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Things You Need to Know About The Signs and Stages of Puberty in Girls

By Edited Jul 13, 2016 0 0

Growing Up and Liking It
There are things you need to know about the signs and stages of puberty in girls. Around the age of nine, when girls enter the tween years, their bodies and their moods begin to change. They are entering the stage of life called puberty, when they are entering young womanhood.
Girls at this stage of development can be very self-conscious about the changes taking place in their body. As parents, it is your job to guide your daughter through these years and help her accept the changes as they occur. Young girls need to realize that these changes are both normal and natural and a part of growing up.

The stages of puberty for girls appear at different times. When do girls start puberty? Some girls develop early, showing breast buds as young as fourth grade, while others are late bloomers and may not develop until they are 13 or older. When girls exhibit the signs of puberty depends largely upon her family history.

Here are some things you need to know about the signs and stages of puberty in girls.

Breast Development

During the early stages of puberty in girls, breasts begin to develop. These “buds” can appear as young as nine in early bloomers. Many girls become self-conscious as their breasts appear. At times, breast buds are tender and may cause discomfort. At this stage of puberty, many girls will wear training bras to make them feel more comfortable.

For late bloomers, breasts may not develop until well into middle school.

Hair Growth

Sometime around fourth or fifth grade, many girls will notice hair growing in places where they had never had hair before. Depending upon their genetic history, legs and under arms may need shaving as young as 10 or 11 years old. While many mothers do not want their daughters to start shaving, the fact is being too hairy is very embarrassing, especially under the armpits. When the weather warms up, girls become more self-conscious about raising their hand in class and wearing short sleeves.

 

Moms need to get over this, because children will tease girls if they are too hairy. Teach your daughter to shave the proper way and use this moment to let her know that you will always be available to her when she has questions about her changing body.

Girls will also begin to grow hair in their private area during this time. Reassure your daughter that this is perfectly natural and part of going through the stages of puberty.

Body Odor

Friends Making Them and Keeping Them from American Girl LIbrary
Another sign of puberty is that girls begin to smell when they sweat. Showering every night is necessary to avoid embarrassing body odor. There are many deodorants and antiperspirants made for young girls. Make sure that it gets used every day so there are no offensive odors.

If your daughter is reluctant to use deodorant, have a trusted friend or family member speak to her about this. Sometimes the same advice given by a mom is better taken when given by someone else.

Menstruation

Period A Girls Guide
One of the surest signs of puberty is when a girl begins to menstruate, or start her period. The age of the onset of menstruation is largely dependent upon when the women in her family began their menses. Many times before a girl gets her period, the other signs of puberty have already been apparent.

It is crucial that girls learn about menstruation when the enter their tween years. Girls need to know about their cycle because if they are early developers, imagine their shock if they begin to bleed and don’t know why.

You will also have to teach your daughter how to use pads and how to stay fresh during her period. When girls are menstruating, they may feel more tired, bloated, and have changes in their bowel movements. It is also common to have a larger appetite and feel hungry all the time.

Girls may also experience cramps. If the cramping becomes so severe that school is missed, a visit to a gynecologist is in order.

 

Mood Swings

 

The Feelings Book by American Girl LIbrary
One of the least enjoyable aspects of puberty are the mood swings girls experience. One minute they are happy and laughing, and the next minute they are angry or upset over nothing. Mothers and fathers need to understand that this is normal and caused by the hormonal changes girls are going through.

If you find your daughter a roller coaster of emotions, do not take it personally, but do not accept the behavior either. Send her to her room until she calms down. Hormones are no excuse for disrespect.

Again, if you find these mood swings to be a huge problem, then a call or visit to the doctor is necessary.

Other Body Changes

During puberty, girls will begin to grow more quickly. Arms and feet grow and there may be more frequent trips to the shoe store. A growth spurt will also happen a few months before a girl gets her first period.

Developing Inside

While a girl is going through the stages of puberty, her female reproductive organs will also be growing. All of this maturity is in preparation for the day when she wants to have a baby. While you cannot see physically what is happening inside, know that it is taking place.

Explaining the Stages and Signs of Puberty to Girls

The Care and Keeping of You for Girls by American Girl LIbrary
In order to explain puberty to girls, parents – and mothers in particular – need to overcome any feelings of discomfort. one of the best books to help introduce what exactly puberty is from the American Girl Library. “The Care and Keeping of You The Body Book for Girls” can teach girls about the changes they are experiencing in language they can understand.

At the suggestion of a friend, I bought the book for my daughter when she was in third grade. I told her that if she had any questions about what she was reading she could come to me and ask. For the record, she did ask, and I was able to give her answers she would understand. My younger daughter is now in the third grade and I plan on doing the same thing with her.

Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume with classic purple cover
Another book to help explain what a girl is going through is the classic Judy Blume coming of age novel entitled “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”. Written in the mid-1970s, the feelings that Margaret experiences are no different for girls going through puberty today. Margaret struggles with her changing body and the fact that it Is not changing fast enough. She also questions her faith or rather the lack one.

There are many things you need to know about the signs and stages of puberty in girls. Most important of all is that it is a part of growing up and yes, even mom went through it.

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