At some stage during the preteen years, your daughter will begin to experience the changes that puberty brings. It’s important that as a parent you recognise the signs so that you can put your mind and hers at ease. Understanding what your tween is experiencing means you will be better equipped to help her through the physical and emotional changes that go hand in hand with puberty.
Below, are some of the more common signs of puberty in girls which can appear gradually and can take anywhere from three to four years for the changes to fully take place.
Boys typically experience the onset of puberty at some point between the ages of 9 and 14 while girls start younger between the ages of 8 and 12.
Talk to your daughter about what she can expect so nothing scares or worries her.  Also, go through how to handle her first period if she happens to be away from home when it happens.
The signs to look for include:
  • Physical changes
  • Growth spurts
  • Changes in body shape, such as body fat building around the hips and thighs
  • Breast development
  • Body odour and skin breakouts as more oil from glands is produced.
  • Beginning of menstruation, typically around the age of 12
  • Hair growth under the arms, on the legs and in the pubic area
  • Emotional changes
  • Mood swings
  • A mixture of anxiety and excitement about the changes she is experiencing 
  • Concerns over increased responsibility and fitting in socially.