Supporting Your Daughter
Puberty in girls typically starts between the ages of 9 and 13, with one of the ﬁrst signs being the growth of breast buds.
Once this happens, her period will usually come about two years from here, somewhere between 11 and 15. In some cases, if your daughter has developed breast buds before the age of 8 and starts her period at the age of 9 or 10, she is experiencing early-onset puberty.
Now, what would be the reason for an early onset of puberty? The reasons for it are not fully known by the doctors but more generally the following factors may influence early puberty-
Genetics-This is pretty straight-forward, where if her mother or her siblings have experienced early puberty, it’s likely that she too may
Being overweight-Studies have suggested that obesity could be a driving factor for her early onset of puberty
Should I be worried?
There is no reason to be worried if your daughter has started her period at the age of 9, but if your daughter gets her period at age 7 or 8, you should consult a doctor. The underlying reason for this could be a medical condition called precocious puberty caused by an abnormality in the brain and the way it releases hormones.
How to support your daughter for early puberty?
In cases where your daughter has started puberty before everyone else in her circle, it can be hard to gauge how to go about it. What is it that you can do when your daughter gets her period early? You need to look for the best ways to support your daughter in every way especially through the emotional upheaval that she would be going through at that young age. The most important thing is to talk to her about it and make her aware of the gradual changes happening to her body and reassure her that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with her.
Most of the schools conduct sessions to educate the girls about the menstrual cycle and other related bodily changes. Not all girls are going to be comfortable discussing their doubts or apprehensions in school. Ensure you make yourself approachable to your daughter and help her do away with all fears and embarrassment that she may experience during her puberty.
You may choose to support your daughter during this time with the help of analogies or stories that may interest her and get the message across to her effectively. She may be able to relate an early onset of puberty and periods with getting to a birthday party early. It can feel a little uncomfortable and lonely since she’s the first one to have reached but once everyone else has arrived, it’s actually pretty fun.
On the other hand, if your daughter hasn’t shown any signs of puberty by the ages of 13 or 14, and even by the age of 16 she hasn’t started her period, she is going through delayed puberty. You must understand the causes of late puberty so that you can take a step in the right direction for your daughter.
A common cause for late puberty in girls is being underweight or excessive involvement in extreme sports
Delayed puberty can sometimes be a sign of an endocrine or hormone problem
Is this a cause of concern?
Generally speaking, there is nothing bad about starting puberty a bit later, as most times, girls get on with the normal growth despite the late on-set – each girl is on her own timeline. However, if your daughter hasn’t started her period by 16, make sure you visit your doctor in order to work out a solution together.
How to support your daughter for late puberty?
This is an age where children are easy to get affected by friends around them. As your daughter will see all her friends developing, and she not being there yet, it might have an emotional impact on her. Talk to her at length and assure her that there is nothing wrong with her and even if she is late, she is in a better position because by now she would have heard stories of her friends and their experiences. Her friends will also be able to help her through her first period when the day comes. So, there is nothing to worry about. Remind her that we all end up in the same place – as strong, conﬁdent adults. How and when she gets there is part of the magic that she holds within her!