Most dads that I have interacted with admit that they find it easy to communicate with their per-adolescent girls. But after they hit teenage, they lose them. Why is this so?

Girls in latency stage, roughly ages six to puberty, are all fun. My daughter was no different. During her pre-puberty stage, she was like a stallion on steroids. She performed magic tricks, climbed trees, rode in the hood on her own, wearing my cap back to front. She was a bundle of energy that I couldn’t keep pace with.

Suddenly, that changed suddenly when she came of age.

Most pre-adolescent girls are marvelous company as they are interested in everything- music, sports, nature, people, arts etc. Popular girls in literature come from this stage- from Goldilocks to Little Red Riding Hood to Wacici in Gikuyu folktales.

In that age, they take care of themselves and are not yet burdened with caring for others. They are androgynous, having the ability to adapt to any situation regardless of gender roles. They don’t worry whether they are feminine or masculine.

Then teenage sets in and society growls at them ” sit like a woman!”

After this, they lose their enthusiasm, assertiveness and tomboyish personalities. They become more differential, self-critical and depressed. Ultimately, they report great unhappiness with their own bodies. They have just embarked on a treacherous life changing journey- their transitions to adulthood.

Girls, unlike boys, are more complex psychologically. Parents should endevour to equip themselves with skills to understand and help girls navigate the transition from latency stage to puberty. Such a resource is the book How to hug a porcupine by Julie A Ross.

This excellent book lets parents peek into the underlying, confusing thoughts and perplexing decisions that young tweens are constantly facing. You can purchase How to hug a porcupine by Julie A Ross by following on the link.

Gilbert Mwangi

Creative writer,dreamer,and Drum Major for all things true.

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