Who teaches your daughter about bra sizes? Or what to expect as puberty approaches? Or how to manage the heart ache of first relationships?
You could leave it to the occasional lessons in school, but who can ask questions in that kind of setting? Or it could be her peers, but do they really know? Or it could be from the media, but can you trust this to be a good representation? Or it could be you.
Girls need women that they feel able to talk to through their adolescence. At a time when our girls may give off the impression that they need us less, they just need us differently. Puberty is a time of rapid change, and welcome or not, it is going to be somewhat un-nerving. Every girl needs older women who they feel comfortable talking to – not always their own mother, although it can be.
Conversations about C cups, or growing pubic hair, or boyfriends do not emerge from thin air. A climate of trust and easy communication must exist between a girl and a woman before the sensitive topics can be broached. This evolves over time, and requires a conscious effort on the woman’s part to pay attention to the girl’s life and have a wish to tip-toe into her world.
It takes a village to raise a child – who are the girls in your village?
Does your daughter have a circle of women to guide her?
It takes many conversations, open and friendly, to become a girl’s mentor. So essential to the healthy development of our teens is to teach them womanly things; and this happens over time, not just in one discussion.
Do not rely on sex ed in school, or playground chatter, or music videos, or social media to teach your daughter. Ink into your diary monthly girls together time and choose activities to share that will give you and your daughter opportunities to talk intimately.
If you’re not sure how, look here.