Katie Gallagher, Director of Education, Candor Health Education

http://www.candorhealthed.org

Tips for talking to your daughters about puberty

  • Recognize when it’s time. If your child is asking questions or has been exposed to media or information from another child, don’t wait.
  • Ask them what they already know. Start with where they are and don’t dive in too deep.
  • Answer questions thoughtfully. It’s OK to explain that you want to answer, but later is better. You’ll have time to research and formulate your answers.
  • Fill in gaps and debunk myths. It’s important to give them the real facts. Always use the correct terms for body parts.
  • Admit discomfort and stay calm. Let him/her know that this is an important topic that may make both of you a bit uncomfortable.
  • Talk about your family’s values. Share your beliefs and encourage kids to follow the same path. Explain the ‘other side,’ but why you chose your values.
  • Don’t overshare your personal experiences. If asked directly, say, ‘that is a private matter that I’m not prepared to talk about right now.’
  • Lean on resources available. Search online for starter questions or topics. Visit www.candorhealthed.org.
  • Check their understanding. Ask for a little summary and clarify anything that they are still wondering about.
  • Keep the conversation going. Remind them that there is more to learn, and you are always available.