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Friday, January 4, 2008

Precocious Puberty

Did you know that it is now common for girls to start their menstrual cycles when they are nine years old? Pubic hair and breasts begin showing up one to two years prior to menstruation, which put many girls in precocious puberty or early puberty at around age seven.

I find this shocking.

My first reaction is to find out the cause of such early development and put an abrupt and definitive stop to it before it effects my daughter.

Yet, immediately, I realize that I do not have that kind of power as a parent.

It's not something I get to decide, like how much and what kind of television she's exposed to. It's pretty much up to God and some kind of backwards evolution.

Evolutionarily speaking females are having babies later in life, as opposed to earlier, right? Marrying and reproducing later rather than earlier. Why then, would the biological event of puberty be happening sooner rather than later?

Doing a Google search on the early maturation in girls was upsetting at best. There are lots of theories, some credible and some not, and it's kind of hard to tell the two apart.

The best article I found was Growing Up Too Fast published in the Denver Post, by Jackie Avner who took the time to research the various theories.

Now, as you know I already told my six-year-old daughter Ainsley that we, females, bleed every month to explain the tampons and pads. She sees me naked nearly every day, as I can't seem to train her to leave me alone in the bathroom. So, the pubic hair and breasts are things we've discussed frequently and openly.

I must be honest though, I previously told her she'd probably get breasts and hair when she was about 12 years old, because that's when I got them and I thought it was hereditary. I had to amend that information and inform her that these things might be happening several years earlier.

Logan Levkoff, Sexologist & Sexuality Educator and author of Third Base Ain't What It Used to Be: What Your Kids Are Learning About Sex Today- and How to Teach Them toBecome Sexually Healthy Adults had this to say on the topic of early maturation of girls, I think that there are two issues to consider: the implications of early menarche and how we teach our girls that an adult body does not mean that they are supposed to engage in adult behaviors and how to we teach our girls to love their bodies (and their menstrual status), when they get so many messages about how horrible having a period is, Levkoff said.

Also, Levkoff added, we need to teach fathers to remain present and affectionate with their daughters even as they physically transition through puberty.

As a mother, I can not control the onset of puberty, however I am her primary influence about the attitudes surrounding her femininity.

If I am curled up on the couch whining and moaning about how horrible my period is or muttering against God and his blasted curse, there is not much chance she will look forward to, embrace or accept her own period in a positive way regardless of when it happens for her.

Avoiding the issue that very young girls do have very adult bodies on today's elementary school playground would very likely backfire. But, for today I have to digest this information before I can begin that dialogue. In other words - she might be ready for further discussion but I, most certainly, am not.

And her Daddy, maybe we won't tell him about puberty till she's 13 and he's prepared for it - I'm only kidding! Jeez.

Further resources:
This is a fairly recent New York Times article about different cases.
This article blames early menstruation on childhood obesity.
This article describes gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty
This article insists it might be the absence of a father and the presence of a step-father.
This article hypothesises it's exposure to unknown contaminants.
These studies link early puberty to the mother's exposure to estrogen (in creams or medication) or similar hormones during pregnancy.
This article blames it on hormones present in cow's milk and a lack of attachment parenting.

19 comments:

mom said...

Yes, yes on avoiding "curse" speak.

One of my old profs from undergrad (she taught drama and issues in feminism) created a first period book for her daughter, asking lots of great women in her life to create a page for the book about the joys and power of being a woman and/or the struggles we faced growing up. She had it ready to give her daughter when the big day came. I thought that was really cool.

My mother gave me a plaque from Hallmark that had a giraffe on it and said something sweet about growing pains.

Tracee said...

That book is a great idea, Mom. I may just do something like that.

I do want to to commemorate the occasion in a special way somehow.

TwoThumbsUp! said...

Hi Tracee,

I just wanted to let you know that tonight I stumbled upon your blog and read the whole thing.

I was never allowed to have Barbie dolls and due to my mother's logic and teaching skills, I never once wanted one.

She never backed up her beliefs with actions though. It always seemed to be a case of "do what I say don't do what I do".

I've been wondering about ways to not send mixed messages when I'm a parent (no kids yet) and have thought about many of the things you discuss in your blogs.

I have conversations with friends about never letting my future kids have Bratz dolls. They always say "oh you will - you'll give in" as if I will have NO SAY over what my children will be allowed. As if they DO have no say in what they allow their children. I understand that this will probably be more difficult than I can possibly imagine, but still...aren't parents supposed to be the ones in control?

