to be worried that my 12 year old dd has read 'How to build a girl' by Caitlin Moran?(60 Posts)
My DD, almost 13, reads everything which is brilliant. She loves reading and has read most of my suggestions so far - the 'Anne of Green Gables' series, the Hungar Games, Malory Towers etc.
As she has got a bit older she has been reading more mature books for example the Adrian Mole books, and more recently 'We are all completely beside ourselves' by Karen Joy Fowler (which I was also a bit uncomfortable about.)
Last night I went to say goodnight and she said she had almost finished 'How to build a girl' by Caitlin Moran, and that it had a few weird bits in but everytime one came up she just swiped quickly through the pages.
I had downloaded the 'The Smart Girls' Guide to Growing Up' for her and I think she must have thought this was the same. Our kindles are linked so she has access to all the books that I have read which I had thought to be OK.
Anyway having skimmed over the book ( I read it a few years ago) it is riddled with talk of sex, periods, masturbating etc! I have had a sleepless night worrying about it.
Would you be worried about this? Do you censor your child's reading heavily?
I would rather my daughter read Caitlin Morgan's perspective and phrasing than many of the other angles she could be encountering on the internet, to be honest.
I haven't read it, but I've read her other book which is similar material.
Masturbating is mostly what Caitlin Moran talks about.
However, sex, periods and masturbating are all nice and normal. I don't think you should worry.
I learn't about periods from reading Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. My mum didn't tell me anything.
I don't think you should worry.
At 12 sex and periods shouldn't alarm you. Surely she knows about both. Masturbation may be not but nothing shameful about it. And certainly nothing to keep you awake at night.
For context I grew up in an Asian country with liberal but strict parents. I knew about all three topics by 12. (Well I had my periods by the time I was 12...). I was also given free reign to read whatever I want. I seem to have turned out fine?!
I read Shirley Conran's Lace at 12. My grandmother was a bit shocked when i asked to read her copy of Lace 2 on her bookshelf! Didn't stop me though, perhaps caught her off guard
I haven't read the CM book, but i'd make sure she could discuss things with me if she had any questions. At least let her know it is one woman's point of view, not a bible.
Then pass her Flowers in the Attic
At nearly 14 she should know about sex, periods and masturbating.is does depends on what is actually said.
In year 7 a copy of Judy Blooms sex scene was passed around School and at 13 I read Jilly Coopers Riders. As a parent I would be more concerned about men saving women and the general whore/Madonna issues than the sex itself.
But my DD is only a toddler.
She can't unread it now, so what you can do is have a chat with her about things in the book that you are worried about.
Don't be persistent though, let her talk when she wants to.
I wad that child, I read everything in my sight and adult books disturbed me less that cheesy 'appropriately written' ones.
maybe I didn't quite understand the adult ones
I wouldn't be worried at all. If my DSD was a reader, I'd be getting it for her on 13th birthday. I
I'd rather she learnt about some of the subjects covered by Caitlin Moran from the book than other sources available.
However, you know best about your child's maturity and ability to process the topics covered. Maybe ask her if she has any questions about the material? You could re-read it and do a book club like review of it?
I’ve read it. I think Caitlin Moran is brilliant, and writes very well. It’s teally not worth a sleepless night - it’s done now!
Part of being a teenager was reading things my parents would have deemed inappropriate - I read Love Story in year 7 but I remember my dad saying Lady Chatterleys Lover was passed around his school!!
Just say to her that you’re happy to talk about anything that confused her.
Caitlin Moran is only about 16 in some parts of HTBAG. I’m sure there’s not much in the book a 13 yo is not aware of at least. If your dd has been skipping pages it sounds like dad is self regulating pretty well anyway.
It’s fine. As other posters have said she’d should certainly be aware of sex, periods & masturbation by 12/13 - it would be worrying if she wasn’t aware.
I think How to Build a Girl is an adapted version of the original book? In which case her style is really positive and accessible.
Reading about mature topics can be better than discussion sometimes. It will allow your DD time to process and think. Make sure she knows that she can ask you any questions she may have.
