Girls Puberty and Birds & Bees Talk

Updated on June 05, 2018
C.M. asks from Beech Grove, IN
11 answers

What is a good age to start talking to daughter about puberty and the birds & the bees? Did you do them at same time or did you do the puberty talk first (body changes, periods, etc..) and then the birds & bees later? If did both, did you do a simpler birds & bees talk and then wait until they are a little older to give a bigger, more detail talk? It's about that time for me to have the puberty talk with my daughter and I was just looking for some advice on the birds & the bees piece and whether you did both and how much detail you went into for the initial birds & bees talk? T.I.A.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the great suggestions. I do know that this will be able ongoing discussion for many years to come🙂 I was just kind of looking for hints on the initial talk and how much info you gave in the initial talk. I like the suggestion about letting her ask what ever she wants. I was just worried she would hold back some. She seems to get a little embarrassed for certain things even tho I try to be as open and talk as much as possible because I didn't want it to be awkward like it was when I had the discussions with my mom🙂 but sometimes she still gets embarrassed so I'm worried she won't ask me anything. Thanks again and I welcome any more further suggestions. 🙂 She just turned 10 by the way . We've had age appropriate discussions before this about body changes, hygiene, about privates and what's appropriate and inappropriate, the initial "where do babies come from" talks, etc but had not discussed periods yet or the bigger in more detail sex talk (which I know will be ongoing as she gets older).

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answers from San Francisco on

There are some great books at the library, the librarian can help you out there. I never actually had "the talk" with any of my kids, a boy and two girls. Rather it was over time, as questions came up. I kept it simple and age appropriate. For example when a young child asks where do babies come from they don't really need (or want) the whole biological description.
The American Girl book "The Care and Keeping of You" is a good one for girls in pre or early puberty.

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answers from Kansas City on

You don't say how old your child is, but I do agree that this subject should be an on-going conversation. You have to take the stigma out of it and just make it normal to talk that being said, I do this and my kids are still a little horrified sometimes, but that's just life! Haha!

If your daughter is around 3rd grade then I would just say hey we haven't really talked about this before but your body is going to start changing and these are the things that will happen....

I bought my daughter the American Girl Book about bodies and it's pretty good. Mostly she looks at it and doesn't ask me questions but I bring it up to her. My daughter knew how babies were made in 2nd grade. My son is just finishing 2nd and doesn't exactly know, but knows a lot. They have different personalities, ask different questions and I just go from there. You have to kind of gauge your child, but really you need to start talking about it...and don't stop either because even though we think we gave the best talk ever and things are so clear...they usually aren't!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I had a children’s book that talked about how the body changes in puberty and reproduction. We read it a lot when my girls were around 5 yo. They were both fascinated by the topic. My girls are now 15 and 20 and there is absolutely no awkwardness talking about the human body or sex.

To answer your question, i gave my girls as much info as they wanted. No subject or topic was off limits.

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answers from Norfolk on

How were you taught these things?
My moms approach was to hand me a pamphlet to read - she was too embarrassed to talk about it.
"The Talk" is an ongoing conversation that goes on for years until they are adults.
And if you're smart you don't stop when you start going through menopause - it's good for them to know about coming attractions for all ages.
You start with telling them things about body changes and care and maintenance - and you do this well BEFORE they start experiencing the changes.
2nd or 3rd grade is when you begin.
Often - around 3rd or 4th grade the school gym teacher will send home a blanket note to all parents requesting the kids start using deodorant - because beginning to stink is a sign that the hormones are changing and skin bacteria is flourishing - which causes body odor.

You get some books - there are many - and read them through - and go over the material with your kids.
Also school will start having a once a year health class - boys in one class, girls in another- and they will be covering topics which you can find out about.
It's right about 5th grade that the school teaches more details about sex.
They want the kids to have some basic accurate information/precautions/details BEFORE they are sexually active - and yes some start being active as soon as the 6th grade.
(My mom taught 6th grade for 30 years and some of her students didn't make it out of middle school before they were pregnant. - so this is nothing new - it's been going on forever.)
This prevents kids from believing nonsense like 'you can't get pregnant if you do it standing up' and other such rumors that get passed around.

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answers from Portland on

I have some books. I got some good ideas off this site. There's an American Girl one for girls that is good - covers everything and is age appropriate. We read it together. It's for preteens and up - just good resource.

I covered it before the school talks. At least the general part - and then they go into quite great detail these days in school because there seems to be a Q&A section now (discussion) so you will be surprised what comes up. So be prepared. Anyway, it means you have conversations at home, which is good. We just keep an open dialog.

Same experience at school as mentioned below.

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answers from Dallas on

How old is your daughter?

You do know it's not a once and done talk? It's an ongoing learning lesson and communication with you and daughter.

Start simple and age appropriate.

Most importantly, be open and honest with her. Answer questions. Get guidance through books if you need to.

Remember it's never a one stop talk. Continued communication is key.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I have boys, but I initially did both together - we read a book together - "it's not the stork". It focuses mostly on the birds and bees, but also talks about some body changes. That was at age 7-8. Then we took a class together on puberty and relationships specifically for boys. It was offered at the local hospital (look in the education website of your hospital along with the lamaze and that kind of stuff, a separate girls-only class was also offered). My older son does not tend to ask me questions, so to make it an ongoing conversation, I use opportunities to talk about relationships, sex, and puberty as related things come up in the news, on the radio, prompted by song lyrics, etc.

ETA: I've heard that An American Girl is a fantastic book for girls this age for the puberty stuff, but I think it really covers sex, so if you use this book, you'll need to make a point to initiate that discussion as well.


answers from Washington DC on

as soon as they are speaking in relatively complete sentences.

start with correct names for body parts (nicknames are fine too, but they should know the actual terminology). discuss function simply when they're small, and add to it as they get older.

answer their questions directly and honestly.

don't give more information than they're asking for.



answers from Baton Rouge on

It's not A talk. It should be an ongoing conversation, starting as soon as the kid can understand complete sentences.
My daughter knew where babies cam from, the correct names for body parts, and what menstruation was when she was four.



answers from Amarillo on

Since your daughter is 10, it would be good to get the American Girl Book or a book called, "What's Happening to Me?". The book goes into both male and female body changes and such.

I have one each and the book was a good way to get across what was going on for both. I said to my son that there was a book for him to read and to come to me with any questions once he was finished reading the book.

My daughter used the book a few years later. We also had classes in school that were designed for kids (DDOE) which were me in detail than the local school system.

But please get here started so she is not in the dark about what is going on in her body and her emotions.

the other S.

PS You have gotten some good ideas and references.



answers from Appleton on

I have 2 granddaughters in high school. One of them started her period at 9.5 yrs old and the other at 10. You need to have the talk tomorrow, it is very possible she will start her period this summer.
Also get her in for a bra fitting. I was a bra fitter at Penney's, whenever I had a mother/daughter come in for a fitting for the daughter I always did the mom first so the girl understood what was going to happen.
I don't think Penney's does them any longer. I would recommend Layne Bryant or Macy's, everyone I ever resized from Victoria Secret was told she wore the wrong size.

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