I noticed a few subtle changes in my daughter’s body (aged 10) a few months ago. I’ve always been very open with her and not shied away from questions when they’ve cropped up. However, when I broached the changes and puberty in general, she didn’t want to talk.
Books on puberty
I decided to look into a book that covered the basics of puberty and growing up in an accessible, friendly but informative way. I didn’t need anything that went into detail about sex as they’re covering reproduction at school plus I figured it’d be referenced in any book discussing puberty.
After a scout around online, I chose Girls Only! (All About Periods and Growing-Up Stuff) by Victoria Parker. Other reviews were good and I liked the synopsis: “focuses on the practicalities, social and personal implications of starting your period, and the physical and emotional developments in puberty. It tells you what happens and when, what you need to know and how to prepare. It answers all the questions girls are dying to ask, but daren’t, in a clear, friendly way, using real-life examples.”
What it covered
In my daughter’s words it covers the following:
- Taking care of hair, skin and body to keep it healthy
- The changes that happen
- Periods – what to expect and how they relate to how babies are made
- Gives scientific words for parts of the female body
- Body confidence
- How to deal with teasing (and scaremongering) from other children relating to puberty
My daughter seemed very reassured by what she’d read. She commented that the book is good because it explains things well without complications and confusion for the reader. For me the tone was just right: informative, but fun. It also had plenty of illustrations. My only criticism is that a bit too much focus is placed on appearance – ugly ducklings turning into beautiful swans.
It’s been a real springboard for opening up discussions. My daughter has brought up quite a few things she’s read with me and wants more details on/to hear my experiences. This is exactly what I wanted.
Girl Guiding – End Period Poverty and Stigma