(Those Bratz dolls make my hackles rise and give me the creeps, they make me instantly angry and I wonder why they are so popular and why parents just buy them)

Although I don't agree with all of your opinions, I wanted to give you a big thumbs up and congratulate you on a fabulous blog where you discuss issues everyone should be talking about, irrespective of whether or not they have children.

I mean really, it's about what society we choose to live in and making it happen!

I only wonder, is there a father, or mother, out there writing a blog about raising boys to want and respect capable, intelligent, strong, outspoken, beautiful girls?

Thanks for the food for thought.

Tracee said...

Two Thumbs Up!

Thank you so much for your kind words. Don't worry, virtually no one on the planet agrees with me over every issue. I'm used to it and it doesn't offend me.

I think you're absolutely right when you say everyone should be thinking about and talking about these things - even if they have no children. They effect us too! How we treat half the population of Earth effects everyone on it.

I hear you about your friends who say you'll give in. I know I will never bend on the Bratz issue (tune in Monday for Slutz, a Bratz parody). I have bent myself on the Barbies allowing High School Musical dolls made by Mattel, balanced with a Tracy Turnblad doll.

I once had a friend that told me I would never take my kids to the grocery store once I had two of them. See, she never did, couldn't stand the whining and screaming.

Of course, I just taught my two kids not to behave like hooligans in public and take them to stores all the time.

I'm sure you'll make an excellent parent.

Violet said...

It may not be definitively proven, but I do believe that hormones in milk and BPA plastics do have detrimental effects on us. I only drink organic milk and I've been switching to more glass instead of plastic. It may not be worth it to Jackie Avner to pay more for organic milk, but it is to me if there is even a small chance that it could make me healthier. It tastes better anyway. I got my period later than all my friends and that was hard too.

Tracee said...

Quite a few of the arguements hold some water and very well could be true. The problem is that if I did everything on the list - just in case - we'd live in a bubble and that's not the kind of life I want for my kids either.

I had switched to soy thinking I'd solved the milk issue - only to find that estrogen-like chemicals are used to produce soy. And they're blaming that too.

Dope. Foiled again.

I find as milk prices rise I start allowing my children less and less milk. If I went to organic, I'd be screaming "Don't drink so much milk!"

I was thinking that same thing about age - if all the other girls get it at 9 or 10, it's not something I'd want to delay. Then she'd feel bad for being behind.

I do generally wish puberty would have stayed a teenage phenomenon though. It seems more complicated in elementary school.

Debs said...

That is shocking, that girls could start to develop breasts at 7.

Regarding the periods/curse issue, if you do an internet search for 'pagan parenting' you may find some resources for celebrating the menarche and making it a positive thing. Pagans tend to focus more on menarche being a natural thing that should be honoured. You may find handy books for her, or even a small 'celebration' you could do together.

Sorry I haven't got any links to give you at the moment, but if I have time later I'll have a little look for you! Really good post, by the way. x

Tracee said...

Thanks for the compliment Debs.

I know it is utterly shocking.

I read a column by one man in his 50s who said he was looking at an old yearbook of his, and 8 year old girls looked quite similar to the 8 year old boys they sat next to in school. The girls had longer hair, that's about it.

Then looked at the school yard today and couldn't believe the same age girls were walking around with grown women's bodies.

To make matters worse we throw on the sexuality with the belly shirts and sweat pants that scream "Juicy" across the butt - and where does the experience of being a little girl go? Vanishes into a memory.

Jonna said...

Two Thumbs Up has a point. I've been blogging about my pregnancy for the Houston Chronicle, and when the baby is born, I'm afraid I'll miss that blog so much. Since I'm having a son, I may start a Taming a Boy blog to blog after your Growing a Girl. My friend that writes for the chronicle is impressed with your blog by the way. If they were paying more bloggers (I'm free), I'd say you should talk to her about blogging there as well.
I point moms of daughters to your blog all the time, I hope you're getting some good traffic from it!

Tracee said...

Jonna, thanks so much for passing my name around. I very much appreciate it and yes, the number of readers are steadily growing.

I agree, it would be nice to be paid.

There certainly is a need for a media outlet that encourages boys to see women as more than . . . well, what they are portrayed as in society, sex objects.

I do sometimes wonder how to grow a son who appreciates and wants to love a strong woman.

