It’s not often I stay off of topics related to sustainability, food, medicine, etc., but today’s post is the result of a special challenge I’m currently facing in life. I’m hoping that by blogging it out, I can get some positive feminine feedback from my readers and face this challenge head on and successfully.
I am a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and have the pleasure of spending an hour per week with a smart and precocious 9-year-old girl (soon to be 10!). She comes from a rather rough-and-tumble home without any female role models, and her dad enrolled her in the program specifically for that reason. I was matched with her because she loves math and science and is determined to be a forensic anthropologist in the like of the fictional character Dr. Temperance Brennan from the popular TV series “Bones”. She calls it being a bone doctor, but we’re working on that.
Because she is a bit old for her grade and has seen some of the less pleasant realities of life before most kids do, she naturally is beginning to have questions about maturing and puberty sooner than her classmates. Last week when we met, she made some ill-informed comments about changing female bodies and, not feeling sure about what to do, I dodged the question with an “everybody’s body is different” cop-out. Since that visit I’ve spoken with our match supervisor and her dad and have gotten the all clear to talk with her about puberty and becoming an adult/woman as she inquires about it.
So, what should I talk about? Well, my goal is to give her up-to-date accurate information about transitioning into womanhood and all the different societal and health issues that come along with that. Especially when it comes to healthy body image and expectations. I also want to empower her to be proud of being female, and to know what to expect and how to deal with it. I imagine in the future we may do a trip to the store to look at bras, feminine products and the like, but right now it’ll just be conversations that will hopefully grow less awkward over time.
Dear readers, this is where you come in! I believe in a world where women help and teach other women about the unique and wonderful roles we adopt in our lives. I also believe that there is immense power in sharing the wisdom and knowledge of older generations with younger ones, and I feel honored that I should get to take part in this passing of tradition, culture, and information to a younger person even before I’ve had children of my own. I invite you to join me in this tradition and help me figure out the best way to go about it.
How did your puberty talk go, if you had one? Did anything make it less awkward? What do you feel is important to pass on to the next generation of young women? What was some of the most valuable advice you received from an older mentor-type woman in your life? Please, share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!