I think it is especially important to discuss hormones and the emotional aspects associated with puberty if you have a highly sensitive daughter. These girls feel everything in a magnified way and that certainly goes for the impact puberty will have on their emotional and mental health. The movie Inside Out was a great launching pad for many discussions in our home. (I keep hoping they will do a sequel where they explore that “unimportant” red button that said “puberty”! LOL!)
Like most things in our family life, we are pretty matter-of-fact when it comes to these topics. We’ve always had a policy that our daughter can ask us anything and we will always give her a truthful and straight-forward answer. We’re also not the type to make a big, emotional deal out of these conversations. It’s not how we relate and it wouldn’t be an effective approach in our family. Other families may choose to do it differently and that’s great. Do whatever is best for your daughter.
I think it is always best to let your daughter be the guide. She’ll ask questions when she is ready. If the point comes where you think her not knowing something could potentially be harmful or embarrassing, then by all means bring it up at an appropriate time. But letting things develop naturally usually makes the most sense.
That said, I did a lot of searching for materials related to puberty for girls and wanted to share what I found. But first I want to clarify three things about this post.
One, I am approaching this topic as a Christian.
Two, this post is more about puberty and body changes and less about sex.
Three, there is absolutely no perfect book out there whether it is books on menstruation for girls or puberty books for girls. Every book I looked at had positive aspects and also aspects that made me cringe. You will have to review whatever you purchase to make sure it is appropriate for where your daughter is developmentally whether it is emotionally, spiritually, or physically. You will also want to make sure you are ready to talk with your daughter about the contents. I’m a big believer in not pushing girls to grow up and not planting thoughts in their heads that don’t need to be there.
American Girl Books About Puberty
Probably the most popular books out there about puberty are done by American Girl. The Care and Keeping of You 1 and The Care and Keeping of You 2 are both excellent introductions that stick to the facts without bringing in controversial topics that will vary greatly among families. The first book is perfect for young girls starting to notice their body is changing.
The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger GirlsThe Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older GirlsIs This Normal? MORE Girls’ Questions, Answered by the Editors of The Care & Keeping of YouThe Feelings Book: The Care and Keeping of Your Emotions
I’ve included links here to other books in the series. Again, you need to review them to make sure they fit with your faith and worldview.
Period.: A Girl’s Guide
The next book I would recommend is Period.: A Girl’s Guide. It is a straightforward secular book about menstruation. It does make one mention of sexual activity, but it is primarily an excellent guide for understanding what is happening in the body, how a girl’s body is constructed, and the emotions that often come with puberty. The authors do a great job of driving home the idea that periods and the experiences that come with them can vary greatly from girl to girl and there is no one “right” experience. The book also covers what a pelvic exam is and what happens during the exam.
God’s Design for Sex Series
God’s Design for Sex Series from Navpress discusses the body and sex in increasing complexity. The first two books are very well done for gently introducing young children to the concept of marriage, family, love, sex, and birth. The second one also explains how boys and girls are different with correct terminology. The first part of the third book goes further into the basics, but then ventures into topics such as sexual abuse, homosexuality, AIDS, pornography, etc. in the second half. The fourth book dives into much more mature topics for older children.
More Books About Puberty for Girls
Three more books I purchased deal with puberty for girls. The first one below (green) is a book for younger girls. It is more about caring for your body, basic beauty care, and is very positive and straightforward. It’s a good book for younger girls thinking about these topics due to obvious body changes, but who aren’t ready for the “big” stuff.
The second book (orange) is more of a Bible activity book with things for girls to read and answer. This book would be geared more toward tweens and would make a good study for a mom to do with her daughter.
The third book (purple) really could be two books. The first half has a lot of good information that would be appropriate for younger girls. The second half, however, deals with much more mature content such as sex, pornography, sexting, drugs, etc. It’s unfortunate it is all in one book since the information in the first part could be helpful for younger girls.
Wynter Pitts Devotionals for Tweens
Lastly, I thought I would also include two devotionals for tweens written by Wynter Pitts. They look like positive, encouraging books for young girls. (I haven’t given them to my daughter yet.) They would be good to include as part of talking about puberty, body image, our value in God’s eyes, etc.
Best wishes as you help your daughter navigate this special time in her life!