This is my story, torn from the pages of my life. I had eaten the same food, drank the same water, breathed the same air as my peers, but apparently with different results. I was not even quite seven years old, when the young sapling that I was, began to bud.
Nature’s trick threw my mother into a tizzy, wondering what could have sparked such early signs of puberty, and I was left to figure out life with all its changes and nuances, almost on my own. Feeling forced to defend myself for experiencing what was a natural process, I gleaned accidental knowledge from unlikely sources while floundering in the dark, for no one had thought the sit me down and explain the emotional, psychological, and sexual ramifications of the changes that had begun to take place. To their credit, they probably did not know how to handle the situation. What this tells me is that parents whose daughters are facing early onset puberty should really take the time to learn how to deal with it and teach their daughters how to deal with it as well.
When dealing with early onset puberty, you must be very careful to make sure that your daughter is your first priority. The last thing you need to be doing is trying to figure out what sparked the onset in the first place. Forget the old wives tale. Your child’s early pubescence has nothing to do with anything outside of the way her brain has been wired and the timing mechanism set up in her pituitary gland that sends the message to the primary and secondary sex organs to signify that puberty has begun. No matter what age she is when this occurs, for her it is completely natural, and should be accepted as such.
No child should be made to feel defensive over something that is a completely reflexive and natural process.
Puberty has its own little demons attached to it. The increased hormonal changes have emotional and psychological impact. Things like mood swings and the sadness that often signifies depression may go unnoticed for what they are. At this stage, especially when it comes to early onset pubescence, the young girl will find it difficult to articulate her feelings. This calls for patience and empathy on the part of the parents along with the ability and sensitivity to help give meaning to what your child cannot put into words.
All the changes that your child is undergoing as a result of early pubescence will have physical impact on her body. Proper nutrition and supplements if needed, in conjunction with physical fitness can help to preserve and reinforce her physical health, which in turn will help to shore up her mental health. Equally important to her health and overall wellbeing, however, is the nurturing she receives from the adults in her life. Be aware that she will have more problems accepting herself and the changes that are taking place in her body if she feels a lack of acceptance from those around her. She must not ever be allowed to feel that whatever she is undergoing is anything but natural.
The last thing we want is for our early pubescent daughter to adopt a negative view concerning her body. Some people may look suspiciously at a girl whose body has developed beyond her years. They may even attribute this to premature sexual activity. This sort of fallacious belief can pervade to the point of becoming a self-fulfilled prophecy in the young girl’s life. Parents must counteract this possibility by encouraging her to develop a good body image. Fathers could be especially helpful at this time because they can help to build their daughter’s confident as well as teach them how to interact with the opposite sex.
Nature is not so unkind as to throw a young girl into early pubescence with no inner support. One of the things that you might discover about your child at this time, is the development of their mental maturity. This means that she probably has in her the increased capacity to make better choices concerning her body and the world around her. She may not utilize it, but that does not mean that it is not there inside of her. If she can come to the realization that she is not a freak of nature, then her life will begin to fall into place, and things will begin to truly make sense.
My story has a happy ending. The good news is, I survived sane and whole. I can even look back and laugh at some of the mistakes made by the adults in my life at the time, as well as forgive the ignorance that governed them. Times have changed since then, so there is no need for anyone to re-enter the dark ages when it comes to dealing with the delicate issue of early onset puberty. If done right, there is no reason for your child’s “growing pains” to be any more painful that it needs to be. With sensitivity, love, and acceptance on the part of the parents, your child will survive early pubescence sane, whole, and happy, just like I did.