Puberty can be a time of surprising and challenging changes, both with body and emotions. For a growing girl, a lot is going to change. Before you can help out your child, it is most important to understand a lot of things yourself first. Technical knowledge apart, it is important to have a trusting and empathic attitude towards your child as harshness will push them away. Expect some mood swings and rebelliousness so that it does not take you by surprise. Be a friend to them, and this rough period can be passed easily.
Some helpful tips to help out and prepare your daughter are mentioned below:
Inform: First and foremost it is necessary to give them the right information. Find out about the changes that are likely to occur in the body and have a genuine talk with them about it. Make sure to find some free time and not when they are busy with school work. Also, do it only when the two of you are there. The presence of others might make them awkward. Focus mainly on development of breasts, periods, and pubic hair. Talk of the healthcare measures for all this. Also tell them that their mood may be affected as they go through hormonal changes.
Ask: Ask them if they fell conscious about certain aspects of the body, of teasing at school or if they are in a co-ed school, ask them whether it has gotten awkward to be friends with boys. Healthy interaction of both the sexes is important, so don’t impose a ban on talking to boys. If they do not know how to talk to the opposite sex, their later personal life and work life will become difficult.
Normalize: This step is very important. Normalize whatever they do and say. If they say being friends with boys is difficult, tell them it’s okay, it’s normal, this happens. And then guide them that keeping these friendships is important as the awkwardness is only temporary. Telling them this is normal and okay is important because they do not understand much of what is happening and may feel needlessly guilty. What’s more, coming from you, they will believe it and feel better, and also, this will improve the relationship you have with them.
Allow: Allow for some changes and experimentation. If they can’t be free with you then they will feel really stifled. Allow them to do some reasonable experiments with career interests, likes and choices, dressing and personal style. They are just trying out things. Of course, if the experiment is too risky like getting a tattoo in a very sensitive skin area, then you gently but firmly refuse it. Tell them to sit on the idea till they are a little older and if then they still feel like doing it, you will consider it again.
Help: Lastly, going along with them to pick up certain objects of use can be the ultimate support signal. Go and buy lingerie with them to help them pick the right size and comfort. Help them with the use of sanitary napkins and other menstrual instruments like tampons and menstrual cups. Help them out about understanding how to shave pubic hair. This is where they may falter, the actual shopping and managing, so don’t leave them alone there.