Once puberty arrives for your tween or teen daughter, her world changes. There’s no doubt that between her physical changes and emotional ups and downs, puberty can be difficult to navigate.
Your daughter probably has many questions about what’s going on with her body. One of the best things you can do is help by being prepared with answers and credible advice.
At Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, teen gynecology specialist Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC helps girls and teens better understand their gynecological health. Our team created this post using Rickie’s expertise to give you our top tips for helping your teen through puberty.
Although puberty and the changes that come with it are nothing to be ashamed of, many girls feel embarrassed by their body and what’s happening to them. You can help by talking about puberty in a straightforward way.
Explain that all women go through the same change, but each person is a little different. Share your experience with her to help her see that she’ll get through it. You can also:
You can schedule a consultation with Rickie for more personalized recommendations and help.
Many girls experience mood swings and emotional changes during puberty. You can help her get through these turbulent times by staying patient. Your teen is learning how to navigate these feelings, and it’s a natural part of puberty.
At the same time, it’s essential to help her understand what’s okay and what isn’t. For example, feeling angry is okay. Screaming and yelling at you or her siblings isn’t. If you notice your teen struggling with mood swings, help her find a healthy outlet, such as exercise, hobbies, time with friends, or journaling.
It’s also important to know when mood swings are cause for concern. Some girls can have severe mood swings, which may be a sign of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Symptoms of PMDD come during her cycle and may include:
If your daughter has five or more of the above symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with Rickie for an evaluation for PMDD.
Don’t wait to talk to your teen about her period and what she can expect. Let her know what symptoms she might get, how to keep track of her monthly cycle, and answer any questions.
Since teen cycles may be irregular as their hormones change, it’s also a good idea to help her stay ready for the unexpected. Give her an emergency period kit and talk about what to do if she bleeds through her clothes.
You can also help your teen by going over the physical structures in the female reproductive system. Since female organs aren’t highly visible, she may be confused about where her period comes from and where to use feminine products, like tampons.
It’s not always easy for parents to remember their children are sexual beings. During puberty, your teen daughter may be among the 48% of girls who explore their body through masturbation.
Keep in mind that this isn’t cause for concern, and by respecting her privacy (e.g., always knock before entering her room) she won’t feel ashamed or bad about herself. You’ll also build trust and strengthen your relationship going forward.
Puberty is only the start of a lifetime of women’s health. You can help your teen through puberty and help her stay healthy for years to come by taking her for a teen gynecology appointment with a provider who specializes in adolescent gynecological health.
At Alpenglow Gynecology, Rickie uses these early appointments to create a relationship with your teen built on trust. Her goal is to ensure your teen feels comfortable discussing women’s health issues now and in the future.
A teen gynecology appointment gives your child the chance to ask questions and get credible information on many topics, from periods to vaccinations against cervical cancer to diet and exercise.
For more tips on helping your teen through puberty, schedule an appointment online or over the phone with Rickie at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado.