Young and teenage girls may have a deeper need to have personal space given the many varying life experiences they are going through. They are maturing and begin yearning for independence. As parents, we love our children so much and want to see them succeed so we insert ourselves into all their free time. Talk to your daughter about her free time. Does she feel she needs more one-on-one time with you, or that maybe there are areas where she needs more alone time or personal space? It is with this dialogue that you can begin to open up to her about the changes she will be experiencing, as well as, how common certain questions are surrounding her pelvic health and curiosity.
Our daughters also have a hard time talking about sex. They don't want you to know they hear about it at school, and ask their friends questions out of curiosity. Knowing that the questions are there can help create an open dialogue with them encouraging healthy and safe answers. It can be quite uncomfortable to talk about these things with a parent. It will bring depth in understanding and a reality of maturity in them and yourself if you can learn to communicate openly about sex, as well as, the bodily functions she may experience when aroused, ovulating or menstruating. In the case that your teenager is having sex already and doesn't want you to know, the knowing can help you share safe practices and experiences and give you piece of mind, al while educating her on what to look out for to ensure proper hygiene of her private areas.
Our daughters don't want to talk about their body issues. In fact, on average 80% of women don’t like the way they look and it starts early. Statistics show that 53% of girls aged 13 are unhappy with their bodies, and it increases to 78% by the time they are 17 years of age. That’s an alarming number! If we could start conversations with our daughters at an early age and be transparent about our own body images, could we change that inability they have to see themselves as beautiful? What if intentionally working on our own view of our body would not just help us but prevent another one of 5 million Americans from anorexia or bulimia? Let’s not allow our daughters to possibly keep these thoughts in the dark by exampling openness and contentment of our own bodies.
Finally, as the younger version of me did, our daughters keep relationship issues and boy crushes a secret from us. Why do they do this? Is it embarrassment or need for privacy? How can knowing the details of their relationships and aspirations be beneficial to them and us? Building a trustworthy relationship with our daughters gives us a voice in their lives. If they genuinely know we love them and want to see them succeed in their relationships we will emotionally be available to walk them through the ups and downs of life and gain wisdom from our personal experiences. This will cultivate a bond on the parents’ side and teach our daughters healthy ways to embrace the emotions and feelings they are having about a situation or person.
In all things hidden there is the growth of something unhealthy. As mold grows in dark so do secrets, in hidden lives. Open communication can kill the potential harms and reaffirm love in any relationship, especially the ones with our daughters. Consider the Apele period kit or everyday undies that support her in her many transitions during this integral time of life!