The Puberty Talk
“You may know a lot about puberty or a little…” says resident Girl Group Sex-Educator, Shannon Skov. “Or be somewhere in the middle,” one of sixteen girls pipes up. Everyone lets out a relieved laugh. “Giggling is okay,” Skov says. “My only rule is that we respect each other.”
The Sunday afternoon Puberty Talk began with laughter and a discussion of what we like about our body. “For some reason, I like my pinkies,” one girl said. Another offered, “I have big feet so I can wear my mom’s shoes!”
Shannon explained that puberty occurs between 9 and 16 and stressed that it’s going to be different for everyone. “There is no normal. Except that it’s all super normal.”
The girls brainstormed the various signs of puberty including “boobs,” “hair,” “Grown up teeth,” and “your period, of course.” Making a big list helped the girls feel comfortable as a group. We could see them begin to loosen up as they voiced their own experiences. We talked about body change and mood change and PMS. “Sometimes I want to cry for no reason,” one girl said. There were nods all around.
Shannon covered hygiene, touched on romantic feelings and explained how to use pads and tampons. She stressed the importance of having a plan, which included keeping a few pads tucked into a backpack or purse and thinking about support. “Put your mind toward making a list of people you feel comfortable talking to so that if you get your period outside your home, you have someone to talk to.”
Delphine Hirsh from The Flow.world brought in a variety of earth-friendly, reusable menstrual cups, pads and period panties. We were amazed by the options available and how far we’ve come from our high school days of mattress sized pads and being sidelined at swim meets and sporting events.
Our talk ended with a round of questions. It was great to see the girls jumping in to help Shannon answer, clarify and explain. The last question of the night was “Why do we have to go through puberty?”
“Because we are human,” Shannon said, “and change is part of life.”
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