Every mom knows it's coming, but likely — with echos of awkward conversations and embarrassment ringing in her mind from her own childhood — puts it off until absolutely necessary. It's one of "the talks" that every parent dreads, but knows they have to have. Whether you have a toddler or a preteen, approaching the subject of puberty, sex, and body image is touchy (to say the least). Although there are many ways to broach the topic, being prepared with a few of the words you should never use when talking to your daughter about puberty can be way more helpful than you'd expect.
In an interview with Romper, child therapist Maureen Healy, expert on sensitive children and kid's health and happiness, noted that puberty is an "extremely sensitive subject which needs to be handled with care" and that the experience "sets a child up for how they feel about their self-image, bodies, and ultimately potential sexual experiences whether it's natural and healthy or something else." No pressure, right?
In fact, parents can stress so much about this period of their child's life that Healy recommends that they follow a script of what to and what not to say when it comes to having "the talk" about a girl's changing body, the start of her period, and more.
Of course, as Kids Health recommended, when it doubt, it's best just to be open and honest when your daughter has questions about sex, menstruation, and all of the other joys of becoming a woman. But, having a framework of words (and overall mindset) to avoid when you bring up your daughter's changing body will help more than anything else. All in all, the fact that you're ready to be there for your daughter during this change will speak more loudly than anything you do or don't say.