I read this article in the New York Times and it really startled me. It's an interesting and really uncomfortable read for moms with daughters, but probably good to check out.
The gist is that girls are entering puberty as early as KINDERGARTEN.
And one of the largest contributing factors is stress in the home (defined as absent fathers, present step-fathers, adoption and integration issues, etc).
Here's an excerpt:
Family stress can disrupt puberty timing as well. Girls who from an early age grow up in homes without their biological fathers are twice as likely to go into puberty younger as girls who grow up with both parents. Some studies show that the presence of a stepfather in the house also correlates with early puberty. Evidence links maternal depression with developing early. Children adopted from poorer countries who have experienced significant early-childhood stress are also at greater risk for early puberty once they’re ensconced in Western families.
Things it's reminded me of:
- Childhood traumas (even from such a young age) have such a impact on children down the line.
- There will be damage that we will never be able to un-do
- The family unit, when thriving, does so much to bless a child or children. Far beyond what I'd imagined, even to the physical development of a person. Wow.
- I need to be praying for our future child(ren) in specific ways. Thinking right now if we adopt a daughter, how she may be impacted and how I can be praying...