What can parents do to prevent early puberty from occurring?
The answer may be nothing, although endocrinologists and other physicians can give a child hormone injections to slow down very early development. Most doctors are reluctant to do that, however, unless there are concerns about growth.1 Either way, it is wise to implement a three- part strategy if possible: (1) try to keep the stress level of your family at a minimum while powerful hormones are bombarding your daughter’s brain; (2) stave off adolescent attitudes and activities until sexual maturity makes its grand entrance; (3) and most important, develop and maintain a warm and caring relationship between dad and daughter. This is a good time for him to be giving her many hugs, writing affectionate notes, and having bedtime chats as they are welcomed.
1. Diana Zuckerman, “When Little Girls Become Women: Early Onset of Puberty in Girls,” NationalResearch Center for Women and Families; article first appeared in The Ribbon, a newsletter of the Cornell University Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF) 6, no. 1 (Winter 2001).