How do I began the talk about growing up to my 8 year old?

User - posted on 11/20/2008 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My Daughter is turning 8 next month and believe it or not she is growing in places i didnt think she was ready to. I am a bit nervous. I knew this day would come but didnt think it would happen so fast. So i guess my question would be how do i sit down with her and talk about this growing up thing being a woman w/o embarrassing her or scaring her. I never really had the talk with my mom but she told me a bit of it. Iw ant to make sure my daughter knows enough to wear when she notices things she isnt scared she is prepared. In resources?

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Amie - posted on 11/20/2008

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I had this own conversation with my 8 year old this year as she's not only growing up but had questions. ugh. It wasn't embarrassing for her but for me it sure was. I never dreamed I'd be having any of these conversations for a couple years yet. It started with me being pregnant with our 4th and the answers from the past were no longer working. So yes I did sit her down to talk with her, I asked her what she wanted to know and she got the candid answers, it didn't scare her nor was she embarrassed. We started with where babies really come from and what sex means then worked our way over to puberty and how she will change more as she keeps getting older. I chose to do this one on one as her dad was extremely uncomfortable talking about any of it, it's his little girl after all, heaven forbid she grow up. LOL and she also has young siblings that I feel don't need to hear some of these answers yet. I made it clear though if she ever is concerned or wants answers on anything all she has to do is ask me. Keeping the communication open and honest as Michelle said is very important, she needs to trust you as much as you trust her. I had this relationship with my mom and it made it easier, I still have questions I go to my mom about, haha. You will do fine and being embarrassed is just part of being a mom, my daughter did notice and asked why, my answer was simple She is my little girl and it's hard to accept she's growing up. She just went aw mom and gave me a hug. lol. I have every confidence you will do fine though. =) Good luck.

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When I was a kid, Peter Mayle's _Where Did I Come From?_ -- which is about human fertility, and the sequel, _What's Happening To Me?_, about puberty -- were always on my bookshelf next to the Dr. Seuss for me to look at whenever I wanted. They're illustrated, conversational, accurate without being 'over-medical' or smutty, and aimed at what younger kids can understand.

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Tanya - posted on 11/20/2008

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I have a 15, soon to be 16 year old son and I've told him early on and repeatedly if he ever has questions about anything, it will always be ok to ask me. Tell your daughter that you've started to notice some physical changes in her and wondered if she had any questions. Let her establish what is comfortable conversation. She may only ask a question or two and that's fine. She's testing the trust and safety of your answer. If she wants to know more later, she'll ask you more then. Just make sure you are confident in what you tell her and without judgment. Good luck! :)

Gina - posted on 11/20/2008

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I agree with the other posts - to keep it casual and a natural part of the conversation. I have a 6-year old and we usually get ready together in the morning or evening. So, she asks questions about me and I explain. I think too, if you relate what she is experiencing with what you experienced, it normalizes things for her and also helps her feel really secure about what is going on. I use this approach when discussing social situations, manners, friends, and everything else and just make sure to anwser simply and honestly. If she is ready to know more, she will generally ask more detailed questions and I know where to go. Every so often, I will look for opportunities to mention something in context (books are good for this) to find out where she is with certain things.

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I have read that you should only answer questions as they ask. So that being said keeping an open relationship is ths best. her being able to come to you with questions and making her feel comfortable with it.2 daughters 23 and 20.

User - posted on 11/20/2008

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I will have to get those books you all are reccommending. I think i will do pretty well talking to her now with all of this advise. I just want her to be comfortable with this all. Thank so much!!!!!!

User - posted on 11/20/2008

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do not forget the book...............are you there God it is me Magaret, Judy Blume

Lisa - posted on 11/20/2008

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i bought my now 9 year old daughter, The American Girl's Guide to the Care and Keeping of You. I bought it several years ago. she started by just looking at the pictures when she couldn't read, then she started reading it. she still reads it. she has a healthy attitude toward all the changes she will go through. it is a great conversation starter.

Zoe - posted on 11/20/2008

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my daughter has just turned 9 and started grow. and i was very open with her from the start and she kno's if there is anything she wants 2 ask she can she hasnt started her periods but she already kno's wot they are and is understanding,of it all. all i can say is yr her mum and u kno the best way of talking 2 her which she will understand and feel comfy with

User - posted on 11/20/2008

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Thank you so much for all of your help and ideas of how i can approach this. I guess i never thought it would be so soon to think she is only in 2nd grade AHH! but i do want to make this comfortable for her and not embarrassing or scary. I think by doing this with her it will prepare me for my other daughter who is just 2 now and hopefully has a long way before we sit down about this HA! thank you again for all of your help!

Debbie - posted on 11/20/2008

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I have 2 daughters, one is 14 and the other 11. I know how you feel. Make it casual and open. My girls know that we can talk about anything. Try to have special dates with her, just go window shopping or for ice cream. She will enjoy this one on one time with you. Also when she is in about 5th grade I would suggest that you purchase the passport to purity book. (get it early so you can prepare) this is a great faith based program from focus on the family. It is a mother daughter weekend or overnight that you take your daughter on, with games, prizes, and great talks. I did this with my oldest and am getting prepared to do it with the youngest. It really made her feel special and opened up a lot of great talks between us.

[deleted account]

I don't have girls but would echo what the other ladies have said. Just incorporate and answer questions as they come along, don't make a big deal out of it. It is after all totally natural developement and nothing to be afraid of ... just choose a good moment to talk about things and make sure she can always bring any question to you - far better to hear the answer from you than other children.

User - posted on 11/20/2008

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keep in mind boys and girls are very different yes they both are going through changes but remember being an adolesent girl it was not easy

User - posted on 11/20/2008

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My daughter is about to be 12 years old ( 5 days ). There is no easy way to start the conversion but you certainly have to! do not be embarressed it is a part of life and if you feel embarressed while talking she probably will pick up on it and not be open with you. Every night I sit at the end of my daughters bed and we talk about EVERYTHING! I would start but setting up some time for just the two of you. Then just say you know you are starting to get older and your body is changing and tell her everything that will happen. A book could also help ease you into the conversion. A good one I used was The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls (American Girl Library). Then after you discuss her body and the changing it will lead to all the other parts of the TALK ...boys, sex, drugs. and always leave room for questions and encourage her to ask whenever she has any even if it is a simple one like " i heard this word at school today what does it mean?" My daughter is more prepared for life than I was at her age and the other important thing is always be HONEST about everything! Good Luck.

Regina - posted on 11/20/2008

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No reason to sit her down. Make it a natural part of conversation. Just say something along the lines of....Wow...you're growing up...I notice you are starting to have __________. Do you know what else is going to change as you get older? You may be surprised at what she knows. I'd give her the basics, extra hair, etc. And keep the conversation open. My boys already know about body odor and hair. I've never sat them down and make it awkward...Just something we talk about. Like when they see me putting on deodorant. I say "Do you know why I need deodorant?" Because as our body's grow and change we start to get stinky and deodorant helps that. When I give them a bath or see them in shorts I comment on their leg hair "Wow! I say, your hair is getting darker...you are growing up...soon you'll notice hair in other places too". I try to make it natural. good luck. My son is almost 8 also and I am super surprised at how fast kids are maturing!

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