Puberty in Girls – Practical Tips to Help Your Daughter
You’ve noticed that your once sweet girl is talking back, challenging you at every turn, pimples are starting to appear on her face, and showering daily has become a necessity. Welcome to puberty. Be warned parents, girls can start this process as early as 8 years old and as late as 14 years old.
While we all went through this stage ourselves, it is not always easy to watch your little girl undergo this transformation without knowing the best way to help. Moms and Dads can use these helpful tips to help make things a little easier for your daughter and let her know you’re there for her.
Rollercoaster of emotions
One of the most difficult aspects of puberty that most kids experience is an exaggeration of emotions. It is vital that parents do not react to any undesirable behavior with anything but calmness and understanding.
By using these moments as a learning opportunity, you can comfort and reassure your daughter and give her the confidence and opportunity to articulate herself in a more reasonable manner.
Open lines of communication
Having both parents available to ‘talk’ whenever your daughter has questions or a problem she wants to discuss, helps to ensure she will continue to turn to you when she needs to.
One of the first signs of puberty that you may notice in your daughter is the appearance of breast buds. It is wise and advisable to purchase a training bra, with your daughter so she can be measured accurately and select items that are comfortable for her.
Change in shape
You will notice that your daughter’s body shape will be changing, and her hips will become wider and she will become taller. Help her to maintain her modesty by buying her clothes that are loose fitting and comfortable. Take your daughter shopping so that she can select items that are to her liking so she is more likely to wear it.
Personal hygiene is the main focus for girls during puberty, and a tell-tale sign that she needs to shower daily is the appearance of body odor. Provide her with a fresh smelling deodorant and give her an extra one to keep in her gym locker at school.
Help your daughter keep her face clean by encouraging face washing twice daily, using a face wash with salicylic acid if necessary to keep pimples at bay. Also discourage her from touching her face with her hands.
Show your daughter how to remove body hair from her pubic area and armpits. This was a practice (sunnah) of the Prophet (pbuh) as a way to remain clean, and it can be helpful to explain this to your daughter so that she continues to do this periodically. It is permissible to shave or pluck these areas, so whatever removal method you choose to use is fine.
What is it?
It is crucial to teach your daughters about her reproductive system in a basic simple way so that she understands what is happening to her body and why. Ideally this discussion should be held before she has her first period so that she has time to ask plenty of questions. This way she will be mentally prepared and won’t panic when it arrives, although it’s still always a surprise when it happens.
What can I do to help her?
- Carefully guide her on how to use personal hygiene products, how often to change them and how to dispose of them. If she is sharing a bathroom with other siblings, it is important that she quickly learns how to be discreet.
- Show your daughter where products are kept, encourage her to keep extra supplies in her school bag.
- Have a hot water bottle or a hotpack ready to apply to her tummy when those period cramps hit. Ensure she is hydrated and drinking plenty of water.
- While your daughter’s body is adjusting to menstruation, try to include lots of iron-rich foods in her diet during this time.
- Show her how to complete Ghusl when her period is over.
Who should I tell?
- There is nothing wrong in either parent talking to their daughters about their period. A father should be aware of what his daughter is going through and be accommodating to her needs. When it is time for Salah he should understand why she is not praying with the rest of the family.
- It is advisable to discreetly and carefully explain to your sons what menstruation is and how that impacts their sister’s salah and other worship. This will insh’Allah avoid any teasing or awkward and upsetting questions from them.
- Girls should know that while they are menstruating, there are certain aspects of worship that they cannot participate in. Allah swt in His infinite wisdom has given our bodies this time to rest and heal. For instance, girls are not permitted to pray, fast or touch thepages of the holy Qur’an.
- Explain to your daughters that while missed prayers are not required to be made up while she is menstruating, any Ramadan fasting days missed during this time will need to be made up at a later time.
- However, there are plenty of ways to continue ibaadah and maintain that connection to Allah swt during this time.
- Say plenty of dhikr
- Make lots of dua’
- Listen to Qur’an
- Read tafsirs and translations of Qur’an
- Read biographies of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his sahaba.