Of course, Zack is so young I don't quite understand what the real issues boys face.

If anyone finds a link, or if you start that blog Jonna let me know so I can link up!

Does this mean I can find you somewhere besides Xanga Jonna? I have a terrible time logging onto Xanga.

JayMonster said...

Just curious if you overlooked, or just didn't accept the theories on rBST/rBGH (hormones used in cows) and the potential links to early onset of puberty.

I know the links in this studies are yet to be conclusive, but it is something that is certainly worth being concered about and consider.

(We have fortunately ALWAYS stuck with rBST free milk, for a myriad of reasons, including the possibility of the one mentioned above)

Alex Elliot said...

Logan's book is great! She did a stop on her virtual book tour for Third Base at my blog.

My 4 year old son already knows about periods, breasts, and pubic hair for the same reason that your daughter does. Periods are a fact of life and I wanted to present it to him like that and not make a big production out of it. We also use the correct words for vagina and vulva when we read the How Babies are Made book and any ensuing discussions.

I have to say that I got my period right before I turned 11 and I was thin and on a swim team where we practiced for an hour 5 days a week and had a meet on Saturdays. However, my maternal aunt was the same age so there's the genetic component. It was really hard on me to be so much younger. I have heard many times that now a days, I wouldn't have been the youngest.

I've read the same arguments that you read. The only other theory that I have heard is that it's because girls have better nutrition now a days.

Great post!

Tracee said...

JayMonster,

I confess I'm not really natural and organic enough to be able to identify the specific hormones. I believed I included it in the link that blamed cows milk and a lack of attachment parenting. I could be wrong, there could be two different theories. Also a friend pointed out that if you cut even if you cut hormones out of milk, they also give hormones to cows and chickens that we eat.

I would say ALL the theories hold some water, including the ones you mentioned. It really bothers me that there is no conclusive information to help parents proceed. One guy even has a theory that it's extra-consumption of cheese. Could be for all I know.

I am starting to reconsider buying the organic milk, I already buy the soy. I guess it's rather lazy of me not to want to buy two diff. kinds of milk (Zack has a milk intolerance requiring soy).

It's just getting so expensive, I'm sure most parents have started hearing themselves say, "Don't drink all the milk!" One of my friends limits to one glass a day and calls herself the Milk Nazi because she pays for the organic.

Tracee said...

Alex, that was an oversight.

The information that early puberty really just extra-healthy great nutrition and a sign of prosperity was included in the original article I sited by Jackie Avner. That's the theory she's said she's going with as well.

The list is not meant to be exhaustive.

There are literally hundreds of theories and articles and studies with different hypothesis. For a parent to sift through all of it and try to make educated choices would be time-consuming and exhaustive and ultimately we just don't know what is causing it.

Please, I invite ALL readers if they come across conclusive evidence or theories that seem more logical than others, please leave us all a link so we can better educate ourselves about the issue.

I fear, with Ainsley already going on 7, any action I might take now might already be too late. Then, starting puberty behind all the other girls can be even less pleasant than being the first one to start. It's hard to say. I desperately wanted my period at 12. But, we hear of girls traumatised by being the first one.

The best effect I can have at this point, I think is to have a positive attitude about whatever changes her body decides to make.

Honestly, with so little information (and so many different opinions) what else am I going to do?

Momteachs said...

I had to laugh at some of the theories here. Our oldest daughter looked just like the pictures in Get my Period books and as predicated started her period one month after her 12th birthday.

The 2nd daughter was also parented with lots of attachment, lived in the sling for a year, nursed till she was 4 1/2 (years not months) and stayed in the family bed a long time. She was always large for her age and get her period at a stunning 9 1/2. We were shocked, at least she knew about it from watching me and her older sister.

Both girls were home schooled and not exposed to overly sexy fashions and interests at young ages.

Who knows?

Tracee said...

I had the same reaction Momteach. The attachment parenting theory seemed an odd and unlikely connection to make. The step-father theory seemed very Freudian.

The most likely to me seems to be milk or hormones given animals. Maybe a vaccine?

No one does know. But, it does bother me that no one knows.

belle said...

I have a little girl who has just turned eight. For the past three years our paediatrician has been tracking her progress with precocious puberty. I discovered that by putting her on a purely organic, dairy - free diet, the onset simply halted. Six months ago finances prevented us from keeping this regime. (She was on the diet for two years). I convinced myself that the slowing progression may simply have been coincidence. In the last month my daughter has begun growning such as that of a child at the onset of adolecence, and is once again progressing into womanhood. A coincidence? or a modern disaster?

