This is a great story of how to be supportive of a cancer survivor. Even beyond cancer, children who have experienced significant medical illnesses may have delayed puberty. Delayed puberty also occurs in a certain percentage of the healthy childhood population normally as well. It would be a great thing to let your daughter know that many people go through puberty in different ways and it is all OK. As many medical providers have described “puberty is a predictable series of events but there is variance in timing of onset, sequence, and tempo.” This means some children will start puberty early, others will start late, some children will start and then stall out for a bit, and others will go through the process quickly. If a parent is concerned about the timing of puberty in any of these ways, they should check in with their primary care provider. There are some good videos produced that speak directly to children regarding this process that you may be able to purchase or get from the library or school. This would be a good topic to suggest to your local elementary school to include in their health teaching of the students too. Learning this at school will reinforce what you tell your children at home.
– Dr. Corinne Lehmann
I would explain that every child starts to develop into a teenager at a different age, and continues to develop at different speeds. Sometimes, kids have to receive medicines and treatments that change the time that they will start puberty. There is not one way that is better or worse, and eventually, everyone will develop into an “adult” body.
– Dr. Rula Kanj