Puberty: A mother’s guide

Puberty: A mother’s guide

How to give your daughter the support she needs as she goes through puberty


Puberty is a critical life stage for girls, filled with lots of confusion and self-doubt. In fact, a new Always survey reveals that more than half of girls (about 1 in 2 or 56 percent) lose confidence during puberty.

To understand that this is an absolutely normal time in her life, your daughter will need plenty of reassurance and support from you. Talking through her concerns will not only encourage her to take pride in her body and to make healthy choices, but will also provide an opportunity for you and your daughter to better understand each other.

Let her know you're always there

Work to establish a good pattern of communication with your daughter. Start by letting her know that you’re always willing to talk. And, critically, it's important to remember that ‘talking’ also means really listening to what she has to say.

Take some time to remember what concerned you as a teenager. What were you too embarrassed to talk about? What do you wish your mother had told you at the time? Or what did she do that made you feel better back then? That will help you relate better to what your daughter is going through now. By talking to your daughter openly about these issues, you will also help her to take responsibility for her own health and make good choices as she grows up.

We’ve got lots of advice on how to talk to your daughter about puberty and the sort of questions she might ask.

Get in early

All human beings tend to cope better with things if we feel prepared for them! This means that it’s best for you to start talking to your daughter about puberty sooner rather than later. That way she won’t get her ‘information’ from her peer group (who let’s face it know as little as she does!).

This is obviously especially important if your daughter seems to be starting to go through puberty on the young side. And whilst you can never know exactly when your daughter is going to get her first period, we do know girls can start menstruating as young as 8.

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Build her confidence

You no doubt remember from your own puberty that self-esteem and body confidence can take a bit of a hit. ‘My breasts are too small.’ ‘My breasts are too big.’ ‘OMG, my armpits smell!’ ‘There’s hair where?’

You can’t wave a magic wand and make all her insecurities disappear (if only!) but you can boost her confidence whenever you can. You can also help with the more practical issues such as body odour and getting a well-fitting bra.

A weighty issue

You can help your daughter deal with the changes that puberty brings.

Of all these, one of the ones that young girls can struggle with the most is putting on weight. It’s vital that you reassure your daughter that it’s perfectly normal to put on weight and that grown women do have more body fat than girls.

Eating healthily and taking regular exercise is good, worrying about being a bit curvier isn’t.

Got any tips?

We’d love to hear from you on supporting your daughter through puberty. Perhaps your advice could prove invaluable to someone else?

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