As girls hit their tween years they start to experience many physical, emotional, and mental changes. Fortunately there are some great books to help your tween girl navigate puberty like a boss.
Did you know that puberty begins long before a girl gets her first period? Generally speaking, puberty begins between the ages of 8 and 13 and lasts several years.
When puberty begins, your daughter will start to notice changes both physically and emotionally. At times she may feel overwhelmed by these changes. This is very normal, but puberty is also an exciting time, so it’s important to stay positive. And luckily today there are some terrific books and resources on puberty.
Back in my vintage the only puberty education I was given came from the nuns at my catholic girls’ school. We were told that if it was “that time of the month” we could quietly mention to the teacher that we needed some fresh air.
Another tip that is etched in my memory was that if a boy was trying to hit on us, we should cross our arms and say, “Stop, I am a child of God.” Fortunately the conversation around consent has come a loooong way!
Other than the nuns, I gleaned bit and pieces of puberty advice from my sisters, and ‘Are you there, God, it’s me, Margaret?’ Anyone else?
Today there are so many relevant and relatable resources for our girls. Here are are few of my faves.
4 books to help your tween girl navigate puberty like a boss.
1. A Girl’s Guide to Puberty
Michelle Mitchell is a wonderful voice for tween and teen girls. She knows her stuff, combining 20 years’ experience, with the medical advice of experts, to create this empowering guide for girls. It’s jammed packed with need-to-know info, messages of respect and positive vibes to help our girls face puberty with confidence. My 10-year-old in particular enjoyed this book.
With the help of comics, real-life stories and inspiring quotes, girls will learn about body parts and how they will change, be guided into the world of periods, get tips on how to care for their body and emotions (including their brain) and develop a mindset for enjoying life now and into the future. It’s fun, engaging and suitable for girls aged 8 – 12.
2. The Confidence Code for Girls
Packed with graphic novel strips, fun lists and quizzes, and stories from real girls, this book reveals the code for confidence – how to make it and how to use it. Confidence, the authors suggest, comes not from being perfect, but from building a strong foundation of self-awareness, knowledge, and resilience-and it’s always a work in progress.
Girl power depends on self-confidence, but many girls struggle to see how awesome they really are. The Confidence Code for Girls will help them to realise just how fabulous they are. Both my nine and ten-year-old daughters love this book and return to it regularly.
3. Welcome to your period
Welcome to your Period is a frank, funny, age-appropriate guide for pre-teens about getting your period, from Dr Melissa Kang (a former Dolly Doctor) and Yumi Stynes.
This little book is packed with honest advice on all the things you need to know: from what cramps feel like to whether you can feel it coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks onto your clothes.
Welcome To Your Period includes case studies, first-person accounts and questions from real teens (and answers from real experts) so your tween girl can manage her period like a boss. I also love how it includes illustrations that reflect girls from all different cultural backgrounds, body shapes and sizes, skin colours, and ages.
4. Welcome to consent
An inclusive, frank and funny guide to navigating consent for tweens and teens of all genders. This wonderful book explores what consent really means, not just sexually, but in every day situations. It’s a much better exploration of consent – How to say no, when to say yes and everything in between. I wish it had been available 30 years ago. In fact, i don’t recall ever hearing the word consent, or discussing what it meant. Welcome to Consent is perfect for ages 10+.
The tween years can be tricky, but with the right guidance and support it can be a positive experience. Check out my open letter to my tween daughter (filled with advice for life) and these 10 great books for tween girls.