Tracee said...

Bella, the research I'm doing now says Modern Disaster.

Someone told me buying organic groceries on the Internet is 30% cheaper and tax free and you can often find free shipping. Would love to have you stick around - I'm on vacation now, but I recently interviewed a doctor that said that diet is the only thing between increased risk breast cancer and other potential hormonal complications and your daughter.

Anonymous said...

My daughter loves and actively participates in sports. I started her in karate and gymnastics at age 5. By age 6, she got on gymnastics team and increased her workout from 45 minutes once a week to 8 hours/week and eventually to 14 hours/week by age 7. She dropped out of karate which she was very good. She competed and received numerous metals in kata (form) and kumite (sparring). In gymnastics, she competed at level 4 for two years, went to state for both years, and got fourth place the second year. She got burned out at the second season. She was begging me to discontinue gymnastics and be on a swimming team full time which she was swimming once a week. Seeing how miserable she was in gymnastics and how much fun she had in swimming I strongly supported her. She was swimming 4 hours a week. One day she showed me that one of her nipples was swollen and she got embarrass in the girl's locker while showering with her friends. We switched over to organic milk and her swollen nipple went away. After 6 months, she remained flat chest so we switched back to regular whole milk to due finances. Shortly afterward, the swollen nipples came back but both this time. The previous swollen nipple got even bigger. She was 8 years old at the time. We switched back to organic milk right away and her chest became flat again after a few months. We want to delay her puberty as long as possible. Menstruation and swimming don't go together and is not right for a little girl. I reached my puberty when I was 13. I am the tallest girl in the family of three girls. Somehow I believe my delay puberty played a big factor in my height. Since my daughter swims full time, we want her to continue to do well in her age group. We are hoping by delaying her puberty so she gets a chance to grow 2+ inches every year until she reaches her puberty. Now she is 10 years old, she swims 7.5 hours per week with meets on weekends. She enjoys her success and we are happy that she remains our little girl with hard ab and no boobs. We had this experience with the early onset of puberty even though our daughter was so active comparing to her school friends. We would never go back to the regular milk. Go organic if you can afford.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Precocious Puberty

Did you know that it is now common for girls to start their menstrual cycles when they are nine years old? Pubic hair and breasts begin showing up one to two years prior to menstruation, which put many girls in precocious puberty or early puberty at around age seven.

I find this shocking.

My first reaction is to find out the cause of such early development and put an abrupt and definitive stop to it before it effects my daughter.

Yet, immediately, I realize that I do not have that kind of power as a parent.

It's not something I get to decide, like how much and what kind of television she's exposed to. It's pretty much up to God and some kind of backwards evolution.

Evolutionarily speaking females are having babies later in life, as opposed to earlier, right? Marrying and reproducing later rather than earlier. Why then, would the biological event of puberty be happening sooner rather than later?

Doing a Google search on the early maturation in girls was upsetting at best. There are lots of theories, some credible and some not, and it's kind of hard to tell the two apart.

The best article I found was Growing Up Too Fast published in the Denver Post, by Jackie Avner who took the time to research the various theories.

Now, as you know I already told my six-year-old daughter Ainsley that we, females, bleed every month to explain the tampons and pads. She sees me naked nearly every day, as I can't seem to train her to leave me alone in the bathroom. So, the pubic hair and breasts are things we've discussed frequently and openly.

I must be honest though, I previously told her she'd probably get breasts and hair when she was about 12 years old, because that's when I got them and I thought it was hereditary. I had to amend that information and inform her that these things might be happening several years earlier.

Logan Levkoff, Sexologist & Sexuality Educator and author of Third Base Ain't What It Used to Be: What Your Kids Are Learning About Sex Today- and How to Teach Them toBecome Sexually Healthy Adults had this to say on the topic of early maturation of girls, I think that there are two issues to consider: the implications of early menarche and how we teach our girls that an adult body does not mean that they are supposed to engage in adult behaviors and how to we teach our girls to love their bodies (and their menstrual status), when they get so many messages about how horrible having a period is, Levkoff said.

Also, Levkoff added, we need to teach fathers to remain present and affectionate with their daughters even as they physically transition through puberty.

As a mother, I can not control the onset of puberty, however I am her primary influence about the attitudes surrounding her femininity.

