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Dd is 10 and although she's not showing any physical or emotional signs of puberty yet I've noticed that some of her friends are starting to change shape.
She's not raised the subject and I don't want to steam in with a load of details which aren't relevant to her just yet but obviously don't want to leave it too late ...
I've got a book for her (usbourne's 'what's happening to me?) but having read it through I'm not sure she's quite ready for it
She knows about how babies are made etc and that people change as they become teenagers - do I need to do any more until she either starts changing obviously or starts talking? Fwiw I was very late going into puberty - didn't start periods until I was 13 and no pubic hair anywhere/ breasts until I was about 17
I'm not going to be much help here because I think both girls AND boys should know everything there is to know long before 10, but could you start the conversation by asking her to help unpack the shopping and talk about your tampons or whatever? Good to talk while you're doing something else so it's not so intense. Her friends might well be starting soon, so you want to get in first with the facts, before she hears all sorts in the playground.
because she's not showing any interest at all! I've tried raising the subject of changing bodies when we've been doing something else (e.g. going through her wardrobe to see what fits) but she doesn't take up any opening gambit and it seems a bit forced to keep on going when actually she wants to talk about ponies ...
she's not at all interested in boys at the moment (thinks they're annoying), is not into pop culture (showed zero interest in High School Musical when all the other girls at primary were obsessed, wouldn't know who One Direction were if she fell over them, only wants to watch nature docs on tv), would happily spend every waking moment at the stables, in a swimming pool, reading a book or playing the piano.
She's very well aware that some girls bodies have started to change as she swims several times a week with a club and it's pretty obvious
One of her big brothers is going through puberty now so we've talked in general terms about how teenagers' bodies change and how it can be an emotionally turbulent time, the other one hasn't started at all (is 13). We did the where babies come from conversation years ago (at an age appropriate level at the time) but she's not asked any further questions
My dilemma is, do I wait for her to raise the subject, even if it's very tangentially or do I insist on talking to her/making her read books etc and risk boring her/scaring her/her thinking it's completely irrelevant?
I would err on the side of telling her earlier rather than later for several reasons:
You have a window of opportunity now to start a pattern of being able to talk about this stuff together naturally and without embarrassment. If you wait too long, you risk her entering that phase of being so mortified that she doesn't really hear anything you are saying.
It's much better for her to receive accurate information from you than myths in the playground.
If and when her school does PSHE about puberty or sex ed, she would be better off having some idea about the content of the lessons rather than going in totally clueless, as happened to some of DS1 and DS2's friends.
I personally feel comfortable with very young children knowing these things as young as they need, but I have a dd that asks about these things at a very young age. So I can kind of see the awkwardness in approaching the subject with a dd that does not question, but you have already showed that the subject is relevant and you have also pointed out some ideal opportunities where the subject can be elaborated on.
If you not sure about how to go about it just give her the book, tell her you found it in the book store and thought it would be ideal for her to either read together or on her own, tell her you can answer any questions she had.
Or you could leave to school, do they do this kind of subject in y5? I would rather go with the book and general chats where you give information rather than general discussions though.
I know what you mean about the book. I got it for my 10 year old but did feel there were some things in it that weren't relevant to her age or maturity. Will hang onto it for another few months. We have had talks so she knows the basics. I think you just have to use your judgement based on your own child, not everyone else's. I have a friend who told her 5 year old absolutely everything, which I feel is irresponsible as I am conscious that my younger daughter will be told in the playground by her.
I don't think it's irresponsible to give the information to a younger child, so long as you add the rider that most parents prefer to decide when to tell their children about this stuff, so it would be inappropriate to share the information they have just learnt with their friends in the playground.
I don't agree, that then gives them the message what they know is wrong. It's just the way it goes as far as I'm concerned and young children in my experience just take that kind of info for granted and tend to not feel the need to share it with their peers.
My DD is 10 (11 in April). At Christmas she began her periods. She had been developing for well over a year before that. In her Y6 class there are 3 out of 11 girls who have started already. I know the girls talk about it so it's important to have covered it at home before the talk starts imo.
It would have been very irresponsible of me to have NOT told her about puberty by now imo! She has known about puberty and periods since being much younger, she also covered puberty and periods in Y5 last year at school. She's had the Usbourne book for a couple of years.
DD knows about sex and how babies are "made"; not sure when exactly tbh - but for a year or so I think. She has know how babies get out since being a toddler.
Maybe inconvenient for the other parents but not irresponsible. If you feel it's not the right time, I would just give her the book to read. My dd is also ten and I have not sat her down and told her everything but we have had various conversations over the last year about periods, boobs, pubic hair ect.
I'm not saying people are irresponsible for telling children things. I think I worded that last one badly. (Sorry, v v tired tonight). My 6 year old knows plenty and I am very open with her. My friends child though seems to know way more than she should and I do worry what my own dd is hearing. (Friends dd has often come out with "did you know...".) i think each child is an individual and you have to judge the appropriate time to tell them things. My 6 year old knows a lot more than my 10 year old did at that age because she is naturally more curious. My 10 year old isn't really interested in asking for any more info and, like OPs child, isnt that bothered. I think you have to follow your instinct and take their lead a bit.