The Dreaded “Puberty” Talk :: How I Made It Bearable

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There comes a time in our {already difficult} parenting journey where we have to face difficult discussions. It is unimaginable that to think that our kiddos will ever need to know some specific information because “they’re our babies”. Nonetheless, the topics of growing up aren’t going to go away so we have to just roll with it.

Recently, my daughter, who is currently in 4th grade, brought home a note saying that 4th grade was going to have a health seminar. Boys would be in one room, girls in the other because they were going to talk about how their bodies change over time and what they can expect. Shock took over. 4th grade REALLY?? I’m fairly certain I was in 7th or 8th grade before this topic was even mentioned. Why on earth would my darling, innocent, daughter need to know things that I myself am not ready to discuss with her. Seriously, she screams when she sees a bra and says “Ewwww”. Is she really ready to hear about periods and all that go along with them? 

Then it hit me, look at the world we live in today. Life moves at a rapid pace and things happen so much faster than they used to.  I tried to find a million reasons to reject this seminar for her, but I couldn’t. Reality is, children are going through puberty at a much younger age, so it makes sense to slowly introduce them to reality. I fought my gut and allowed her to sit in on this seminar but I had to mentally prepare myself for the knowledge she would gain. What kind of questions would she have? Would she even open up and discuss it further? What if she wants ALL the details? I wasn’t ready but life said “you have to be”. Off to school she went and there I sat full of dread and anxiety wondering what kind of thoughts would be racing through her mind. We can only shield our kiddos from so much before they have to be educated about their bodies with the proper information.

When it was time for pick up, she got in the car red faced and silent. How do we get through these topics without embarrassment for both the parent and child? How can we actually say the right words for body parts without feeling like we are poisoning them with perversion? Alright that‘s a bit extreme but you get my drift! I think we all can agree that we would prefer to be uncomfortable for a short period of time rather than your child asking someone else or seeking information from inaccurate resources! Lord knows I would NOT want my daughter to Google “what is puberty”. Can you imagine what would pop up? No thanks.  So basically, I put on my big girl panties and powered through. Here comes the first awkward conversation I will have with her. I asked her how her day was and what she learned at the seminar. She quietly explained that they actually did talk about anatomically correct wording for body parts (this is something I’ll address later in this post!), also monthly cycles and what to look for, as well as information about pads, tampons and proper hygiene. Hmm, ok so far not terrible topics, we can do this! 

My main thought throughout the discussion was that I had to lay down a foundation where she knows she can always come talk to me about anything without feeling shame. I needed my child to know that as she grows up I will always have her back and will be here whenever she needs me. The only way I could think to make this bearable and as comfortable as possible was not to overload her with my thoughts and facts. My first thought was to let her lead this conversation and ask whatever she wanted to. I would answer her directly and ask her if she had any questions about what I had just told her. She began asking more and more questions because it opened a door for her about a topic that she didn’t even know existed. As we kept going, it got easier and much less awkward. We would make jokes here and there but it was such a relief to have that door opened for her to be able to ask questions as they come along.

By letting her take the lead, she felt in control and only asked what she was comfortable with asking. It also kept me from overloading her with a ton of “fun facts” we women tend to face. Once the conversation was done, I felt oddly settled with it. She had the knowledge she needed for now and knows she can talk to me about this kind of stuff! It was a huge step into the next phase of her life. She ended the conversation with this little gem of a statement : “Mom you know, as much as we learned about periods…. I decided I don’t want one.”  ***Insert laughter here*** Boy don’t we all feel that way!

To be honest, the fact that the school beat me to the anatomically correct words for body parts annoyed me. On the other hand, I don’t know when we would’ve gotten to that conversation if they hadn’t addressed it. It never crossed my mind how important it is for children to know the correct words for all parts of their bodies. Being educated in their bodies and anatomical words is directly in correlation with educating them about body boundaries. God forbid anything terrible should happen to any child, they would need to be able to describe exactly what happened. Those words are crucial in statements or when talking about any sort of incident. We gently hit this topic and I asked her to say both girls and boys body parts several times until it felt like just a word. After all, those words are not dirty, they’re just awkward. The biggest relief I felt was actually knowing she knows those body parts and is comfortable saying the actual word should she ever need to. 

To sum it up:

Don’t Panic! It is going to come up sooner or later! Life is fun that way.
Allow them to gain information from TRUSTED sources. Keep them far away from the internet at this point.
Let your child take control of the conversation. Seriously it made a huge difference in her tone and curiosity! 
STOP when they are done with discussing it. We talked about boundaries right? Well that applies to conversations too!

I grew up terrified to ask my parents questions about puberty and sex because it just wasn’t something we talked about. I would hear things at school and ask my mom and she would say “you don’t need to worry about that”.  I know it wasn’t to keep me in the dark, I think it just was her way of protecting me from twisted versions of the truth. I’m sure she felt I was too young to worry about these things anyway. Parenting is tough and it forces you to look at areas in a new light. It can be like opening Pandora’s box and you get sucked in to all the “what ifs” and different scenarios that could potentially happen but more than likely won’t. Being a mom to two little girls, my main goal is to build that Gilmore Girl mother-daughter bond. In my opinion, it is better to be up front and honest with them when they ask questions and maintain that trusted foundation that you’ve build. 

Now that I think about it, maybe the awkward conversations are actually the best because of the bond they can build!

What do all you moms and dads think? 

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Brooke Bolt
My name is Brooke and I grew up in a small town east of Dallas where I attended all of grade school…. a town where everybody knows everybody & where my family still resides! I moved to North Dallas June of 2016 and I fall in love with the fast-paced/ forever changing environment a little more each day. I graduated from Texas A&M Commerce in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of General Studies. I decided one degree wasn’t enough so I {crazily} decided to take my education a step further at Dallas Baptist University where I graduated in December 2016 with a Masters of Arts in management. I am a single momma to 2 spunky/sassy/hilarious/head-strong/energetic/beautiful little girls, Marli (8) & Madison (5 months). Aside from spotlighting as a pro mac-n- cheese maker & boo-boo kisser, I work full-time as a Pre-Sale Specialist for a group insurance company and am a Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay. My hobbies include constantly planning our next trip to Disney World (or as I like to call it, Home because we are a bit obsessed!), cruising through Target with a latte in hand, & of course, living my true purpose in life - being a girl-mom! The girls and I love to be outdoors when weather permits, hang out at Starbucks and look for opportunities to serve others! Just like most every mom out there, my life revolves around my children's social lives, so finding a moment to have a little “me time” is rare. Whenever that glorious moment comes around, I try to unwind with a cup of coffee or the occasional glass of wine and binge on Netflix. Our lives are very full and at times a bit chaotic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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