During puberty when your daughter experiences drastic changes in her body and mind, she may feel anxious, irritated, or just worried because she can't keep up with all the changes that are happening. She may not talk to you like she used to, but don't worry too much. Let her know that you are always there for her whenever she wants to talk to you and make her feel at ease.
What are the changes really like?
She's concerned about the shape of her body and wants to go on a diet.
Puberty is a very important time for physical development. This is when the bones and muscles that form the foundation of the body your child will have for the rest of her life are developing. That's why it's important for her to eat well, exercise moderately, and sleep well. Excessive dieting disturbs the body's hormonal balance. Keep an eye on her diet and make sure that she eats well-balanced meals.
She's concerned about changes in her body like acne and body hair.
This is the time in your daughter's life when she is starting to be concerned about what other people think of her. That's why even a slight change can make her feel unsure about herself. Tell her that everybody grows body hair and it's nothing to be embarrassed about. You can go buy her first bra with her once she starts noticing her breasts developing. To prevent acne, you can tell her to avoid greasy food and too much sugar or to wash her face with warm water to keep it clean. If the acne is persistent, she can get help from a dermatologist.
She has become more aware of boys
When children's bodies start to change, the differences between the bodies of girls and boys become more noticeable. That's why it's quite normal that she is more aware of boys. You may want to give your daughter some guidance that will help her better understand the difference between boys' and girls' perspectives on sexuality. Also teach her the importance of being thoughtful to others.
She doesn't talk to you any more like she used to.
Keeping secrets among friends or with her boyfriend is perfectly normal and part of growing up. Don't worry too much. Let her know that you are always available whenever she has something she wants to talk about with you. Remind her that it's wrong not to tell you or lie about something wrong she's done.
Teach your child how to stay safe, like never walking alone when it's dark outside and not showing or letting anybody other than a doctor or parent touch her genitals or breasts. Tell her to talk to you immediately if anything bad happens to her or if she has any concerns.
What happens to boys?
- Hair starts to grow under their arms, on their legs, chest and face.
- Their muscles and bones develop and their body becomes more masculine.
- Their voice changes and their Adam's apple grows.
- They experience their first ejaculation.
As your daughter experiences changes in her body, she may feel scared or frustrated about growing up. It's good to be prepared so you'll have the answers to her questions when she asks you about her body or boys.