Recently, I had the opportunity to lead a discussion about puberty with six 11-year old girls.
They had been friends for many years, which made the discussion a little easier but surprisingly they had never talked about these topics with each other.
I used the beautiful illustrations in my new book, I’m a Girl, Hormones! to help the girls visualize the concepts that I wanted them to learn. The focus was going to be on the menstrual cycle and how hormones make the cycle happen.
Understanding at a young age helps girls make sense of what’s happening
I think it is difficult for even adult women to understand hormones and yet they have such an impact on our every-day life. I feel it’s essential for these young girls to embrace this information so they can make sense out of what they are feeling throughout the menstrual cycle, why the endometrium builds up and then breaks down, and what happens if an egg is not fertilized that month.
Of course, they are particularly concerned about what to do when their period starts.
The girls in the group amazed me with their understanding of these difficult concepts. I did my own verbal quizzing and they got every question correct!
Probably the most inspiring part for me came at the end of the evening when the girls began to talk among themselves. They made a pact that they would tell each other when their period started and be supportive for each other. They talked in mature terms that we had discussed and appeared perfectly comfortable with what they were expressing.
That is certainly the main goal for me as I promote deeper understanding
for young girls about hormones and their body.
I want all girls to feel confident and comfortable talking about what they are feeling, their concerns and their victories.
Maybe it was only six girls, but now they are committed to helping their friends. A little spark that has been set and who knows how many young girls are going to have the opportunity to learn accurate information about having periods and find support among their friends.
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