When you are a parent, you can’t prevent your children from growing up. And, with growing up, comes different experiences that you and they will share. As your daughter grows into a woman, she’ll have a lot of questions and caring for her will mean something completely different than it used to. Having a frank discussion about what is going on with her body, promoting good health habits, including visiting with a physician familiar with adolescent gynecology, as well as making her feel like she can go to you for questions are all the marks of a good parent of a girl coming into womanhood.
Have “The Talk”
It is important to have the dreaded talk about sex and her currently changing body when you start to suspect she is becoming curious. It can be an awkward conversation to have, but it is better to get it out of the way before it is too late. To make it easier on the both of you, do not bombard her with facts and horror stories that she might not be ready for yet. Instead, put the ball in her court. Ask her what she thinks she knows and correct any misconceptions she may have about sex, pregnancy, and whatever else comes up. Ask her if she has any questions and try to answer the best you can.
Promote Good Health Habits
As your daughter starts to make the transition from child to young adult, her health needs will change drastically, so much so that her regular pediatrician might not cut it anymore. Look for a doctor that can care for her womanly needs but also have the bedside manner of a pediatrician, preferably someone that specifies in adolescent gynecology. To ease your daughter’s mind, schedule a consultation before she experiences the more advance appointments, like a pap smear. This will help ease her mind and determine whether the doctor is a right fit for your daughter’s needs. Once you find a doctor both you and your daughter are comfortable with, discuss birth control and STD prevention. She may not be ready for sex yet, but it’s better to have this conversation before she winds up on an MTV show.
Be Open to Answer Questions Honestly
Once the initial talk is over, that does not mean your conversations with your daughter should end there. You should stress to her that you should be seen as a wealth of information and someone that can answer any question they have to the best of your ability. The worst thing that you can do is to make your daughter feel that she cannot confide in you. She’ll probably ask someone, so it might as well be you.
It all comes down to communication when dealing with a young girl on the precipice of puberty. Ignoring it will not make it go away, so it’s best to tackle the issue headfirst and with an open mind.
For more writing by Jillian Johnson follow her @MissWritey.