If I am curled up on the couch whining and moaning about how horrible my period is or muttering against God and his blasted curse, there is not much chance she will look forward to, embrace or accept her own period in a positive way regardless of when it happens for her.

Avoiding the issue that very young girls do have very adult bodies on today's elementary school playground would very likely backfire. But, for today I have to digest this information before I can begin that dialogue. In other words - she might be ready for further discussion but I, most certainly, am not.

And her Daddy, maybe we won't tell him about puberty till she's 13 and he's prepared for it - I'm only kidding! Jeez.

Further resources:
This is a fairly recent New York Times article about different cases.
This article blames early menstruation on childhood obesity.
This article describes gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty
This article insists it might be the absence of a father and the presence of a step-father.
This article hypothesises it's exposure to unknown contaminants.
These studies link early puberty to the mother's exposure to estrogen (in creams or medication) or similar hormones during pregnancy.
This article blames it on hormones present in cow's milk and a lack of attachment parenting.

19 comments:

mom said...

Yes, yes on avoiding "curse" speak.

One of my old profs from undergrad (she taught drama and issues in feminism) created a first period book for her daughter, asking lots of great women in her life to create a page for the book about the joys and power of being a woman and/or the struggles we faced growing up. She had it ready to give her daughter when the big day came. I thought that was really cool.

My mother gave me a plaque from Hallmark that had a giraffe on it and said something sweet about growing pains.

Tracee said...

That book is a great idea, Mom. I may just do something like that.

I do want to to commemorate the occasion in a special way somehow.

TwoThumbsUp! said...

Hi Tracee,

I just wanted to let you know that tonight I stumbled upon your blog and read the whole thing.

I was never allowed to have Barbie dolls and due to my mother's logic and teaching skills, I never once wanted one.

She never backed up her beliefs with actions though. It always seemed to be a case of "do what I say don't do what I do".

I've been wondering about ways to not send mixed messages when I'm a parent (no kids yet) and have thought about many of the things you discuss in your blogs.

I have conversations with friends about never letting my future kids have Bratz dolls. They always say "oh you will - you'll give in" as if I will have NO SAY over what my children will be allowed. As if they DO have no say in what they allow their children. I understand that this will probably be more difficult than I can possibly imagine, but still...aren't parents supposed to be the ones in control?

(Those Bratz dolls make my hackles rise and give me the creeps, they make me instantly angry and I wonder why they are so popular and why parents just buy them)

Although I don't agree with all of your opinions, I wanted to give you a big thumbs up and congratulate you on a fabulous blog where you discuss issues everyone should be talking about, irrespective of whether or not they have children.

I mean really, it's about what society we choose to live in and making it happen!

I only wonder, is there a father, or mother, out there writing a blog about raising boys to want and respect capable, intelligent, strong, outspoken, beautiful girls?

Thanks for the food for thought.

Tracee said...

Two Thumbs Up!

Thank you so much for your kind words. Don't worry, virtually no one on the planet agrees with me over every issue. I'm used to it and it doesn't offend me.

I think you're absolutely right when you say everyone should be thinking about and talking about these things - even if they have no children. They effect us too! How we treat half the population of Earth effects everyone on it.

I hear you about your friends who say you'll give in. I know I will never bend on the Bratz issue (tune in Monday for Slutz, a Bratz parody). I have bent myself on the Barbies allowing High School Musical dolls made by Mattel, balanced with a Tracy Turnblad doll.

I once had a friend that told me I would never take my kids to the grocery store once I had two of them. See, she never did, couldn't stand the whining and screaming.

Of course, I just taught my two kids not to behave like hooligans in public and take them to stores all the time.

I'm sure you'll make an excellent parent.

Violet said...

It may not be definitively proven, but I do believe that hormones in milk and BPA plastics do have detrimental effects on us. I only drink organic milk and I've been switching to more glass instead of plastic. It may not be worth it to Jackie Avner to pay more for organic milk, but it is to me if there is even a small chance that it could make me healthier. It tastes better anyway. I got my period later than all my friends and that was hard too.

Tracee said...

Quite a few of the arguements hold some water and very well could be true. The problem is that if I did everything on the list - just in case - we'd live in a bubble and that's not the kind of life I want for my kids either.

I had switched to soy thinking I'd solved the milk issue - only to find that estrogen-like chemicals are used to produce soy. And they're blaming that too.

Dope. Foiled again.

