Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Girl you'll be a woman soon


My aunt called me up last month and told me her apprehensions about some physical changes in her 6 year old daughter. I calmed her down. I said, sometimes it is just a sign of the far future. Then, yesterday, she called me again and told "that which should not have happened" has happened. She was sobbing. Yes. Her 6 year old daughter had attained puberty! Otherwise called Precocious Puberty or Early Puberty.

I was actually devastated by the news. I behaved like a hypocrite by putting up a brave face. I told her "This is an inevitable incident in any girl's life and had to happen sooner or later. Anyway, visit a gynaecologist once."

Later, my memory indexed to the same chapter of my life: Puberty

I was 12 years old. All of a sudden my body was on a growth-spree. There were some drastic changes physically. My face and hair started getting greasier. At one point in time, I had disowned my own body because of all those stupid changes. I was feeling weird. I was so conscious about my body. Though my mother had given me some lessons on menstruation, it took sometime for me to come to terms with those changes. I superficially understood what she said. Nevertheless. I was in a state to recognize menstruation only when my life decided to have a tête-à-tête with it.

One fine day, I realize that my body had started functioning on its own without asking my permission! I had all theoretical knowledge on menstruation such as how it would be accompanied by acute mental and physical discomfort, cramps, back ache, mood swings, irritability etc. But, when it actually happened, reality hit me in my face. It was horrific to accept that it is PERFECTLY normal to bleed for 4 or 5 days! I remember asking my mother whether this would continue in my sleep too...

All of a sudden the world around me looked different. I started identifying myself more with my mother. I had to accept that boys are different from girls. Till then, I would have fought till my last breath to prove that wrong. I cursed God for giving women this. I got my sex-education. Once friends started whispering about it, I felt more comforted by the fact that I wasn't alone.

So, there I stood transformed from a girl to a young woman.

Coming back, to my aunt's call. My heart cried for the kid. 6 year old kid, has to accept that bleeding is normal and if seen her friends would shout "shame shame puppy shame"? She has to bear all the pain, mood-swings, cramps and other discomforts associated with menstruation? Not just that, the physical changes would make her stand out in crowd. How much of emotional distress can a 6 year old child undergo?

Why does this happen? While many researchers opine that obesity,consumption of adulterated food, family related stress, genetic factors etc, may be few of the reasons why early puberty occurs, there is no comprehensively accepted research that has broken ground in this aspect.
I can suggest all theoretical plans to deal with such a situation like, telling your child it is perfectly normal and it is really OK to be so. Love thy body the way it is etc etc. Can I take the same things if Bunni is in that position? I fear not. A hypocrite I am, as of now. But sometimes situations give the necessary strength.

Fingers Crossed. Prayers.




101 comments:

  1. Oh no 6 years is too young a age to handle this stupid thing on earth I tell you. I really pity that kid:( But no choice runs other than accepting the fact.

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    1. I know Ashwini. It is so cruel on the kid. But, when reality stands in front of you, there is no other option than to face!

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  2. gosh, only 6!
    yes childhood obesity and genetics could be a reason.
    The best way is to probably disassociate all the ill and negative feelings towards this natural phenomenon. The girl at whatever age that seems appropriate must be made aware of her body and respect and love it for its functions. The taboo, superstitions and orthodox rituals during this time should be abolished.

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    1. What will a kid of 6 years probably understand Uma? Functions, results are too logical according to me.
      And yes! Taboos, superstitions should be kicked out. What we should think of is how to deal with the situation and kid. THat was a thought provoking comment!

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  3. recently, my friend's sister attained puberty at age 10! i remember my own first time. its irritating and hard to come to terms with it,even though it happens every single month. but i cant totally have antagonistic feelings towards this natural phenomenon because that's exactly how we are different from boys..in that we can carry another life inside of us!
    and manni..i have to hand it to you for writing about something that's still sort of a taboo so bravely and so well!

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    1. I know Kusum. Though we convince ourself with the joy of motherhood, etc. Sometimes it does get on my nerves too. But still, I stand helpless. Taboo is all in mind dear. We ARE like this. Nothing wrong in speaking about it.
      Good to know your view about it!

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  4. I totally empathize with the 6 year old kid Sahana!!! Time will teach her to handle herself and come to terms not only with her body conditions but also get mentally strong. Saying/advising/warning her before would not help to great extent. This is a natural thing and yes I used to think as curse at one point of time but its a blessing if one can understand. Of course 6yr old cannot. And do not think how it would be with Bunni; leave it to time and do your duty as mother.

