
4. Give your daughter an outlet
Along with the physical changes of puberty come mood swings and emotional outbursts. While it’s important to let your daughter know what’s acceptable and what’s not, it’s also important to give your daughter an outlet to express these unfamiliar feelings.
You know your daughter best, so follow your intuition about how to deal with your emotional tween or teen. Foster healthy coping mechanisms, like physical activities, taking time to herself, and journaling. Sometimes simply distracting your moody daughter for a few minutes is all that’s needed for her to gain a better perspective.
5. Don’t be afraid to get help
Helping your teen daughter through puberty isn’t easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Alpenglow Gynecology, Rickie offers teen gynecology appointments. The goal of these appointments is to establish a trusting relationship and help your daughter feel comfortable about women’s health.
Your daughter doesn’t have to worry about a Pap smear at her first appointment. Instead, she and Rickie will spend time talking and getting to know each other. Your daughter also has a chance to ask any questions relevant to teens, such as:
- Questions about puberty, menstruation, and breast health
- Issues with mood changes and hormones
- Problems or worries about irregular or abnormal bleeding
- General topics relevant to teen health, such as diet, physical activity, and sexuality
For more information on how to help your teen daughter through puberty, call Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, at 303-797-9199. You can also book a consultation with Rickie online at your convenience.