Saturday, January 30, 2010

Precocious Puberty

Precocious Puberty: is an unusually early onset of puberty, the process of sexual maturation triggered by the brain or exogenous chemicals, which usually begins in late childhood and results in reproductive maturity and completion of growth. Early puberty may be a variation of normal development, or may be a result of a disease or abnormal hormone exposure.
In some contexts, the term "precocious puberty" is used more broadly to describe the early appearance of any of the physical features of puberty, even if the complete brain-directed process is not occurring.  ~ Wikipedia

Signs of precocious puberty (before 7 or 8 years of age):
-breast development
-pubic or underarm hair development
-rapid height growth - a growth "spurt"
-onset of menstration
-"mature" body odor

During the summer vacation of 1991 I developed breasts. I was eight years old wearing a 34-C size bra. The emotional burden of having breasts in the third grade was challenging.Not to mention the body odor that soon followed. Needless to say I was teased relentlessly at school for my early development.

A few days ago while bathing my 6 year old daughter I noticed slight hair growth on her underarm. This got me thinking. Will she pass through early puberty just like I did? She is now in the first grade, I was in the third.
Because of when a child makes birthday it depends on how they will fall into class in school. I was born in January so I "lost" a year. My daughter was born in August so she gains a year, she is the youngest in her class. How will this affect her in her daily life?

She does know that someday she will develop breasts and she will get her menstruation. I never hid the bodily functions from my children. We are always open with them and the developing process of their bodies. I was just hoping that it wouldn't be this soon.

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