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    1. I agree with you Sheetal. Advice and Warning just cannot make sense. But, what we can probably do is, tell her you should do this when this happens. Not to get scared. Try making the kid mentally strong. I still see these things good on books.

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  5. 6 is too too early an age to attain puberty.
    I wish the little girl takes it bravely.

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  6. yes, of course, for a 6 year old this won't mean anything..but this puberty thing still is a traumatic event for many, whatever age it is attained..

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    1. Cant agree more Uma! It is traumatic for many, it is worse for such kids.*Sad*

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  7. 6 yr old!..poor thing..its such a pain in the ass!

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  8. 6 years is too young.. omg.. but why so early I know stupid question..

    its traumatic when one grows up and hits it this is so young ...

    Bikram's

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    1. It is not a stupid question Bikramjit, it is a question which has no sureshot answer yet. There are lot more problems associated with early puberty like stunt growth, hormonal problems, improper growth of reproductive organs and so on. WHY. The question still remains.

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  9. i can imagine how rude boys can be at such age. they ll leave no stone unturned to make her cry :(

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    1. I know! Too much a burden for the kid.

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  10. God bless her.. & i am sure she will do good.. :) :)

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    1. Thanks for the wishes Arpit. :) I really hope so!

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  11. 6 is too small an age for the child to be in position to actually understand what is happening.God Bless Her!

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  12. Oh my God! Even milk today has hormones that makes girls attain puberty faster :( 6 ...God, she is a baby still :( This is all because of the chemicals in the air we breathe, in the food we eat ....I am already depressed reading this...its cruel

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    1. Please ask your aunt to show to a doctor, she may have some health issues too :(

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    2. Shocking to know that Asha! Wonder where this world is going to? Oh yes. I have told her to visit a doctor. Thanks for the heart-felt comments :)

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  13. I'm kinda sad after reading this. But as nothing can be done, I pray God gives her the strength to accept and bear it.

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  14. We are living in times where certain things are happening in a weird manner, but for an innocent child coming to terms with this is surely traumatic! This is where the mother can help the child...

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    1. Not just mother Rahul, Relatives, teachers, friends, every person around the kid needs to be supportive!

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  15. As a first time visitor to this blog, this is quite some topic to be reading about up front.

    About the post itself, I really feel for the lil girl, and as most of the commenters have said 6 yrs is a little too young of an age for a girl to have to be forced to grow up.

    About the fact that you picked something like this to post, hats off to you.

    Any more words here would do injustice to the entire post.

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    1. Welcome to my blog! Thanks a lot for appreciating my take on it :)

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  16. its very sad Sahana. paapa i felt for her. now is the time she needs her parents' love n reassurance more than ever before.

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    1. True. First they need to accept and know how to make the child understand.. They should be create that comfort of discussion for the child.

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  17. Sad. How difficult would it be for the child to come in terms with it. Pray Gods gives the kid and the mom strength.

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    1. True Krupa. Your prayers are much required..

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  18. I can very well connect to the trauma that li'l kid is going through. Cos i got my first periods at the age of 8. and I still don't want to think of those days. the tension and stress my parents went through, shocked and confused look on the faces of relative aunties, missing classes every month for five consecutive days, envying my frens who can run around so freely during recess whereas i have to change the napkins after hiding it efficiently from them. oh god, i can write a whole new post from this.

    All i can pray is that her parents and relatives will completely support her. and so be the teachers. she is going to be fine.

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    1. Ok.. Now, I hear from a girl who has gone through it. Believe me, I felt much better reading your positive assurance. Why does it happen to girls ya?????

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  19. I feel for the young girl. It is just too early. I had heard of girls as young as 8 attaining puberty which in itself was traumatic. And, I can relate to all your feelings about when you attained puberty. I was a similar age and felt similarly. I hope her mother is able to deal with it in a better way and also discuss with a girl's teachers and help guide her in school hours.

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    1. Right Rachna. It is her parents, teachers and relatives who can help her come to terms with the reality. Support required! Much more.

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  20. the nature's way of managing things :)

    Weakest LINK

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    1. Hope it is not damaging things Rachit :(

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  21. Its so sad! For no fault of hers the poor kid will have to go thru so much.Too much for a kid to handle in such a young age.

