Girls’ mom needs jump start in con­ver­sa­tion about pu­berty

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - CLASSIFIED MARKETPALCE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit

Dear Abby: I’m a mother of three beau­ti­ful lit­tle girls. I’m ner­vous about hav­ing to talk with my old­est about pu­berty and sex. She’s turn­ing 10, and I know I need to start ex­plain­ing cer­tain things to her, but I have no idea how. My mother never sat me down and talked to me about any­thing, re­ally, so my mom would not be of much help. Any ad­vice you can of­fer would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. — Minnesota Mom Of Three

Dear Mom: You can spare your daugh­ter a fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence when her first pe­riod ar­rives if you start talk­ing to her now, be­fore it hap­pens. Start the con­ver­sa­tion by mak­ing the mes­sage pos­i­tive — that she will “be­come a woman” soon and tell her what to ex­pect. Show her what to do in case you are not there and what sup­plies she will need to take care of her­self. That’s step one.

A short time later, ask her what she knows about re­pro­duc­tion. Be­cause re­pro­duc­tion is taught in some schools, she may sur­prise you by how much she al­ready knows.

If she doesn’t, start talk­ing to her about how her body works and your fam­ily val­ues. It is im­por­tant that par­ents also talk to their chil­dren about drugs and al­co­hol well be­fore they start to ex­per­i­ment. My book­let “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know” cov­ers sex­u­al­ity as well as other top­ics, in­clud­ing dat­ing, peer pres­sure, sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­eases, drugs and al­co­hol. It can be or­dered by send­ing your name and ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price. Or­der it for your­self and re­view it be­fore start­ing your dis­cus­sions with your daugh­ter. The more in­for­ma­tion you can pro­vide your daugh­ters, the bet­ter pre­pared those girls will be to make in­formed choices in the fu­ture.

Dear Abby: I’ve been with my girl­friend for seven years and, for the most part, our sex life is great. How­ever, we’ve had dis­agree­ments when I sug­gested ways to spice it up.

I pro­posed cos­tume/role play where she would dress up as an elf or other fan­tasy genre char­ac­ter. She hates the idea (and elves) and sug­gested lin­gerie (which I have bought for her in the past, but gets worn once or twice

be­fore be­ing thrown away). I don’t think my sug­ges­tion is out­ra­geous com­pared to some of the let­ters I’ve seen in your col­umn over the years. Am I wrong for think­ing she’s be­ing closed-minded? — Cosplay Cu­ri­ous In Calgary

Dear “COS”: It strikes me that your girl­friend may be more clothes-minded than closed-minded. It’s a fact of life that some peo­ple are more sex­u­ally ad­ven­tur­ous than oth­ers. Be­cause she finds the idea of dress­ing as an elf un­ap­peal­ing, choose an­other fan­tasy fig­ure you can agree upon.

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