Puberty brings a lot of changes to children. Some kids struggle with these changes, while others sail through them without concern. Talking about the issues of puberty with children remains one of the most critical jobs for parents.
However, many are often unprepared for these changes that occur and end up being uncomfortable talking about it.
What to expect during puberty
Most of us know of puberty as the stage of life when the development of certain characteristics like breasts, pubic hair and facial hair starts. It is also the time to introduce children to a dermatologist here in Sandy to help with stubborn acne.
And while these physical developments are expected as they are visible during puberty, these are not the only changes that kids go through during their transition to adolescence. Kids also go through social, psychological and emotional changes.
These developments usually start to occur between the ages of 11 and 13 for boys and 10 and 11 for girls.
How to support a child during puberty
One of the best strategies to help a child during a child’s adolescence is positive parenting. Research shows that parenting which focuses on nurturing, communicating and educating has many benefits. It reduces aggression and delinquency, which are common stereotypes of adolescence years.
Also, this kind of parenting has shown to result in higher self-esteem and academic achievement.
Parents need to educate themselves
Not surprisingly, kids have a lot of questions as they learn about puberty. It is a parent’s responsibility to arm himself or herself with the needed knowledge to answer all these questions by reading books and doing online research.
Parents should think back on their own teen years when they were going through the same massive changes. Parents who arm themselves with knowledge can prepare and cope with the changes themselves better.
Parents need to start the talk early and often
Nowadays, children have access to as much information about sex and relationships online and on TV. By the time they approach puberty, they may have some idea about the changes. However, it cannot be understated that talking about the different changes and issues that come with puberty still remains an important job for parents.
Parents know their kids better, and they can identify the best jumping-off point for a good parent and child discussion. Parents can start by using day-to-day situations to trigger conversations. Ideally, however, parents should not wait for a child to come up with questions as this day may never arrive.
Parents can open the lines of communications themselves. They can start by sharing memories of their adolescent years. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that mom and dad went through the same challenges.
Children will start seeing their own mistakes as growing opportunities, and they’ll be more open with their feelings and their questions.
Parents need to respect a kid’s privacy
Parenting is so much more than teaching kids to distinguish right from wrong. It is also about respect. As kids hit adolescence, they invariably begin to separate from their parents and demand to have more independence.
Ironically, this is also the same time that parents start to have legitimate concerns about their child’s safety. As this happens, parents often find themselves arguing with their children as the latter pushes for independence.
Unfortunately, repeat scenarios like these will drive kids underground. Thus, it is for parents to stay calm and try to work the issues with their kids. They should do their best not to be nosy and avoid going around digging through their teenager’s belongings.
Puberty brings about physical, psychological and emotional changes that can be very demanding to children. It is the parent’s role to help make sure they go through these changes more smoothly. By understanding what to expect and following the three-step guidelines above, parents can also ensure themselves a less stressful transition.