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Daughter Maturing Early

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: My 12-year-old is taller and more developed than most of the girls in her grade. She has to wear adult clothes and she's not giddy like her classmates. The other moms at the ball field are making remarks about her being "too mature."

She's on the honor roll and is musically and athletically talented, but these moms act like she's a tramp because of her physique. What can I do about the comments?

A: I surmise that the other parents have no idea about developmental differences in young adolescents. There is no such thing as "too mature." Your daughter is what she is -- a bright, musical, and athletically talented girl. She is simply developing physically at a different rate than some of her peers.

Your attitude toward her is the most important tool you have. You must discount what the other moms are saying. Refuse to get into any discussion about it. If cornered, my response would be "You have to be kidding?" and I would walk away. Continue to support your daughter as you have by encouraging her to continue to develop her skills. Encourage her to read about girls like herself and about her heroes and heroines.

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Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.


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