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    1. Fault? There is one. Being born as a girl. I rarely feel this. But, in this case.. I cannot think of anything else.

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  22. Ohhhh my!!! 6?? I had felt bad for a cousin's kid for 9 yrs... and this is just too much! 6 is when the first milk-tooth would fall! And there'd be many maore years of childhood left! This is very sad....

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  23. hey sahana,
    googled about this on the net and came up with this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precocious_puberty

    maybe you could pass on the information to the parents??

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    1. Sure Uma! This information will be really helpful :) I will surely pass it on.

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  24. glad to read that this can be treated..medical intervention is critical at this stage..

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    1. So glad I am too. I just hope her mother takes it up without any prejudices like "periods shouldn't stop once started" and such stuff. Lets see what happens. :)

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  25. I hope they find a way to put it off for sometime later. It is too much for a six year old to handle. My daughter was just little above 10 and that devastated me. Though she was difficult for two sessions, she has learned to cope with it well thereafter.

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    1. Early puberty is indeed treacherous phase. It is just a matter of time, till they learn and cope up, they need to hold on. And we need to support.

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  26. Vow!! ur blog has a new look O_O and it is super cool..but i guess its still under construction..I luvuu the colours :) :)

    About the post I really feel sorry for the little one ya.. she must be having so many questions.. and her mom poor thing must be so worried..

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    1. Ya.. It is under construction. Happy to know that you liked it. Yes ya. Poor kid. All questions will be answered or understood. Matter of time only.

      Delete
  27. I think it's amazing for you to have written on a topic which most of us moan and complain about once a month, but most never voice our feelings about it!

    6 years is the youngest I have ever heard of, all the more of an effect on me as my daughter is 6 years old just now ! So difficult to even understand what it's all about, and then have to deal with it too, at school and otherwise :(. I am sure they are consulting with whoever necessary, but I hope some kind of counselling for the child is also planned for, dealing with this will surely leave a mark. All the best to her!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Our body. Our voices.
      It is so difficult to deal with the phase. Once we put on the shoes that shoes, it will seem like a nightmare. But, some people, they turn out to be reality. They have to look into the face of the problem. Best wishes are much required.

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  28. hey new look!!! i was surprised because morning when i came it was like always and now it had changed so much.i had to check if i had landed on the right site

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    1. Ha Ha. Wanted such a look from a long time. I still want to do a lot of customizations. Working my way out :)

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  29. That's scary and really difficult...

    I mean..I wouldn't really know.. but have grown up with two sisters and seen them have a pretty tough time...remember my second sister (who is really sweet most of the time)on the verge of tears and anger at such times...(due to the pain, perhaps)...it's scary when I imagine this happening to a kid this small :-(.

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    1. Empathetic brother you. I feel really bad for the kid Sri. Mood swings maybe one of the reasons for their behavior.

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  30. By the way...nice new look. seems that some items and sub-items are yet to be added though (they are not pointing to anything right now..) :-)

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    1. Under construction site :D Adding the bricks one by one.

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  31. hea can't believe...hard to digest this thing..recently i had heard it caused at the age of 9 for someone, but first time i am hearing it happend at 6 itself..

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    1. Sometimes such cases happen. Sad only.

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  32. Was really shocked at first, and read the wiki link..but its not anybody's fault..

    Please ask your aunt, to put her to swimming, badminton, cycling classes, so tht she attains a good height and a leaner body as she grows.. Early puberty impacts physical height and body size. At least she can get rid of these problems in the future later..would get her mind off her current situation.. and it is a great hobby isn't it?

    I feel so bad for her:-(( I hated myself, when I got mine...Also, please tell your aunt not to tell her to stop doing things which a 6 Year old or a 7,8,9 or a 10 year old does.. all that advise can wait till she is 12.. Till then let her be...God bless

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    1. Good idea Jenny. But, the tender bones and ligaments should be able to bear sudden growth.
      I have told her to be normal with her. Your concern about the kid has moved me Jenny.

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  33. there must be some hormonal problem with that child...and its only mother who can help her out in this situation.......

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    1. The kid will be under detailed examination soon Irfan.

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  34. 6 is too early for this stuff.. Poor kid . Her parents especially mom should be very supportive of her... Hope the small girl copes up with it... God bless ..

