During puberty, girls grow into young women and have to go through several changes to do this. Puberty can be a difficult time for both girls and boys and their changes are both different but both very important and completely normal.
Most girls start puberty between the ages of 10 and 14, however, this is only an average and therefore some girls may start earlier and some much later. You cannot plan when puberty will start and you have no control over it. It is important to not worry if your daughter is the first or last of her friends to start going through these changes.
It is a good if girls understand what changes will happen during puberty and know that they can talk about it with a person that they trust. This person could easily be their dad, girls do not have to have a female figure to discuss puberty with although many do prefer it. The key element is that they can trust the person.
During puberty, a girl might go through the following changes. However, it is important to remember that every girl is different and there is no guaranteed normal about these changes.
- She may suffer from mood swings
- She may grow quite quickly
- She will grow breasts. They may feel tender or itch whilst growing
- Her hips will also grow and change shape
- She may suffer from acne and spots
- She may begin to sweat more
- She will grow hair under the arms and around the vagina
- She may get vaginal discharge. This should be clear or white in colour
- Her period will start
It’s important to remember that while some of these changes may seem minor or even amusing to adults, they can be extremely embarrassing and sometimes even worrying for girls, especially if they are not expecting them, so make sure you never make fun of or belittle the importance of what is going on and allow her to discuss what is happening with you if she chooses to.
by Jenny, mum to William and James