I find as milk prices rise I start allowing my children less and less milk. If I went to organic, I'd be screaming "Don't drink so much milk!"

I was thinking that same thing about age - if all the other girls get it at 9 or 10, it's not something I'd want to delay. Then she'd feel bad for being behind.

I do generally wish puberty would have stayed a teenage phenomenon though. It seems more complicated in elementary school.

Debs said...

That is shocking, that girls could start to develop breasts at 7.

Regarding the periods/curse issue, if you do an internet search for 'pagan parenting' you may find some resources for celebrating the menarche and making it a positive thing. Pagans tend to focus more on menarche being a natural thing that should be honoured. You may find handy books for her, or even a small 'celebration' you could do together.

Sorry I haven't got any links to give you at the moment, but if I have time later I'll have a little look for you! Really good post, by the way. x

Tracee said...

Thanks for the compliment Debs.

I know it is utterly shocking.

I read a column by one man in his 50s who said he was looking at an old yearbook of his, and 8 year old girls looked quite similar to the 8 year old boys they sat next to in school. The girls had longer hair, that's about it.

Then looked at the school yard today and couldn't believe the same age girls were walking around with grown women's bodies.

To make matters worse we throw on the sexuality with the belly shirts and sweat pants that scream "Juicy" across the butt - and where does the experience of being a little girl go? Vanishes into a memory.

Jonna said...

Two Thumbs Up has a point. I've been blogging about my pregnancy for the Houston Chronicle, and when the baby is born, I'm afraid I'll miss that blog so much. Since I'm having a son, I may start a Taming a Boy blog to blog after your Growing a Girl. My friend that writes for the chronicle is impressed with your blog by the way. If they were paying more bloggers (I'm free), I'd say you should talk to her about blogging there as well.
I point moms of daughters to your blog all the time, I hope you're getting some good traffic from it!

Tracee said...

Jonna, thanks so much for passing my name around. I very much appreciate it and yes, the number of readers are steadily growing.

I agree, it would be nice to be paid.

There certainly is a need for a media outlet that encourages boys to see women as more than . . . well, what they are portrayed as in society, sex objects.

I do sometimes wonder how to grow a son who appreciates and wants to love a strong woman.

Of course, Zack is so young I don't quite understand what the real issues boys face.

If anyone finds a link, or if you start that blog Jonna let me know so I can link up!

Does this mean I can find you somewhere besides Xanga Jonna? I have a terrible time logging onto Xanga.

JayMonster said...

Just curious if you overlooked, or just didn't accept the theories on rBST/rBGH (hormones used in cows) and the potential links to early onset of puberty.

I know the links in this studies are yet to be conclusive, but it is something that is certainly worth being concered about and consider.

(We have fortunately ALWAYS stuck with rBST free milk, for a myriad of reasons, including the possibility of the one mentioned above)

Alex Elliot said...

Logan's book is great! She did a stop on her virtual book tour for Third Base at my blog.

My 4 year old son already knows about periods, breasts, and pubic hair for the same reason that your daughter does. Periods are a fact of life and I wanted to present it to him like that and not make a big production out of it. We also use the correct words for vagina and vulva when we read the How Babies are Made book and any ensuing discussions.

I have to say that I got my period right before I turned 11 and I was thin and on a swim team where we practiced for an hour 5 days a week and had a meet on Saturdays. However, my maternal aunt was the same age so there's the genetic component. It was really hard on me to be so much younger. I have heard many times that now a days, I wouldn't have been the youngest.

I've read the same arguments that you read. The only other theory that I have heard is that it's because girls have better nutrition now a days.

Great post!

Tracee said...

JayMonster,

I confess I'm not really natural and organic enough to be able to identify the specific hormones. I believed I included it in the link that blamed cows milk and a lack of attachment parenting. I could be wrong, there could be two different theories. Also a friend pointed out that if you cut even if you cut hormones out of milk, they also give hormones to cows and chickens that we eat.

I would say ALL the theories hold some water, including the ones you mentioned. It really bothers me that there is no conclusive information to help parents proceed. One guy even has a theory that it's extra-consumption of cheese. Could be for all I know.

I am starting to reconsider buying the organic milk, I already buy the soy. I guess it's rather lazy of me not to want to buy two diff. kinds of milk (Zack has a milk intolerance requiring soy).

It's just getting so expensive, I'm sure most parents have started hearing themselves say, "Don't drink all the milk!" One of my friends limits to one glass a day and calls herself the Milk Nazi because she pays for the organic.

