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Its important for the kids to be aware of the physical, emotional, cognitive changes before they experience it, and it is the duty of parents to make them aware. Most of the parents find it quite difficult to make a conversation about puberty with their kids. When I had my first menstruation, I had very little knowledge of the condition and that too with whatever I got to read in books and magazines. Thankfully my best friend (who got menses 5 years before than me) was there to help me out. She told me to be normal as I was behaving as if I m having a disease. Having prior information about the changes can make a big difference. So here I am listing down the important points to discuss with your kids and I insist that both boys and girls should be informed about the other gender's puberty issues.
So the first question that arises is at what age one should be informed. Most of the schools conduct AEP(Adult education program) and that is conducted for Std 6 students and above. But I discussed about puberty with my daughter who is in Std 5 and is 10 year old. I discussed according to the below listed points.
1. Starting with the 4 main growth stages: infancy (birth to 2 year old), childhood (3 to 11 years) adolescence (12 to 18years) and above 18 adults. I explained her that how she grew up, from being completely dependent on me to now doing everything herself, about the physical and cognitive changes she went through in last 10 years. I told her right now you're in the childhood stage and in near time you will be in the adolescence stage or may be some of your friends are already in that stage.
2. You will experience many changes in your body like your changes in breast, hair growth in underarms and pubic hair. Along with that your periods will also start. Menstruation cycle is the scientific word for periods also called M.C. or mensus. When you will have periods you will bleed from your vagina, and vagina is the small opening between urethra and anus. ( She is aware of the urethra and anus) Its completely normal to have periods as its part of your body growth. So don't be scared or worry about this, when ever it happens you can tell me, or if you are in school you can tell your lady teacher. This bleeding happens every month and it continues for 3-5 days. In olden days a clean piece of cotton cloth was used to absorb the blood but now sanitary pads are available to use.
Its not necessary that all your girl classmates will have their periods at the same age. Some will get it earlier than you, and some will later. So never worry about this.
3. Not only girls but boys also go through some changes in their adolescence stage. Now your boy friends have almost similar voice as you have but in adolescent stage their voice will change and it will sound heavy than yours. Boys also experience hair growth at different parts as on cheeks they have beard, hair on chest and underarms. So not only girls but boys also experience changes in their body.
This is all what I told my 10 year old daughter and I think this much information is enough before she gets her period. Do let me know if I had missed something important.