The situation: My 10-year-old is developing breasts. She wears baggy clothes to hide them and doesn't want to wear a bra.
The solution: Some children need lots of reassurance that they are normal as they go through puberty. Let your daughter know that many girls her age are developing breasts, but that everyone's different. Some girls can't wait to get their first bras. Others feel embarrassed, especially if they are one of the first in their peer group to develop. Let her decide which clothes make her feel most comfortable.
You can also talk about the other changes she will experience with puberty. Sometimes it's better to have lots of short conversations rather than one long explanation. Choose times when she seems more receptive, and tell her you're available to listen and answer questions. A highly recommended book is The "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Girls (Newmarket, 2007) by Lynda Madaras.
Elizabeth Church is a psychologist, professor and the author of Understanding Stepmothers.
• The stages of puberty
• Helping a self-conscious youth
• Developing your child's personality
• CanadianLiving.com Parenting
• CanadianLiving.com Teens
• CanadianLiving.com Kids
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