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    1. Agree with every word. Blessings will help. :)

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  35. 6 is quite young, I agree. Okay I might sound insensitive with this comment, but hear me out. Maybe I got it wrong, but in your post you sound like puberty and bleeding are a curse upon women. On the contrary, it's actually a perfectly normal part of life. It's the behaviour of most women that makes it feel like a curse. Why was your aunt crying? I hope you all did not cry and make it sound like a big deal in front of the poor kid, or she would seriously grow up thinking that something is wrong with her.

    I got my period at age 10, which is pretty early. But I never felt anything different, mostly because no one in my home made a big deal of it. Nothing in life really changes with a period, except our own made-up attitudes. Maybe a few hormones will change the way you feel towards men, but of course that is nature too, otherwise how will mating and reproduction ever happen?

    If you look around yourself, you will find that everything in nature comes in different shapes and sizes. With fruits, vegetables, plants, trees and animals. Some are small, some are big, some fruits are conjoined, some trees never bear fruit while others give in plenty. Things like 'stunted growth' etc. are only man-made concepts. Everything is normal and everything is natural.

    Of course with changing lifestyles, eating habits, work patterns, some things are bound to change. This is called evolution. I don't think our bodies today are anything like what our ancestor's were from 1000s of years ago. Things will change and this is a part of it. Best be to adapt and not fuss about it.

    It is a shock, but the kid will learn to live with it if every one else will let her.

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    1. Hmmm, thats quite a philosophical angle towards this topic. I never intended to sound puberty and bleeding are curse upon a woman. I am a mother, probably that should explain my stand :). Through out the post, I have focused on that short span of transformation phase. The emotional trauma, the physical trauma acceptance, etc. Once, the transformation ends with acceptance, it will be a normal life for that girl.
      Change is eternal. I am not refuting on that at all. Aunt was crying because, she was aghast about the fact that her daughter had reached puberty at 6! which is abnormal. She was disappointed that her daughter should go through these at a very early age. Any mother would want her daughter to be a free-bird for a long time. Ofcourse, she did not cry in front of her daughter. The kid got a mature behavior from people around.

      Hope you saw through my point.

      Delete
  36. hey Sahana, your post has prompted me to air my two cents on this topic. It is still in the draft stage but wanted to ask if it is Ok to link your post?

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  37. :( Last I read in India Today/Outlook few years back, they mentioned ten years of age. 6 is way too young :'( and sometimes periods are too irregular and extend to 7-8 days also.

    Sigh....I don't think this is normal in any manner.

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    1. Right Chintan. Reproductive organs usually do not grow properly when it is too early, maybe that is why such irregularities occur.
      The kid will be examined for the abnormality.

      Delete
  38. My post is up Sahana..do give me your views..
    and I loooove the spruced up look of your blog!

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  39. I simply don't have words to comment here.
    In my career, I have dealt countless number of pubertal issues and quiet a few children with precocious puberty. Never have I thought that deep on the background stress and socio-emotional issues the child faces until I read this post. All that I did was convince the mother that her child was normal after having the girl investigated for abnormal causes of prcocity. Today you taught me a lesson and made me a better doc.Thank you for shining the torch and I will remember you every time I handle such issues.

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    1. Glad to have added new dimension to your thinking. Isn't that we all read and write? If are able to think in newer dimension than yesterday. Just proves that you are a nice person who is open to learn new things. You made my day!

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  40. Here from Uma's space.. puberty at 6 is so horrific.. poor poor girl!.. I started menstruating rather late, but remember how horrible it was with the strange new things going on inside my body. I can only vaguely imagine how perplexed the poor girl must be feeling .

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    1. Welcome Bhargavi :) I understand. Little girl, big things. :-\

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  41. My heart goes out for the kid.

    Its very difficult to understand at such a young age the complexities that enters our lives wen menses strikes. It is obviously a life changing moment.

    6 is an age where kids roam around, run around, play freely and without any care. Menses striking at such a raw age takes away all the fun. And more frustrating would be when her peers would get to know it, cos i don't think its easy for such a small kid to hide it.

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    1. That is very kind of you Jasper. Few rough paths to tread before reaching the normal way. Way of life maybe.

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  42. Earliest in my family was 4th standard my cousin, we were all so shocked that how she would take it, seriously I got shivers at the thought of 6yr old! god!

    I just hope she gets clear knowledge about it and also good sex education to keep her safe!

