When your daughter asks: “What is puberty?”

Book: The Care and Keeping of You Vol 1

There was a time, not too long ago, when most young girls were expected to learn everything they were going to learn about puberty, their growing bodies and sexuality in one single, awkward talk with their nervous mothers, commonly known as “THE talk.” Well three big cheers for progress, because now parents – both moms and dads – are shifting it from “THE talk” to an ongoing dialogue that evolves as our kids grow. And parents today realize these conversations are just as important with their sons as well.

When my eight-year old daughter recently asked me what puberty was, I knew I wanted to get this right. I went out to my social network of moms and asked for book recommendations. Overwhelmingly, the age-appropriate recommendation was The Care and Keeping of You, Volume One, by American Girl. I ordered it from Amazon for $17.00, and told my daughter we’d read it together every night. While I read the majority of the chapters with her, my husband read a few of the chapters with her as well – as we want her to know she can talk to her Dad about this stuff too. While the book covers the expected parts of puberty: bras, growing bodies and periods – it also covers other important topics like nutrition, braces, acne, underarms, sleep, fitness, skin care and overall hygiene. I found it age-appropriate, and handled all subjects in a very common sense, approachable way. My daughter was so keen to learn all the information, and absolutely loved the ritual of tackling a new subject matter each night. The book focuses squarely on body care: and doesn’t dip into sexuality. There are other books in this American Girl series – that I will look into as my girls get older. But for now, this was the perfect way to start this important dialogue with my eldest girl.

For all the Moms and Dads out there with sons, I came across this book on Amazon for boys. I’d love to hear if any of you have read it, and what you thought?