Aren’t They Too Young to Enter Puberty??

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 12:15 pm

American Academy of Pediatrics: Over a decade ago, Marcia Herman-Giddes, a pediatrician and now professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, noticed many young girls in grades one to five were showing public hair and breast development,” In her words, “It seemed like there were too many, too young,” and launched a major national study involving 225 clinicians and over 17,0000 girls to prove her hypothesis.

Her famous paper published in Pediatrics found that our kids are growing up faster.

  • The average age onset menstruation is hitting girls four years earlier
  • 15 percent of seven years olds and almost half of eight years olds are now developing breasts or public hair

Comprehensive data is still not in for boys but studies show that they are reaching their adult heights at younger ages, suggesting they too are maturing earlier as well. There’s no doubt about it: our today’s kids are growing up faster in many ways. The key here is to beware of the trend and get educated so you can educate your child.

Start Those “Grown Up Talks” Earlier

But it isn’t just puberty that is hitting our kids earlier. Studies show that drinking, sexual promiscuity, engaging in oral sex, depression, eating disorders, stress, peer pressure, puberty, and even acne are all hitting our kids three to four years earlier than when we were growing up. So don’t deny your child’s fast-forward culture and wait to discuss those “grown up” subjects you planned for the teen years. If you’re not talking about these tougher issues believe me your child’s friends most likely are. Be the one who provides accurate facts that are laced with your moral beliefs and your values.

Also make sure your child’s doctor is someone your daughter or son feels comfortable speaking to as well. Puberty is striking kids at younger ages and your child does needs to feel comfortable speaking to someone—if not you–about menstruation or wet dreams.

What to Expect Age by Age

School Age: Puberty signs may begin in girls as seven or eight including public or underarm hair development, and acne.

Preteen: Feel physically and emotionally awkward with puberty.

Girls: onset of menstruation and breast development

Boys: puberty begins around age nine later than girls, with a sudden growth “spurt” or more “mature” body odor, enlargement of testes or penis as well as deepening voice, facial hair development.

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Resources

  • Survey from AdAge; elementary-school set is one of fastest-growing markets for digital media players; 31 percent of U.S. kids 6 to 10 have some form of music player: Bryan Gardiner, “Technology for Kids,” nwa WorldTraveler, p. 74., 2008
  • Too many too young: Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, et al, “Secondary Sexual Characteristics and Menses in Young Girls Seen in Office Practice: A Study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network,” Pediatrics, 99, no 4(April 1997): 505-12.

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Dr Borba’s book The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, is one of the most comprehensive parenting book for kids 3 to 13. This down-to-earth guide offers advice for dealing with children’s difficult behavior and hot button issues including biting, tantrums, cheating, bad friends, inappropriate clothing, sex, drugs, peer pressure and much more. Each of the 101 challenging parenting issues includes specific step-by-step solutions and practical advice that is age appropriate based on the latest research. The Big Book of Parenting Solutions has been released and is now available at amazon.com

About the Author

Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned consultant, educational psychologist and recipient of the National Educator Award who has presented workshops to over a million participants worldwide. She is a recognized expert in parenting, bullying, youth violence, and character development and author of 22 books including her upcoming release, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About Me World. She has appeared over 130 times on the TODAY show and is a frequent expert on national media including Dateline, The View, Dr. Oz, Anderson Cooper, CNN, Dr. Drew, and Dr. Phil. Visit her daily blog on www.micheleborba.com, or follow her on twitter @micheleborba.Dr. Borba is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

Comments

5 Responses to “Aren’t They Too Young to Enter Puberty??”

  1. This is why I’m glad I have boys, these girls scare the life out of me! I think I was 14 when I came close to that!

  2. So scary, huh? I know my daughters 10 & I know I need to give her the little talk. I’m just not looking forward to it. She’s my baby. 🙁

    • Stefanie Zuckersazucker says:

      I don’t blame you…it’s scary that they’re growing up so quickly. We want to protect them, but at the same time we don’t want them to be unprepared. It’s a difficult tightrope to walk…
      I wish you tons of luck in your talk with your little girl 🙂

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