herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Body talk

1> Normalise it: if your child reaches puberty before her peers, don’t make it a big deal.

2> Try not to be nervous when you discuss puberty with your child. She will sense your unease and find it more difficult to talk openly.

3> Avoid the ‘Big Talk’. It seems sudden and dramatic to children. Have a series of casual discussions instead.

4> Discuss subjects at age-appropriate times. It isn’t necessary to discuss STDs with a nine-year-old, for example. However, if your child has a specific question, give them an open and honest answer.

5> Playground scaremongering is inevitable. Clear up any misunderstandings.

6> Buy your child a book such as What's Happening to Me? and make sure you discuss the book with your child afterwards.

7> If your daughter becomes embarrassed when discussing her first bra, bring it up where there is minimal eye contact, such as in the car. You phase the process by introducing her to a sports or training bra first.

8> Discuss a hygiene routine that includes body washes and deodorant and, if necessary, shaving products for boys.

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