Turning Teen

Ask the Experts by Dr. Lisa Klein and Dr. Carrie Leff

Q: I have an 8-yr old daughter. I have noticed that she hasn't started puberty yet but some of her friends have. What is the best time to start talking about puberty with her?

A: Start talking about puberty BEFORE it happens! Don't wait for your child to come to you with questions about their bodies - that day may never arrive.

Most experts agree that "8 is great" when it comes to starting conversations about puberty. Research suggests that puberty is starting at an earlier age, but can be anywhere between the ages of 8-12 years old for girls.

It is best to prepare your child for the physical and emotional changes that occur in adolescence. Did you send your child off to kindergarten without first singing the ABCs? Likely not, so we think puberty should be addressed in a similar fashion.

Getting children to understand their changing bodies and minds is a fragile puzzle that everyone could use help with. Turning Teen doctors are pediatricians who have researched the best ways to get your child interested in learning about her body. Most importantly, an interactive workshop on October 25, 2016 is intended for a parent and child to attend and learn together. The Body Basics class starts the awkward conversation for parents, so continuing the conversation at home is easier and more natural.

Even if your child is nowhere near the start of pubertal development, they will have a friend that is showing changes. Don't let your child learn on the playground, or not understand "girl talk" at a sleepover. Arm her with knowledge about her body, which ultimately leads to respect for her body.

Save the Date

Turning Teen: A Presentation for Mothers and Daughters

Presented by The Family Center and Beaumont Health Tuesday, October 25, 2016 7pm SOC, 158 Ridge Road, Grosse Pointe Farms

FREE, Register online at familycenterweb.org or call 313.432.3832

Dr. Lisa Klein and Dr. Carrie Leff became friends and colleagues during their residency in Pediatrics at William Beaumont Hospital. They realized their shared a passion for adolescent health, girl talk and art projects. Together they formed Turning Teen to help tweens transition into adolescence without shame, secrecy or embarrassment. Dr. Klein is currently a pediatrician at Child Health Associates, PC in Troy and Novi. Dr. Leff is a practicing internist and pediatrician at Novi Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

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