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Could this be puberty starting?

(25 Posts)
JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 09:57:27

My 7 (8 at the end of Feb) year old dd has been quite moody lately, which isn't like her at all. She's been snappy and irritable and I've been wondering if she might be starting puberty? It seems early to me but I know it can start earlier with girls these days.

What signs would I be looking for?

Also, are there any good books I could get to read with her that would explain things just in case? We've talked about the basics of reproduction but nothing really in depth and not for a while now.

JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 12:04:22


Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 12:05:26

Just possibly, but there are many other things that it could be at this age. Is she happy at school, friendships OK, getting tired and ready for half term? What is she in, year 3? Does being in KS2 feel a bit different? She might be a bit hormonal but still some way from puberty.

When my older girl was 8, she once let out a tremendous scream when she was on the loo, and I immediately thought that she must have found blood, but actually she'd dropped her tamagotchi down the pan. blush

No harm in talking about body changes and so on at this age. We have a book called 'Let's Talk About Sex', by Robbie Harris, Walker Books, which might be a bit old for her. I'm sure there's something similar aimed at younger children though - saw it in the library and keep meaning to get it out for our younger girl.

JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 12:11:09

Thanks She's in Year 3 yes but is doing well and has friends that she plays with. Possibly tired, she has been through a bit lately. She was off school a week (last week) with asthma and an infection, so had to take oral steroids and anti-biotics. Could the steroids have made things worse for her? She's also just recovered from a broken wrist which she had an operation for as 2 bones broke She had to have k wires put it and wear a cast for a few weeks but it's all out now.

She was a little hormonal before that too but lately it's seemed a lot worse. This morning she was screaming and crying before school because she couldn't play her ds.... It's not like her to be like that at all.

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 12:24:50

Poor thing. She might be knackered, to use the technical term. I suppose only time will tell whether there's any connection with the onset of puberty or not. My older DD has had a couple of rough winters with asthma and has sometimes been absolutely wiped out.

iheartdusty Thu 08-Oct-09 12:27:48

my DD is like this - she will be 8 in November. Alas she has always tended to be this way a bit, but it is definitely worse at the moment.

I have also wondered about hormones, puberty etc. She has said that KS2 is no fun, she wants to go back to reception. Every day there are ups and downs relating to friendships, and she is generally struggling with her sense of herself and torn between wanting more independence and wanting to go back to a 'simpler' time. I just think it can be tricky growing up.

We have this book which DD has read and enjoyed. I find it straightforward but nicely pitched for girls.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 08-Oct-09 12:31:06

Could be puberty I suppose, I'd be more likely to go with pyrocanthus' explaination. Knackeredness. My dd 8.5 is a nightmare at the moment, she is exhausted from school TBH.
My dd has the book mentioned, we gave it to her about a year ago when she got some very strange ideas about reproduction into her head. She wouldn't believe me or her dad so we decided if it were written down she'd be more receptive and accepting. Currently she is refusing to believe the menstruation idea. She thinks it's made up and she's going to ask Ms X her teacher about it.

JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 12:33:17

I've been trying to make sure she gets lots of rest and sleep too but she has two younger brothers and they all love running about constantly and playing together. She also sneaks out of bed to take the two kittens up to her room hehe, she set them up some food and water and a bed up there so they'd stay with her.

I think DD is happy with school and does well, she is good at and enjoys maths, not sure how she enjoys it but she does hehe.

Thanks for the link, I think I'll order that book.

JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 12:35:56

Cross post there, she does know about periods already as I'm always followed into the bathroom so have explained that too her. I think I do need to talk to her about any changes she may experience soon though too. Probably right about it being tiredness, I'll have to try to get her to bed/sleep earlier. She gets up so early lately which doesn't help, around 6am when she has slept in until 8 before. I think the half term will be welcomed. Thanks

Rhubarb Thu 08-Oct-09 12:39:13

I think it's highly unlikely to be puberty at the age of 7. dd is 9 and in year 5, I don't think there is a single girl in her year that has started her periods yet. When I worked in yr 6 there was one.

Her moodiness could just be a change in her development, you may find that after she comes out of this phase she's suddenly 'got' her times tables or her reading gets so much better.

Or it could be that she's feeling under the weather. Or problems at school, perhaps she's finding the work a little hard this year compared to last or she doesn't get on with the teacher.

If it were me, I'd be ticking these possibilities off before even considering puberty at her age.

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 12:40:49

Menstruation denial seems like a very sound position to me, kreecher. Good luck Mrs X.

Snowsquonk Thu 08-Oct-09 12:41:50

Has she shot up in height? Any breast buds ?

My daughter started puberty in year 4 and her periods started over the summer - there were physical changes before the hormones from hell kicked in !

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 08-Oct-09 12:43:58

I wanted to add, my dd seems to be really moody and horrible when she is growing. She appears to have increased by about 6cm in the last month, growth spurts could be an explanation.

JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 12:46:15

I had thought about that too but she went through that phase with her reading in the summer holidays before year 2, she just suddenly "got" reading. She reads a lot and enjoys reading too thankfully. I was reading that they can experience hormonal changes a couple of years before their period starts which is what had me wondering. My cousin started hers very early too, 8 I believe.

As far as I'm aware she doesnt' have problems at school, I always talk to her about school and what's happening and she likes her teacher She never has any problems with her homework and is doing quite well so far. Parent's evening is on Tues so will see what the teacher thinks about her progress then too.

Hopefully it's just tiredness and where she's been ill but I didn't want to overlook the possibility of it being hormones as I want to make sure she's happy and knows what might be happenign to her body. Thanks for all the advice, it's appreciated.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 08-Oct-09 12:49:11

I have put that book linked to in my Amazon shopping basket too. I was a bit put out last weekend when dd (9, Year 5) said she didn't want to be a vet when she grew up because they had to put their hands up animals bottoms. When I said, yes but it is not their pooing bottom they are putting their hands up and babies don't come out of the same place as poo does, she was completely mystified (ie has no idea about vaginas). I couldn't really explain all there and then as we were in the car with her three brothers (2 of whom are older and were chortling away) and I felt she needed some quiet time without males around in which to learn the facts of life. But I was a little shock that she had not already picked this up from one of her friends, and it struck me I was failing in my duty as a mother too blush.

Just one thing: I see in the index of that book, things like wet dreams are mentioned. Is that not going a bit far when talking to a 9 year old girl? Or is that just me?

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 12:58:30

'wet dream. See nocturnal emission'.

Possibly Dumbledore - there's quite a lot in that book which might be a bit over the head of a 9 year-old, in spite of the reviews on Amazon. There's stuff at the back on abortion, HIV and STDs which you may feel you don't need to go into yet. There's a book below it on the page when I searched for it on Amazon: 'Let's talk about where babies come from', which looks as if it might be the younger children's version I mentioned above.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 08-Oct-09 13:06:58

Thanks Pyrocanthus. As you might be able to tell, I have not particularly made it my mission to teach my children the facts of life from an early age - I prefer they have an age of innocence - so I was not sure if I was completely at odds with everyone else thinking wet dreams were not something dd needed to know about.

I daresay ds1 (13) would sneak a look at the book if I bought it though and obviously I can see that would be useful information for him.

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 13:17:06

No, absolutely, you're quite right. I got that book for my DD in year 6, and was a bit surprised by some of it, given the age range given on Amazon, but it was very useful and readable.

I'm always happy to talk to the children about anything, but have tended to wait for the questions. DD's need for information at 10 arose from playground talk which she was finding bewildering and upsetting though - I wondered whether we shouldn't talked more earlier even though I don't think she was really ready in herself. We'd talked before about reproduction and body changes, but she'd forgotten a lot of it, not really being that interested.

I agree about letting children enjoy their innocence, Dumbledore, but beware the outside world...

exexpat Thu 08-Oct-09 13:22:02

Dumbledoresgirl, there's a boys' version too - I got the set of both of them for my two. DS (about 9 at the time) had a flick through and said "yuck!" about a lot of things in it, but now he is 11 and nearly as tall as me, starting to look a bit spotty sometimes, I think he has been sneaking a few more looks at it...

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 13:23:49

Oops, more than one book being discussed here. That looks more suitable.

iheartdusty Thu 08-Oct-09 13:26:24

I just went and checked on DD's bookshelf.

At the back of the book I linked to is a short section called "boys have worries too". It covers shaving, voice breaking, and anxieties boys have about their size (both body and penis size). That's where the wet dream bit comes in.

I think it's really helpful and important for girls and boys to have some insight into the other's anxieties and experiences, so I'm glad it's in there. My own DD has a younger brother, and I hope that when he gets older she'll have extra sensitivity towards him as a result of knowing a bit more about it all. And in general, I think the more girls know about what it's like to be a boy, the more empowering it is for them.

There's also a short section dealing with "tricky situations you might have to deal with when you are older". This contains short factual information about safe sex, drugs, body image, bullying and the right to say no. I think most of this has gone right over the head of my DD, but I also think it gives her the basis for asking me questions and understanding a wider context to relationships. Better to have some info tucked away for when it becomes relevant, than to later face a situation you don't understand, in my view.

iheartdusty Thu 08-Oct-09 13:27:52

to clarify, I was referring to "What's happening to me; Girls version"

exexpat Thu 08-Oct-09 13:31:21

Oops - sorry, didn't spot the reference to the Walker book about sex - I linked to the boys' version of "What's happening to me". Would def recommend it.

Pyrocanthus Thu 08-Oct-09 13:44:37

No, I think that was me causing confusion there. A speciality of the house.

JodieO Thu 08-Oct-09 13:44:46

I think I'll try that one too, the boys one sounds good also. Ds1 is only 6 in a couple of weeks and ds2 2 and a half but it would be nice to have the book ready for when it's needed.

She has grown a bit lately too actually.

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