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    1. Empathy makes us more human. She will get that knowledge and education in the due course of time.:)

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  43. Alright.. Let's get some perspective folks. We need to understand what is in our control and what isn't. Firstly, we have absolutely no way to control when a girl reaches puberty. When it does happen, we have no option but to accept it, & deal with it. Having said that, considering that 6 is too early, everyone related to the girl needs to do everything in their control to help her out, understand and deal with it. For once, instead of cribbing over how it's too early, too tough blah blah blah, why don't we see some suggestions on how to deal with the issue? What would you do if you had to deal with such a situation?
    At least that sort of a discussion will help someone. The non stop cribbing and empathizing don't necessarily have the same effect.

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    1. Mr/Miss/Mrs. Anonymous
      When ever such a thing happens in a normal person's life, the first thing the person does is 'to react'. This post of mine is just my reaction to it. What can be done, how and such questions will be assessed and that would be a response. If this post can make people think in a different angle, for me that is helping.
      Many of the fellow commentators have their two cents in their comments. :)

      Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
    2. The immediate reaction would have reflected in the call you got. When you post it on your blog, you have had time to think through. So, I don't buy that argument. I've read through your other posts, and expected more thinking to have gone in.
      I don't want to start off a flame war, but this post looks like an attempt to: a) Show yourself as someone who can write freely about touchy topics b) Get more page-views/comments/redirects/re-posts : In which case, I would be happy to acknowledge your attempt as a good one!

      Delete
    3. Thanks for assuming that I had the time to think over this. I see that you know every inch of my life to know that I had time to think over this.
      And as far as your 'a' and 'b' points goes, I neither see a point in endorsing nor refuting the motives you have ascribed to me w.r.t. this post.

      Delete
  44. Oh God! 6 years is far too early. Poor child. If we can't understand an iota of what is what at 10 or 12, how can the poor one understand at 6? Prayers for the kiddo.

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    1. She will. She has to. But, that understanding phase will be a little difficult. Prayers much required!:)

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  45. Hello there. Stumbled upon ur blog. Welcome me as ur new follower :)
    About this post, it is just saddening to see this happen to a little child. May god give the little one strength to bear it

    Isha
    www.j-isha.blogspot.com

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  46. Its sad to know this... Why this should happen to an innocent child which was destined to play and have fun and frolic? Hope she gets all the necessary support with all the people around her!

    And, a complete new look to the blog huh? Its veryyy nice!! For a moment, I cross checked if this is the right blog :)

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    1. She will get support and help, she will have to get mentally strong. She should. She will.

      Oh yeah. I am still working on it. So glad you liked it :)

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  47. Very unfortunate. But I think over a period of time she will understand- just as you did. But giving the psychological support that she needs till that time is the challenge.

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    1. Right Sir. She will. Matter of time. Thanks a lot for the comment :)

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  48. I can relate to it..I got mine when I was hardly 10. These days the age for puberty has lowered.. The hormonal stress and the awkwardness do take a toll.. I feel sad for this 6 year girl, shes just too young to be growing me :(

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    1. There is no logic to life sometimes. For you and the kid, this is one such time. Reasons unknown play on the small lives. Ahhh. How I wish we could control...

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  49. I am so so glad you came up with this post. I wrote something similar about this on my blog recently do check it.....
    http://pkperception.blogspot.com/2012/01/dont-be-ashamed.html

    About all these girly issues, I recently got to know and still getting to know (I don't have sisters). I didn't know how to react, because I never knew something like this (mood swings, PMS, etc) existed. My only question was, Why God, Why..?? This is something natural and we should all work towards not making this a bigger issue and create a better environment around ourselves. Well as everyone above had said that 6 years is too young, I presume hers is a unique problem. Hope God gives her strength and some sense to all those people who still treat this natural phenomenon as a taboo....

    Great post, keep coming with these kind of posts which seriously helps people like me to know more about these things and will all try to act normal about these things.... God bless that girl...:)

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  50. it's happening nowadays, early puberty... coz some kids around my place had their first period as early as 8-10 years. I was really worried when I heared all those mainly because how they are going to live with a young body and a kid's mind in this mentally retarded society who are awaiting to use all possible ways to blackguard and sexually offend a female.

    We have to think at least ones before offering packed foods, fast foods etc. just to save our kids. Don't let your sweet girl hate her life and body

    ReplyDelete

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