Tracee said...

Alex, that was an oversight.

The information that early puberty really just extra-healthy great nutrition and a sign of prosperity was included in the original article I sited by Jackie Avner. That's the theory she's said she's going with as well.

The list is not meant to be exhaustive.

There are literally hundreds of theories and articles and studies with different hypothesis. For a parent to sift through all of it and try to make educated choices would be time-consuming and exhaustive and ultimately we just don't know what is causing it.

Please, I invite ALL readers if they come across conclusive evidence or theories that seem more logical than others, please leave us all a link so we can better educate ourselves about the issue.

I fear, with Ainsley already going on 7, any action I might take now might already be too late. Then, starting puberty behind all the other girls can be even less pleasant than being the first one to start. It's hard to say. I desperately wanted my period at 12. But, we hear of girls traumatised by being the first one.

The best effect I can have at this point, I think is to have a positive attitude about whatever changes her body decides to make.

Honestly, with so little information (and so many different opinions) what else am I going to do?

Momteachs said...

I had to laugh at some of the theories here. Our oldest daughter looked just like the pictures in Get my Period books and as predicated started her period one month after her 12th birthday.

The 2nd daughter was also parented with lots of attachment, lived in the sling for a year, nursed till she was 4 1/2 (years not months) and stayed in the family bed a long time. She was always large for her age and get her period at a stunning 9 1/2. We were shocked, at least she knew about it from watching me and her older sister.

Both girls were home schooled and not exposed to overly sexy fashions and interests at young ages.

Who knows?

Tracee said...

I had the same reaction Momteach. The attachment parenting theory seemed an odd and unlikely connection to make. The step-father theory seemed very Freudian.

The most likely to me seems to be milk or hormones given animals. Maybe a vaccine?

No one does know. But, it does bother me that no one knows.

belle said...

I have a little girl who has just turned eight. For the past three years our paediatrician has been tracking her progress with precocious puberty. I discovered that by putting her on a purely organic, dairy - free diet, the onset simply halted. Six months ago finances prevented us from keeping this regime. (She was on the diet for two years). I convinced myself that the slowing progression may simply have been coincidence. In the last month my daughter has begun growning such as that of a child at the onset of adolecence, and is once again progressing into womanhood. A coincidence? or a modern disaster?

Tracee said...

Bella, the research I'm doing now says Modern Disaster.

Someone told me buying organic groceries on the Internet is 30% cheaper and tax free and you can often find free shipping. Would love to have you stick around - I'm on vacation now, but I recently interviewed a doctor that said that diet is the only thing between increased risk breast cancer and other potential hormonal complications and your daughter.

Anonymous said...

My daughter loves and actively participates in sports. I started her in karate and gymnastics at age 5. By age 6, she got on gymnastics team and increased her workout from 45 minutes once a week to 8 hours/week and eventually to 14 hours/week by age 7. She dropped out of karate which she was very good. She competed and received numerous metals in kata (form) and kumite (sparring). In gymnastics, she competed at level 4 for two years, went to state for both years, and got fourth place the second year. She got burned out at the second season. She was begging me to discontinue gymnastics and be on a swimming team full time which she was swimming once a week. Seeing how miserable she was in gymnastics and how much fun she had in swimming I strongly supported her. She was swimming 4 hours a week. One day she showed me that one of her nipples was swollen and she got embarrass in the girl's locker while showering with her friends. We switched over to organic milk and her swollen nipple went away. After 6 months, she remained flat chest so we switched back to regular whole milk to due finances. Shortly afterward, the swollen nipples came back but both this time. The previous swollen nipple got even bigger. She was 8 years old at the time. We switched back to organic milk right away and her chest became flat again after a few months. We want to delay her puberty as long as possible. Menstruation and swimming don't go together and is not right for a little girl. I reached my puberty when I was 13. I am the tallest girl in the family of three girls. Somehow I believe my delay puberty played a big factor in my height. Since my daughter swims full time, we want her to continue to do well in her age group. We are hoping by delaying her puberty so she gets a chance to grow 2+ inches every year until she reaches her puberty. Now she is 10 years old, she swims 7.5 hours per week with meets on weekends. She enjoys her success and we are happy that she remains our little girl with hard ab and no boobs. We had this experience with the early onset of puberty even though our daughter was so active comparing to her school friends. We would never go back to the regular milk. Go organic if you can afford.