Body Changes are Normal in Adolescent Girls
During adolescence, young girls go through many changes as they move from childhood into physical maturity. Early, prepubescent changes occur when the secondary sexual characteristics appear.
We know that our daughters are girls, but when she is a tween she may begin to develop breast buds as early as 8 years old; A scary time for both tween and parent. Breasts fully develop between ages 12 and 18. Pubic hair, armpit and leg hair usually begin to grow at about age 9 or 10, and reach adult patterns at about 13 to 14 years. Menarche (the beginning of menstrual cycles) typically occurs about 2 years after early breast and pubic hair appear. It may occur as early as age 10, or as late as age 15. The average age of menstruation in the United States is about 12.5 years. Girls have a rapid growth in height between ages 9.5 and 14.5, peaking at around age 12. But the later menarche shows up the later the peak for growth.
Adolescent girl usually need privacy to understand the changes taking place in their bodies. Ideally, they should be allowed to have their own bedroom. If this is not possible, they should have at least some private space. Teasing an adolescent child male or female, about physical changes is inappropriate, because it may cause self-consciousness and embarrassment. Parents need to remember that it is natural and normal for their daughters to be interested in body changes and sexual topics. It does not mean that their child is involved in sexual activity. Adolescents may experiment with or consider a wide range of sexual orientations or behaviors before feeling comfortable with their own sexual identity. They will find their way.
If you are having issues with your adolescent daughter and need help, please call one of our family advocates at Re-Creation Retreat at (385) 414-8865. We have served hundreds of families from all over the United States and here to serve you and your struggling daughter.