Early puberty - how to help them through it

Filed under: Tweens, Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News, Books for Kids

what's happening to me bookScience may not have figured out exactly what causes some girls to hit puberty early, but experts are working on how to help those girls get through it. It is well established that girls who experience early onset puberty often struggle with behavioral issues such as delinquency, violence, drug abuse and eating disorders. A new study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, indicates that more parental involvement may be just what an early-maturing girl needs to avoid those pitfalls.

"Helping parents develop positive parenting skills may help early-maturing girls to grow into healthy, well-adjusted adolescents and adults," said Sylvie Mrug, a University of Alabama at Birmingham psychologist who led the study.
As part of a larger study on the welfare of children, researchers examined the behavior and family situations of 330 fifth-grade girls, one fourth of whom had started their periods before the age of eleven. What they found was that the girls who experienced early onset puberty and had low levels of parental involvement in their lives were more likely to display socially aggressive behaviors like fighting and teasing.

In other words, just because your little girl is becoming a woman doesn't mean she doesn't need her parents to continue to set limits and stay connected. In fact, early onset puberty means she needs you even more.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.