I’m asking because lately, I can’t stop talking about puberty with my friends.
Truthfully, it is my own attempt to not only learn, but to also break down typical stigmas we associate with them. I want both of my children to create open and honest conversations with their peers around the changes in their bodies and in their feelings. And while I can’t control that, I hope that being a participant as an adult, helps with that.
I’ve discovered two things:
- Parents often miss the window of years or months prior to the onset of a tween’s period. Life happens, days and years are busy. And if you’re a person with a period as well things get looped. But after reading The Body Book:The Care & Keeping Of You, I realized that the process is much longer than we believe. It made me remember my tween years of hard feelings and hard days, that led up to my actual cycle. “Typically, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop,” says Kids Health. And around that time there are other signs that their body is in process.
- There’s not enough conversation around the emotional side of things. A good handful of my friends are entering perimenopause. They’re in their early 40s and moving through new and strange symptoms that have gone undiscussed on the grand scale for years. For some it’s sleep. For a few, its exhaustion and unexplained body things. And for others, they’ve been thrusted in various hot flashes and mood swings. I’ve been mentally deeply in the pendulum of both cycle sides; listening and taking note, and realizing what’s been missing. More often than not, it’s conversations!
When researching to find more conversations about puberty emotionality (and as a result, perimenopause) I kept coming up short. Of course, I am relieved by underwear, like Thinx that helps relieve that actual onset. And care packages such as this first period kit. I also found Planned Parenthood’s website for tweens to be quite helpful in step by step direction (and amazing illustration).
With that said, I’m wondering, what is the best advice you got during puberty? Or, what was something amazing that your caregiver did for you during that time?
Photograph by MILTON ROGOVIN