It is a little early, but I’d be recommending it to her in a year or two! Just make sure she knows she can come to you with any questions. Or another adult (aunt? godmother?) if she finds it too embarrassing to ask her Mum!
I was just thinking of Flowers in the Attic 😂
Caitlin Moran's language around the topics may not be wholly appropriate for a 12 year old but the topics are surely something she should be aware of. If you try to censor it then it makes them seem 'bad'. At that age I was pretty much reading anything I could lay my hands on. Use it as an opportunity to chat with her, check she understood stuff correctly and that she can talk to you about it.
There's quite a lot about CM masturbating and periods but it's as good an introduction as you're going to get
Those days are very close for your daughter and it's addressed in a safe way
Your daughter is almost 13. It's absolutely fine to have read it! She should know about all these things already
I read that as Caitlyn Jenner and was a bit pertubed. But Caitlyn Moran i wouldnt be worried at all as long as she's on the mature side, had her period ect..
I think it's that you can have a sleepless night about a 13 year reading about sex, masturbation and periods but be happy for her to read The Hunger Games.....
She seems very young for her age, OP. Is she your eldest?
Is she's nearly 13 she will have seen & heard far worse at school..
I've just finished reading it because I was thinking about buying it for my 14 year old niece for Christmas.
I'm unsure because there's stuff about snorting speed and kinky sex, and how to have sex with a guy with a massive cock. Although it's slightly hypocritical as I was taking drugs and having sex at 14. I know she isn't though so don't think her mum (my sister) would be pleased with me.
Utterly hilarious though.
If she's an avid reader she's probably going to come across stuff that you wouldn't necessarily choose for her at 12. I was and still am a huge reader - by that age I had already lurked around the library to read a lot of Stephen King that I wasn't allowed to check out and had been sneakily devouring my mum's jilly coopers (that she hadn't read because she didn't like them...!) etc. I think if you explain to her that some books will have adult content and she should ask you if she's not sure about reading them or if she reads anything that she doesn't understand, you can help her. Better to trust her to start filtering and to talk to you, esp as she sounds mature and bright.
If these topics are something you would struggle to talk to your DD about then perhaps it's a good thing that she has informed herself from another source? Caitlin Moran is at least coming at it from a female perspective and it isn't exactly raunchy. At 12 I would expect most girls to know about periods and sex, perhaps not masturbation, but it's not dirty or a sin it's a normal and healthy thing for teens to learn about their bodies. I had my period before I was 12 as did many of my peers, I'm quite shocked your dd hasn't had any sex education yet, I had periods, puberty and the basic biological function of sex taught when I was maybe 8 at my primary school, all repeated in more detail in the final year of primary and the first year of secondary.
By 13 I'd read some absolute filth in chick lit books I'd stolen from my mum's pile of books to go to the charity shop. It didn't scar me. I don't see the need to sensor a child's reading, unless they are trying to read the Marquis de Sade or similar.
It’s a brilliant book and I’d highly recommend it for adolescent girls. A much healthier perspective than much other media will give you. I’d read worse at that age, I’m sure! Anne Frank’s diary covers many of the same topics I seem to recall and that’s usually ssuggested for girls that age.
At 12 I was reading Stephen king books and also had a thing for memoirs about the Vietnam war. Reading about masturbating would have been light relief.
Hilariously my mum would tippex the problem page in just 17.
She probably should have read Philip caputo’s rumour of war before worrying about questions on oral sex.
I wouldn’t worry about it and I won’t be censoring my own daughters reading at 12.
I have a dd who is the same age. She is also a reader, and I don't censor what she reads. As others have said, at nearly 13, your dd will know about this stuff anyway.
Thanks for the replies - I feel a bit better already.
Yes she is fully aware of periods, sex (I haven't talked about masturbating). The language of the book is very mature - one part talking about enormous cocks.
DD is quite quiet and self possessed. She is not interested in things like make up, boys, clothes or anything 'teenagey' yet.
Haha at Flowers in the Attic - many happy/ disturbed memories of reading those book!
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