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What Do I Do When My Preteen Daughter Hits Puberty?
My daughter hit puberty before other girls. What should I do to help her?
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Take time to listen to her worries and insecurities as you enter the conversation. Reassure her that she is normal despite having started her development before her friends. Each girl progresses along her own unique timeline with many contributing factors. Encourage her to continue her usual activities and maintain friendships within her age group even though it may feel awkward.
Be aware if your daughter is hanging out with kids that are older because she might try to match or mimic her appearance to what’s popular or to what helps her blend in. She may also try to do things that older kids do because she feels more grown up physically. Remember that she is still a child emotionally, socially, and especially how she thinks. Avoid the temptation to give her more freedom than her chronological age would merit.
Above all, be there for her. Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with her on a regular basis to see how she is coping with these changes. Although some studies have raised concerns that early maturing girls are at increased risk for depression, substance use and early sexual behavior, most girls who experience early puberty do just fine psychologically and socially within a healthy home environment.
Dr. Patricia Landry is a family doctor in Easley, South Carolina. She is a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council and has been a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians for more than 25 years.
For Christian families, there’s an overwhelming importance upon understanding the roles of female and male. However, our culture emphasizes different aspects of these roles from Christianity. In the Christian context, the origin point for this conversation lies at the beginning: the creation of woman and man.
Talking to your daughter through the years about her worth, identity, and beauty requires your consistent compassion and investment. Learn more about how to maintain these conversations throughout each age and stage of her life.