Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to talk to your daughter about growing up


This topic, I think, is one of the MOST difficult things I have ever had to think about in her entire 9 years.  Temper tantrums?  Give them to me. Want to wear make-up in public?  Here...wear my lipstick. You hate my guts?  No hard feelings.

Sadly sadly sadly...the birds and the bees conversation happened all too soon in our household.  She was seven.  SEVEN! And came home saying something that a girl at school told her which made me say, "what do you think sex is?" only to hear her say "something you do when you are a teenager" which made me take a deep breath, scream inside my head, and know that I had to approach it right then and there.  Before I was ready.  Before she should have been ready  But having that communication open, even when it is emotionally hard to do, is what will empower our relationship...and empower her with knowledge to love all that being a female entails and to make good choices with that knowledge.  

And so goes how I feel about it all.  About her growing up and me not wanting her to...because well...it is just painful to see that childhood fade.  But it does.  And a lot of conversations have to go along with it.

So how do we approach it all? 

Nienie recently wrote a good post that I had to laugh about with complete understanding. 

My friend Aimee will be posting some advice on her therapy blog soon, so you'll have to keep tabs on it because she has a wealth of good information and tactics.

I have also had quite a few conversations with girlfriends and read/heard about a few good books that I thought I would share.  They cover the physical and emotional aspects of growing up and I'm really thankful for these resources!
  • The Care & Keeping of You: the body book for girls covers all that body changing entails including getting your period.  Gasp!  The reviews are awesome and every mom I know who has read it with their daughter has been super pleased. It's a very easy read and has a wealth of information.
  • I love this mom-daughter journal.  This has opened up a whole new line of communication for Brianna and I.  There are prompts on each page (one for mom and one for daughter) with the same questions.  We write on our own time and then read our answers and feelings together.  Even when this journal is filled, I think we will start another of our own. 
  • Growing up is more than all things physical, and so I am finding that approaching the emotional aspect of it all is really key.  And boy are we emotional these days! Here is a great read! Again, just so basic and simple which is really what we both need.
  • Dealing with her peers.  I've written about it before, but I think bullying is unfortunately a part of life for all kids, so I am loving this book about how to face it. Rowdy says that the only thing we can really do is teach her how to stand up for herself and increase her confidence and self-esteem so she can hold her own, and I agree.
There!  Don't you feel empowered? What are your thoughts and experiences? 

7 comments:

Sue said...

My mom told me all about sex, including drawings of tubes and ovaries and uterus, when I was six. She was pregnant with my sister, and I asked how she got in there.

Mom told me, and i was cool with it (though somewhat amazed that such a thing could even be possible).

=)

Amy said...

I dread that talk with my kids. My son is 3. I remember when my mother gave me "the talk."
I told her it was disgusting and I would never have babies if that is the only way. She laughed. And I now have 2 kids. :)

Thanks for the referrals to the books. I will have to prepare myself.

A book my sister read and loves about girls growing up in general and being girls rather than trying to be adults at the age of twelve is Finding Ophelia. Hers are the most well adjusted girls I have ever met, so I guess it helped her.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I have to add my thumbs up for "The Care and Keeping of You" book too! It is a great resource to have. Another one is the Parent's Guide published by the church and available online through the Church Distribution site.

My parents taught be the birds an bees when I was about 8 I think? I remember when they sat my brothers and little sister down to teach them. They decided to make it a family affair and taught it for FHE, complete with drawings of everything that my dad (who is a doctor) drew on a big teacher's sketchpad.

Stacy said...

I stumbled on your blog from somewhere I don't even remember, and I'm glad I did. Great recommendations. I added the journal and the bullying one to my Amazon cart- both look like they'd be perfect for my 9 1/2 year old who is really struggling lately. Thanks for the inspiration.

Amy said...

I'm pretty sure I heard about it from a friend before my mom. I remember not believing her, thinking "nuh-uh! That's disgusting!"
*snort*
One thing that I like about how my mom gave us the "talk" is that she stressed the sacred nature of it. She always taught us that in the right time and place, intimacy is beautiful and special, not icky or bad. And I had a temple marriage as my heart's greatest desire, so it helped to keep things in their proper order!
good luck :)

The Stroud Family est. 2007 said...

Ok, I just ordered it! Thanks for the advise- Im going to need to use it three times!!! I was nervous about the topic practically day the same day they announced Chloe was a girl- I hope my girls make it through without having to go through TOO many sessions of counseling from my parenting.

Charlotte said...

I've always been a fan of being very open with my children (according to their ages). We talk about these things whenever the topic comes up naturally. As they got older we got more, um, detailed about everything.

I think talking about waiting to date and how people shouldn't touch/look at their private parts are all a part of the ongoing "talk" we have with our kids that start when they're preschoolers.

By the time they hit puberty we'd showed anatomy pictures, talked about STD's and prophylactics. I hope that is a given!

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