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Navigating Through Girl Puberty

That one scary word can keep you up at night. It can make your voice shrill. That one word can increase your heart rate and drive you to the edge of insanity.

The word?

Puberty – more specifically – girl puberty.

My nine-year-old daughter is in the throws of an emotional, hormonal and physical rollercoaster. I looked back at what my mom told me about puberty. If I recall correctly, she handed me a maxi pad and said, “Put this on, honey.”

That was it.

Leslie Dixon, health educator, Birds & Bees Connection, explains the process and importance of deodorant application to attendee tween Lulu Hill.

Leslie Dixon, health educator, Birds & Bees Connection, explains the process and importance of deodorant application to attendee tween Lulu Hill at a recent “Puber-Tea,” which educates parents and girls about puberty.

According to Leslie Dixon, health educator and founder, Birds & Bees Connection, this generational breakdown in communication is quite common.

“Parents are facing the realization they need to speak to their daughters about puberty and sexuality, but don’t have the tools to actually do it. Often times when a mother tries to speak with her daughter, she feels helpless and gives up,” explains Dixon.

Dixon offers four guidelines to help moms from throwing in the puberty towel:

1. Set the Rules & Stay Consistent.
Girls need a mother who is willing to set rules and limits and be consistent. This helps girls to feel a sense of love and safety.

2. Not Reflecting Your Own Body/Self-esteem Issues.
Mothers who have their own body and self esteem issues can inadvertently send mixed messages to their daughters, which can leave a lasting impression on young girls who are trying to adjust to their changing bodies and emotions.

3. Let it Come From You.
Since girls are entering puberty at a younger age, they need to know at least the basics (beginning around age eight). If parents don’t talk about these topics, girls will get the information through peers, or social media. That outside information may elicit confusion and even fear about something perfectly natural and normal.

4. Honesty is Imperative.
This is a time of building trust. When a parent tells partial truths, they can significantly decrease that mutual trust between parent and child.

After attending an informational and interactive “Puberty-Tea” with my daughter, I felt a renewed sense of confidence when it comes to talking and listening to her about the changes she’s experiencing.

In the bigger picture, I also feel like we’ve closed more of that generational communication gap. And that hopefully someday, my daughter will remember how her mother guided, supported and listened during this confusing time known as puberty.

The article is the opinion of the author. However, Birds & Bees Connection sponsored the event admission cost for my daughter and I to attend the “Puber-Tea.”

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.



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