When to talk about puberty, periods etc?

(31 Posts)
basildonbond Sun 24-Feb-13 09:19:44

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

NanFlanders Tue 16-Sep-14 11:36:10

Hi. I think earlier rather than later. My dd and ds have known about periods since as soon as she asked about the tampons in the bathroom (about 3/4). Your dd may not be asking because she is embarrassed, so perhaps you could work it into the conversation in normal situations, e.g. taking her shopping and picking up sanitary wear, talking about what to use when you go swimming, mentioning period pain when you take an aspirin (if you get it - though without making the whole thing too negative). You might have started at 13, but some do start at 9, and it wouldn't be great if it all came as a horrible shock...

starfish4 Tue 16-Sep-14 11:17:26

As oldspeckledtam says, they do talk to them about puberty around Years 4-5. I wanted to be the one who talked to her about puberty, so hopefully she felt it was an approachable subject as and when. I knew the talk was coming up and that a couple of girls had already started their periods in the class, so got her the Usbourne book. I told her her body would start to change in the next few years and I'd got her a book to look at. She took the book straight away up to her bedroom - she didn't feel she wanted to look at it with me. I think she read the whole thing straight away, came down and told me she'd read it. I asked her if she'd got any questions, no, but made it clear that I was there as and when. Your daughter might not show any interest, but it's good to broach the subject with her and let her take it as her own pace.

Maybe not force a discussion, but keep bringing it up in every day conversation, your own periods or if not applicable then what it was like when you did have them, when you're out shopping for clothes you can look at clothes designed for adults and talk about the difference in body shape, look at deordorants, tampons, Lynx after shave. When you're watching telly together, there are all sorts of opportunities if you look for them. I watched a programme about pets having babies on channel 5 with DD (8) the other night, it was a great opportunity to talk about reproduction. Don't leave it to school.

athleticsmum Thu 11-Sep-14 14:23:41

My twin daughters are 11 and just started year 7 (younger end of year so not long turned 11). I have bought them both a copy of the book and both books remain untouched in their rooms. I have said I would like to talk to them about the issues in the book, but they both seem reluctant to talk to me.

The primary school did a general talk about periods etc in year 5 and then were supposed to do something more detailed in year 6 but they 'forgot' (I so do not miss primary school!). I am now in a difficult position to know whether to force a discussion or hope they have a talk soon in secondary school. blush

Any views?

Biscoff Wed 10-Sep-14 21:56:11

They do it in yr 4 at our school.

EveryThingIsImpossible Wed 10-Sep-14 21:49:18

Y4 don't usually give "the talks"
That's for YR 6 in the governments eyes

I sat down with my 8 year old just this summer. I bought her the What's Happening to me book. We read the headings and discuss it in simple terms and I did periods in detail. Then sent her off with the book and told her to come yo me with questions. She has had her nose in the book solidly for a week now, with odd questions every so often!

Dd has many friends with older sisters and I wanted to talk to her before she got second hand information. She knows she can't share the book, or talk about it with any of her friends UNLESS I've spoken to their mum already!

I am pretty sure she'll get a basic talk in Y4 at school at some point, so there will be no surprises there now. I think that it's my duty as a parent to educate her on this and while I've found it difficult on a personal level, my discomfort comes second to my desire to keep our communication open and honest.

Heyho111 Wed 03-Sep-14 22:43:08

I totally agree with seeker children should be taught much younger and it built on. She probably knows a lot of info already and quite a bit of incorrect stuff as well. I'm not sure what info there is to worry about. It's all natural development. Making it something inappropriate to talk about naked it an issue. Then the problems start.

I sympathise, my DD (8) and DS (10) have never shown the slightest bit of interest, despite an open door policy in the bathroom. However I have made sure we talk about puberty and sex, partly by means of a book, partly just through chat as the opportunity arises, but I have definitely had to do all the running on this.

I talk to both dd (10) and ds (7) informally in the car and just general chit chats. I have got dd the Lillets starter set and some towels/tampons. Some of the girls in dd's class have started already and she has got pubic hair and is developing breasts so I dont think it will be that much longer until she starts her periods.

LizzieMint Tue 02-Sep-14 08:22:58

I've just ordered the same book for my 8 year old, I'd rather she knew all the info well in advance. I don't have periods so it's not something that has ever come up and it's about the only puberty-related thing we haven't talked about yet. But I was 10 when my periods started so I want to give her plenty of time to get used to the idea.
Generally I would say the younger the better.

stripedtortoise Tue 02-Sep-14 07:58:03

I don't mean to be rude, but whether she likes One Direction is not going to impact on whether or not she has periods.
She's going to get her periods no matter what she watches on TV and you should tell her all about her regardless of her interest in boys.

raomegha Tue 02-Sep-14 07:46:16

Its better for kids to know things before they start with puberty. Instead of getting shocked with changes they go through , its always good be keep kids prepared and explain in detail what changed they would face .To make it easy for parents i m sharing and interesting video i m sure i would helping making a better understanding.


seeker Tue 26-Feb-13 10:54:03

"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"

What sort of things?

Crazyx4 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:54:02

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.

ELR Mon 25-Feb-13 19:08:26

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.

Hulababy Mon 25-Feb-13 19:07:13

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.

MrsSham Mon 25-Feb-13 19:00:55

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.

seeker Mon 25-Feb-13 18:59:15

Irresponsible? To give children accurate factual information? What a very odd thing to think!

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.

MrsSham Mon 25-Feb-13 18:50:55

Why is it irresponsible to tell young children?

Crazyx4 Mon 25-Feb-13 17:38:41

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.

ripsishere Mon 25-Feb-13 00:43:59

I'd be surprised if she didn't know about puberty and periods from the school playground.
In your situation, I'd leave the book in her bedroom.

MrsSham Sun 24-Feb-13 21:55:19

I ment specific chats, that does not even make sense now grin

MrsSham Sun 24-Feb-13 21:53:14

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.

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