When you watch your 9-year-old daughter playing with her friends, it may be difficult for you to accept that she has likely already entered early puberty. It is not until you notice a physical change or even an emotional change that you begin to embrace this thought.
What do you do next?
The first preparation is for you. Remember that puberty is a biological process. You can’t change the biological clock, but you can embrace the changes that are going to happen over the next few years. This is actually a time to be celebrated in your daughter’s life.
Next, help prepare your daughter. She has probably already begun to notice some of the same changes that you have seen. Her first thought might be that something is wrong with her. Your comforting words that let her know what she is experiencing is normal for her age, will be welcomed.
I would let her know that three changes she may have noticed already or will experience in the next few months:
- A change in her emotions. Her brain is going through a big transition right now and it is helping her to start thinking more like a teenager and less like a child.
- A change in her body odor. This happens mostly in the armpits and private areas. It is probably time to buy deodorant.
- A change in her breasts. Tiny lumps appear under the nipples called breast buds. They can show up in both breasts at the same time or in one breast first. They make the nipple feel tender so a soft cotton bra might be helpful.
This is such an important age for your daughter. If you are positive and encouraging about puberty, she will be less anxious and more excited to learn from you.
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