Even though the chances of teen girls getting breast cancer is rare, it’s important to open the door to communication about the disease sooner than later. With National Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaching and pink ribbons everywhere from clothing to food labels, you have the perfect opportunity to broach the topic.
Talk to her, not at her
Approach the subject in a non-threatening way. Teen girls may not want to have a sit down conversation with their moms about breast care and health. But she’ll listen if you talk with her straight and open the conversation up to questions and concerns versus presenting a threatening speech filled with gloom and doom. And a soliloquy is a surefire way to get your daughter to turn her listening ears off. So proceed with caution.
Give her the real deal
If you have a family member or friend who has had an experience with breast cancer, explain the situation to help it hit home for your teen daughter. Even if you don’t know anyone the disease has affected (lucky you!), you can use celebrities like Giuliana Rancic as examples of people that breast cancer has reached.
Explain your breast care routine
Without getting too personal, explain how important it is to start a breast care routine. If you feel uncomfortable talking in detail with her about how you personally maintain your breast health, make an appointment for your daughter with your OB-GYN and ask her to give your daughter some advice on how she can begin her own breast health routine.
Tell her how important it is to you to raise awareness for breast cancer and ask her to join you in a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Check out the website to find a race in your area. There are more than 150 races globally, so chances are there is one in your area. There are other breast cancer awareness walks and races as well.
Share a moment with your daughter by telling her why it’s so important to you to talk openly about breast cancer, to raise awareness for it and to protect yourselves as women from the disease. Opening up to her as a friend versus as Mom will speak volumes to her and will likely result in a new bond between you and your teenage daughter.